Tracing the Tracks – Gummi Bears auditions part 1: Gruffi Gummi, Phase II

Phase II

Henry Corden

Starting his career on stage and radio, Henry Corden moved from New York to Los Angeles in the 1940’s to become an actor Hollywood productions. Being fluent in many dialects,his parts were usually minor and he would find more success acting for television. Making the move to animation, he would often be used to portray brutish¬† and gruff voices. His most famous role would be Fred Flintstone, who’s part he inherited in 1977 -after the passing of the characters original voice, Alan Reed- and which he would continue for over three decades in various revamped shows, specials and commercials.

 

Will Ryan

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Will Ryan started his career as a musician. Later on he would become ‘Willio’ of the comedic singing group Willio and Fillio, that would record a lot of songs for DIsneyland Records. Later on in his career he would start performing as a voice actor, starting early on with voicing Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore (1983) and the Winnie the Pooh live-action television series Welcome to Pooh Corner. He would also portray Willie the Giant and Pegleg Pete, starting with Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), reprising the roles in House of Mouse (2001-2002) and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006-2014).

His other work for the DTA shows would start at the very beginning, performing the voices of Gad, Zook and the other ogres in Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991) and move on to Ducktales to perform additional voices for various episodes. Other notable credits are Scrooge McDuck, The Beagle Boys and Gyro Gearloose in the DTA predecessor Sport Goofy in Soccer Mania (1987, although produced in the early eighties); Footloose and Rock ‘n Roll in G.I.Joe (1985), Grubby in The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin (1987), Digit in An American Tail (1986), Petrie in The Land Before Time (1988) and as Seahorse in Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989),

 

Paul Winchell

Paul Winchell would not only end up winning the part of Zummi Gummi, but was also featured in The Smurfs (as Gargamel) during that time, which was at that time one of the biggest competitors for the Gummi Bears. Of course, Paul Winchell has his place in the Disney pantheon for his iconic portrayal of Tigger, starting from it’s first animated inception in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) until 1999. From the The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988-1991) on, he would share voicing Tigger with Jim Cummings.

 

Frank Welker

One of the top voice artists in the business, having a huge range in not only voices, but also in portraying animals. His credits are numerous (over 750 seperate shows) and just mentioning a few of them would be an injustice, so we’re sorry, Frank! Starring as Fred in Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969-1970) and still performing the role, but also taking over voicing main star Scooby Doo in 2003. Other notable roles are a large part of the characters in the original Transformers (1984-1986), continuing most parts to this day. Performing Jabberjaw, Dynomutt, Dog Wonder and Shmoo for Hanna-Barbera; Doctor Claw and M.A.D. Cat on Inspector Gadget (1983-1985), Ray Stantz and Slimer on The Real Ghostbusters (1986) and many others. Apart from his live action roles early on, Frank Welker also performed many animals throughout his career. Notable mentions are Abu and Rajah in Aladdin (1992) and all its spin-offs, Milo in The Mask TAS (1995-1997), Pegasus in Hercules and its spin-offs, Snowball II and Santa’s Little Helper on The Simpsons and many others.

While it is possible to list all the voices Frank Welker has done for Disney and DTA, I will only name a handful of roles because of the sheer length of his resum√©. For DTA, Frank has performed on shows as The Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991); Big Time Beagle, Baggy Beagle and Bubba Duck on Ducktales (1987-1990); Chainsaw and Waffles on Goof Troop (1992); on Darkwing Duck (1991-1992); Meat on Marsupilami (1993) and Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show (1995); Fall-Apart Rabbit on Bonkers (1993-1994); Abu in Aladdin (1994-1995); Bronx in Gargoyles (1994-1996); Scorch in 101 Dalmations: The Series (1997-1998) and many others. For a more accurate listing, check IMDB. (I don’t intend to do this often, but the vocal footprint of Frank Welker is big enough to completely take over this article)

 

Kerri Mayhen

Sadly, no information was found on an actor under the name Mayhen. Although the original audition documents mention him has K. Mayhen, no entries were found on IMDB or voice actor websites. If anyone has more information on him, please mention it in the comments.

 

Jack DeLeon

Although most of his career was in live action television series and movies, Jack DeLeon had a few parts as a voice actor in the 60’s and 70’s. Apart from performing additional voices, he voiced a few notable characters in animation history, among them voicing the first animated version of Johnny Storm/The Human Torch on Fantastic Four (1967-1968) and Dwalin, Fili and Kili in the Rankin-Bass production of the Hobbit. He also voiced Major Courage on Ducktales (episode 8, Where No Duck Has Gone Before).

 

Parley Baer 1
Parley Baer 2

While not known as a voice actor, Parley Baer was often cast in television shows because of his very distinctive voice. His few voice actor credits are as Ernie Keebler in the Keebler cookie commercials and as the owl in The Gnome-Mobile (1967).

 

Michael Sheehan

Where others have next to none credits to their name as voice actors, some vocal artists have that one part that is etched in the memory of millions of people. In this case that part would be Mogwai and the Gremlins in Gremlins (1984) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). Other contributions to animation history by Michael Sheehan are Bamm-Bamm Rubble on The Flintstone Comedy Show (1980-1981), Rio pacheco on Jem (1985-1988) and Jose in Rover Dangerfield (1991) and performing additional voices on several other shows.

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