I Know That Voice (2013) Poster

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Overlong Movie, But Great Two-Part Miniseries
jimnshay17 September 2014
John DiMaggio and his friends tell the story of voice acting, and nobody tells a story better than people who do funny voices. It's raucous, wild, silly, and honest. About 45 minutes in you've heard about the beginning of voice acting in cartoons and all the principals have told you how they got into the business and what it means to them. It's a complete experience, a great ride, and you're well and truly satiated. And a little exhausted by all the high-energy emoting.

But there' was still another 45 minutes to go. What, I asked, could the next 45 minutes possibly be about?

Well, actually, it's about the business of cartoon voice-overs: how you get work, what it's like to need work and the insecurity of the business, what a recording session is like, what their agents do for them, how they work with directors, and the different kinds of work that they do. The part about doing voice-overs for video games was a scream. But it was all good.

Taken all in a piece, it's too much. So here's my suggestion; especially doable if you see this on Netflix. At 45 minutes, stop the movie; you've seen Part 1. Go do something else. The next day, see the rest of the movie -- Part 2. You'll enjoy the two halves immensely -- much better than the whole. That's what I did, and I whole-heartedly recommend the movie, when watched this way.
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7/10
Little bit of fun, little bit of craft, little bit of back-patting.
Sergeant_Tibbs7 June 2014
Seeing the face behind the voice of my favourite animated characters is something I've always been curious about. It's great fun to YouTube for voice acting in motion. Watching The Simpsons cast appearance on Inside The Actor's Studio when I was younger was pure magic and I've watched my DVDs of Futurama with the commentaries on several times. Fortunately both shows feature heavily in the documentary with Bender's John DiMaggio being a heavyweight presence here. There's two things that I Know That Voice wants to emphasise. A, it's a craft no less than live action acting. And B, it's way more fun. Gathering a great assortment of voice actors with names you'd recognise from the credits of the cartoons if not the faces, the way the film is brought together gives it a wonderful sense of camaraderie.

However, sometimes it can lead to it feeling like they're simply stroking their own and other's egos but the humility of some of the interviewees shines through. It is disappointing that it lacks an enormous amount of archive footage to show the voices in action. They do it often on camera, sometimes to an irritating extent, and you just wish they would provide examples. Oh well, perhaps the rights would cost an extortionate amount. They do great things with their limited budget here but it does suffer from overeager editing with a pacing that so afraid of us being bored that it instead exhausts our attention. I wouldn't say I learned much about voice actors or gained more respect than I already had, but it was fun and interesting.

7/10
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8/10
It's like a who's who of almost everyone in animation.
Mr-Fusion12 September 2014
Voice acting. I've gotta say,great subject matter for a documentary. It's an unsung talent to a lot of people, and I KNOW THAT VOICE seeks to shed some light on who these well-known voices are. I wholeheartedly confess to the thrill of seeing an actor in an interview launch into the voice of a familiar character, bringing the character to life instantly in that very moment. It's why the Simpsons episode of INSIDE THE ACTOR'S STUDIO was my favorite; seeing the cast do those familiar voices fed right into that delight. And there is a lot of that in this movie, but it's about more than just the voices. It spotlights the legitimate acting and even physicality that go into an actor's time in the sound booth. It's not just a guy doing crazy voices - and seeing these people go from one character to another in a split second is pretty impressive.

The list of people that are featured in the movie is astounding. And it's not just side players and unknowns. We're talking Hank Azaria, Nolan North, Rob Paulsen, Fred Tatasciore, Kevin Conroy, Kevin Michael Richardson . . . these are heavy-hitters with intimidating bodies of work. And let's not forget John DiMaggio (Bender himself!) who directed the whole thing. Says a lot about the man's passion for what he does that he went out and made a movie about these anonymous faces behind the household name voices.

It's a great documentary; breezy, fun and often surprising what these guys can create with their vocal cords. There were still some people that I would've liked to hear from (Frank Welker, Jon Benjamin), but that's hardly a complaint. This is good stuff.

8/10
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6/10
Too many words
nataloff-114 September 2014
This is a terrific 70-minute documentary that goes on for 90 minutes. A huge cast of exceptional voice talent tells how they got to do what they do, why they like doing what they do, why they do and don't get the recognition they deserve, and other green room stories. Each and every interview is compelling and informative in and of itself, but after about an hour the aggregate doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Although the filmmakers have broken the continuity into subject areas and the online editors have done a gorgeous job creating transitions and effects that add to the storytelling, one comes away from "I Know That Voice" knowing what it's like to be a voice actor, but not how a voice actor does her or his job. The film doesn't show it. A major off-putting stylistic decision was having the interviewer sit so far off eye-line axis that the viewer feels excluded from the conversation rather than brought into it. This is a loving tribute to unsung people, pleasant but not memorable.
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10/10
Masters in Their Work
TheFunkyBass4 June 2016
This documentary is all about the "secret world" of voice actors. And inside scoop if you will. They don't just make voices, they create characters. In some way, they're better than physical actors.

This flick gathers the best of the best in the business. Billy West, Mark Hamill, Seth Green, Phil LaMarr, Nolan North, Hank Azaria, June Foray, Tara Strong, Jim Cummings, Nancy Cartwright, James Arnold Taylor, Daran Norris, Rachel McFarlene, Bob Bergen, these are just a few names from the industry.

This film really does justice to the real heroes behind animation. Watching this will make you appreciate their job more as an art. I watch it every now and then just to remind me how great this is.

10/10
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7/10
I fun documentary about who voices your favorite cartoons.
mockfilmreviews24 January 2016
I hate to say it but I've never been one who watches documentaries. I mean, yes, I enjoy them, though I don't generally seek them out . In this politically heated world that we live in, to be honest, at then end of a long day I'm not in the mindset to watch one of the (what feels like a million) docs out there about how big business is slowly feeding me genetically modified corn syrup that will make me become a gluten mutant of some kind, or whatever the hot button topic of the week is. Don't get me wrong, there's a need for such films and they are important in educating the masses, but like I said, sometimes it's not what you need at the end of a rough day. Then, ever so often, you find a topic that screams 'watch me.' And I have found that documentary my friends.

I Know That Voice (2013) takes a gander at a subject that many of us never give much credence to. No, it's not about how the auto industry is using the tears killer whales to power inefficient hybrids. This film takes a personal look at what it means to be an actor who is never actually seen on screen. I speak of the voice over artists who use their gift of gab to create and bring to life some of the most iconic characters in the world of entertainment. Produced by John DiMaggio (the alcohol fueled robot Bender from the popular series Futurama), this film feels like a labor of love and what unfolds is wonderful.

The movie explains the history of voice artists from the beginning of talkies until present day, peppering in a slew of interviews from some of the most popular talent out there. Weaving a tale of both the struggles and the love of the business, I Know That Voice keeps you interested from start to finish as the actors known for being silly animated characters, show you a side of the process which makes the viewer appreciate what was once looked at as child's fair. Throughout, you meet everyone from Sponge Bob to Roger Rabbit. And these are truly actors, damn fine ones at that.
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8/10
A Great Topic For A Documentary
ethanmidd14 March 2015
One thing I really enjoyed about this show is the nostalgia. This show will make you think about the shows you watched when you were a child, doesn't matter what age. It is fascinating to see what these voice actors do and see what shows and video games they work on. It is very interesting.

When it showed the voice actors, it would say a different show every time it shows the voice actor. So it is interesting to see what else they work on.

I do wish this documentary had even sections though. The movie will spend maybe 10 minutes talking about one thing and then maybe 5 minutes talking about another. It would have been better if they were all even. It would have made the movie a bit longer, but I see nothing wrong with that. Another thing is that they really never showed any clips whenever they talked about their work. So sometimes I would have to look up a clip to get a better understanding of what they were talking about.

Despite those complaints, this is a fun documentary that shows the voices of our beloved cartoons. It isn't anything that would have been Academy Award worthy, but I Know That Voice is a great documentary that people will enjoy watching.
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perhaps better as a series?
MartinHafer19 November 2014
"I Know That Voice" is a documentary that just debuted on Netflix. While many of you may have little interest in documentaries, this one probably will interest you as it's all about the faces behind those familiar voices in cartoons, TV voiceovers and videogames. So, unless you hate these sorts of things (and who does?!), you'll likely be interested in meeting these people and seeing what they really look like. It's interesting that RARELY do any of them seem like their characters in the least. For example, many voices of male characters are voiced by women and my favorite recent cartoon characters look amazingly unlike the people who provide their voices (especially the guys who provide the voices for Wacko from "Animaniacs" as well as "Johnny Bravo") . Additionally, these people have some wonderful behind the scenes stories, personal experiences and discuss how they got into this craft--and all of it is very interesting. And, there are also some wonderful surprises (such as Tom Hanks' lookalike brother who occasionally ALSO provides the voice for "Woody" from the Toy Story franchise).

Now the film is not perfect. There is one HUGE problem and that is that the film tries to do way too much. Squeezing so many different voice actors into one picture is tough, as many of them only get to say a tiny bit and many of these voice actors most famous characters aren't even mentioned. I would have either preferred they interview less voice actors and gave them more time to talk or, if possible, make a mini-series about them. I could easily see them make this much, much longer...and I would have really appreciated that. However, considering I thought it was too little...that is an indication that I really enjoyed what I saw.
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9/10
An interesting, fun and joyful watch
joeker-betts16 November 2016
I have always been a lover of animation and voices. I remember being in the playground and practicing voices from shows. Then one day I realised that somebody actually has to do that as a job. They don't just generate voices from a computer or record random stuff. Someone has to perform a character to bring that character and show to life. That was when I began my fascination with voice actors. This documentary was so lovely to watch. It was wonderful to hear the people behind so many of my childhood heroes, (and villains), talk about their careers and experiences. The film covered some great topics from Daddy of all VO Mel Blanc to how video games are becoming the next big thing in Voice acting. It was so nice to hear how genuine and humble these incredibly talented people are. I suppose I would have liked to have seen more from certain actors, but you can only do so much in one documentary. It would be incredible if this was picked up and turned into a show, similar to Voice Actor Rob Paulson's podcast "Talkin' Toons" which is also excellent. A fantastic watch for anyone interested not only in Voice acting but also acting in general and filmmaking.
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7/10
Finally, a film devoted to the voices from the world of cartoons
JennVC30 September 2014
I've always said that if my plan to become a writer ever failed, I had a plan b: voice acting. And I'm a fan girl who pays attention to the credits to know the names of my favorites--Jim Cummings, Grey DeLisle, Clancy Brown--and I'm happy to say they are all interviewed for this film. Voice actor John DiMaggio takes us behind the scenes of his life interspersed with a history lesson about voice acting. Getting to go behind the scenes with DiMaggio for the final "Penguins of Madagascar" episode was fun and fascinating, as well as his appearance at San Diego's Comic Con. However, I felt the film could have interviewed more actors than they did (Rob Paulsen, for example) rather than spending most of its time devoted to the filmmaker's world. Overall, a great film for fans of the art of voice acting.
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