Voice Actor Spotlight & Interview With Jack Angel
Known for his work with Transformers and Disney cartoons & movies, Jack Angel has made quite the mark in the voice acting industry..But there’s so much more that you might not have known. For me it was a learning experience as I interviewed the voice actor, talking of his favorite projects and how he’d first gotten started.
In the Transformer fandom, Jack has always been well known for his characters: Astrotrain, Smokescreen, Ultra Magnus & Ramjet among many others!
[Smokescreen another of Jacks characters from Transformers]
Jack voiced many characters through out the years..this is just to name a few.
Challenge of the Super Friends, Super Friends, Pole Position, G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider-Man cartoon [1981 & The 1994 cartoon], Sonic the Hedgehog, Dink the Little Dinosaur, Denver the Last Dinosaur and who could forget ‘Transformers’ from which Jack voiced known characters..Astrotrain, Omega Supreme, Ramjet, Smokescreen & Ultra Magnus along many others!]
[The voice Ramjet was also Jack’s]
Disney Films & Cartoons: DuckTales, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, The Toy Story movies, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Finding Nemo, Aladdin & Monsters Inc.
[Chunk from Toy Story 3]
Additional Voice Work: Scooby and Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour, the Smurfs, the Snorks, The Dukes [Cartoon based off of the ‘Dukes Of Hazzard’], Dino-Riders
[Denver the Last Dinosaur]
Video Games: EverQuest II, Wolfenstein, Watchmen: The End is Nigh, Ratchet & Clank, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
He was also the voice of the ‘Mad Scientist’ in the eighties to commercials.
[Beetlejuice 1988 Jack was the voice of the Preacher]
An Interview With Jack Angel
Screamers: What first inspired you to become an actor?
JA: I guess it was going to the movies and then discovering that anybody could do that, and that there were career paths to follow to get there.
Screamers: Had voice acting been first choice?
JA: No. I always wanted to be a movie star, but the universe let me into voice acting and it’s been great fun. Radio beckoned when I graduated from SF State University, and I just followed along for the ride.
[Jack Voiced the Liquidator from Darkwing Duck]
Screamers: In regards to acting, I take it radio was your first acting job? What had been your first acting job?
JA: While I was at SF STATE we had a class in which we performed on the local educational channel KQED for a psychology class other students were taking for credit. Even though we were not paid, because it was on TV, I regard that as my first acting job. That was before radio. Then, in TV later on, I did some commercials on camera for a variety of products. My first radio gig was at KYOS in Merced, just north of Fresno. I was there for a couple of years. My first radio “acting” job, in addition to being a disc jockey, was in a commercial for “Gallagher Cleaners” in which I was a character that was not myself.
[Jack was the voice of Quackerbill among others in DuckTails]
Screamers: The cartoon characters you had voiced for, do you remember your first acting job?
JA: Wally Burr, then a director at Hanna/Barbera was looking for some big voices for “Challenge of the Superfriends”. He hired me to play “Hawkman”, “Flash” and “Super Samurai”.
Screamers: Favorite cartoons you’ve worked with?
JA: The sessions for “Transformers” and “GI Joe” were probably the most fun because there were a lot of guys in each and they were fun to hang with before, during and after the sessions. Also, “Peter Pan and the Pirates” was fun. Big cast, lots of kids playing the lost boys and Tim Curry was “Captain Hook”.
The Disney and the Disney/Pixar films were all lots of fun, too. Imagine spending the day on a Disney sound stage with terrific creative people on both sides of the glass. Who could ask for more?
And then there was “A.I.- Artificial Intelligence”, perhaps the best of all. That was three months on a set with Steven Spielberg, watching the master at work. – Making friends with Steven, Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law. Very cool.
[Jack voiced ‘Ultra Magnus’ Transformers season 3]
Screamers: Do you have favorites when it comes to characters you’ve voiced?
JA: As far as individual characters, “Teddy”, the teddy bear in A.I. was fun and “Chunk”, my latest Pixar character in “Toy Story 3” are both favorites. By the way, I recorded a bunch of lines for Chunk to say when they make a new toy of him. “Smokey Bear” was also one of my favorites. But truly, they were all my children and I loved them equally.
[One Of Jack’s recent projects was in Toy Story 3]
Screamers: In regards to Transformers and G.I. Joe, two of my favorite cartoons. I had once talked with Michael McConnohie the voice of Tracks from Transformers and he said his inspiration for Tracks had came from Mr. Howell [Gilligan’s Island]. So I ask, what your inspiration for said characters such as: Astrotrain, Cyclonus, Ultra Magnus and the many other characters you’d voiced for during Transformers & G.I. Joe?
JA: Astro Train had to be a big voice, like most of the others, but Ultra Magnus was done originally in “Transformers, the Movie” by Robert Stack, so I had to get close to what he did since he was not going to do the series.
[Jack was the voice of several characters in Voltron 1984]
Screamers: You mentioned working with the cast members..Having such a huge fan following on ‘Retro Screamers’ that centers on eighties voice actors & cartoons. I have to ask, what was it like working with said voice actors; Chris Latta, Scatman Crothers & Don Messick? Do you have any personal memories you could share?
JA: Messick was one of the nicest and humblest actors I ever worked with. Latta was just the opposite. And Scatman was a cool cat. All three are now dead.
Screamers: Do you still work with any of the original voice actors from said cartoons; such as Michael Bell, Gregg Berger, Frank Welker, Peter Cullen..etc?
JA: I see them every once in a while, but none of us has worked together in several years. Michael and Welker are in my e-mail contacts so we communicate regularly.
[Jack was the voice of King Zarkon in Voltron]
Screamers: Have been to many conventions where you’ve had a chance to meet fans or perhaps a Disney related convention?
JA: I have never been to any conventions.
Screamer: I hope to help change that in the near future..With your information passed to ‘Master Collectors’ I look forward to meeting you at up coming conventions. Fans really have appreciated the work that’s put into voice acting and would love to meet some of their favorites. Upon saying that, have you seen anything online fan related spotlighting voice actors?
[Tailspin another favorite that Jack worked with]
Screamers: In ending this interview Jack, may I ask what you have plans are for the future? I know you’ve recently worked on Toy Story 3, will there be another Disney project and if asked, would you consider working on something Transformer or G.I. Joe again?
JA: Toy Story 4 is already in the works. I think if they did a new transformers or GI Joe series, they would hire younger guys.
As I mentioned in the interview, I’d love to see Jack at a convention along with many other voice actors. They’ve all been wonderful to talk with online. Thanks again Jack!
-Rose aka Screamers
For more information on Jack Angel check out his website!