The cast of The Transformers: The Movie includes not only some big-name celebrity voices, such as Leonard Nimoy, Eric Idle, Judd Nelson and Orson Welles, but the rest of the cast list reads as a "who's who" in animation voice-over work. Many cartoon voice legends, such as Scooby-Doo alumnis Don Messick and Casey Kasem, along with Peter Cullen (Eeyore on Winnie the Pooh) and "Voice God" Frank Welker round out the cast.
The voice director for the film and television series was
Wally Burr, who has
a reputation as a consummate perfectionist in the recording studio. While many voice directors
concern themselves with just "getting the job done" and making sure the recordings sound fine,
Burr (according to all the people who worked with/for him) actually pays attention to the script,
being sure to cast the right actors for their characters, and always makes sure to get the best performances out of his actors.
Two characters are listed in the credits but do not appear in the movie, as the scenes with their characters were most likely cut from the film: Inferno (Walker Edmiston) and Gears (Don Messick). Two more characters, Dirge (Bud Davis) and Prowl (Michael Bell) are listed in the credits, and do appear, but their lines of dialogue have been cut.
Several voice actors from the movie are known to be deceased. They are,
in preceeding order of date of death:
|Actor / Actress||Character(s)|
|Norman Alden||Kranix / Arblus|
|Michael Bell||Prowl (lines deleted) / Scrapper / Swoop / Junkion / Bombshell|
|Corey Burton||Spike / Brawn / Shockwave|
|Roger C. Carmel||Cyclonus / Quintesson Leader|
|Regis Cordic||Quintesson Judge|
|Peter Cullen||Optimus Prime / Ironhide|
|BJ Davis||Dirge (lines deleted)|
|Walker Edmiston||Inferno (scenes deleted)|
|Don Messick||Gears (scenes deleted) / Scavenger|
|John Moschitta, Jr.||Blurr|
|Judd Nelson||Hot Rod / Rodimus Prime|
|Neil Ross||Springer / Bonecrusher / Hook / Slag|
|Robert Stack||Ultra Magnus|
|Frank Welker||Soundwave / Megatron / Rumble / Frenzy / Wheelie / Junkion|
Veteran voice-over performer
Jack Angel, who played the voice of Astrotrain in the movie and T.V. Series, is also known to Transformers
fans for the roles of Omega Supreme, Ramjet, Smokescreen, and Breakdown.
Angel also played the part of Ultra Magnus in the post-movie television episodes.
A former radio announcer, Angel has had an extensive career in the animation industry, and most recently played the deep voice of the adorable-but-spooky Teddy robot in Steven Speilberg's film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.
Michael Bell has been a voice actor for many years, and is well known for his role as Duke on G.I.Joe.
In Transformers he plays many roles, including Prowl, Sideswipe, Bombshell, Swoop, and Scrapper. Bell
has also had a pretty extensive live action film and television career, and is known to Star Trek: The Next Generation fans
as the mysterious character Zorn from the pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint".
Bell appeared at the 2001 BotCon convention.
Susan Blu, who played the voice of Arcee in both the TV series
and TF:TM, as well as Marissa Faireborn on the TV series,
has also made appearances in movies and TV shows. She has made a
career as a voice director for many animated TV shows, including
Beast Wars: Transformers and The Tick. Blu also played the voice of "Transmutate" on the Beast Wars episode of
the same name.
She appeared at the 1998 Transformers-themed BotCon convention, and teaches voice-over workshops. She has written a book about the animation voice-over industry titled Word of Mouth. Her website is www.blupka.com.
Gregg Berger is best known to Transformers as the adorable T-Rex Grimlock. Berger also
played many characters on the T.V. series, such as Skyfire, Long Haul, and Torq III.
Berger has played the voice of Odie the dog on various Garfield projects, and has appeared
on-screen in television shows such as St. Elsewhere, Quantum Leap, and Night Court.
Berger appeared at the 2001 BotCon convention. His website is www.greggberger.com.
Corey Burton has been a voice-over performer since the 1970's, and plays three characters in Transformers:
the human kid-turned-father Spike, the rough and tough Brawn, and the Decepticon
commander Shockwave. He also played the voices of Sunstreaker and Wideload on the T.V. series,
and played the younger version of Alpha Trion, "A-3", in one episode.
Recently he has received acclaim for creating the voice of Moliere, the mole character from the Disney animated film Atlantis (which was about the only thing memorable from the film, in my opinion...) He also does a lot of narration and commercial spots.
His website is www.coreyburton.com.
Roger C. Carmel, whose distinctively deep voice was lent to
the characters Cyclonus and the Lead Quintesson, also reprised the
roles for the TV series.
He passed away just before the last 3-part episode of the TV
show was made, and it is believed that Stan Jones (Scourge) was called
upon to play the voice of Cyclonus in "The Rebirth."
Carmel can be seen as the recurring character Harcourt "Harry" Mudd on the original Star Trek series.
Victor Caroli (photo not available) was the voice of the Narrator
for the movie, as well as on the Transformers TV series and commercials.
His voice can still be heard on many commercials, including
those for Beast Wars: Transformers.
Scatman Crothers, who played the voice of Jazz in both the TV
series and the movie, can be seen as the extra-sensory Dick Hallorann in
Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining. He was also in the mini-series
"Roots," and the films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Twilight Zone: The Movie.
Optimus Prime and Ironhide were voiced by the same voice actor,
Peter Cullen. (These two characters even carry out a dialog at
the beginning of the movie.) Cullen is a veteran voice actor in the animation world, and is well known for the character Eeyore on Winnie the Pooh,
along with Transformers alumni Ken Sansom (Hound) who played the Rabbit.
Cullen's voice can often be heard in commercials and film trailers, like those for Spawn and Batman and Robin, and does voice-over work for Cartoon Network, including the commercials for the new Transformers: Armada and Energon series. He also plays the narrator for the original Voltron series, and appeared on the Sonny and Cher show. Cullen appeared at the 1997 and 2004 BotCon conventions.
(Note: Cullen's voice credit in TF:TM is listed one slot out of the alphabetical order of the credits. It should come just after Scatman Crothers, but instead comes before.)
BJ Davis write-up coming soon.
Eric Idle, who played the voice of Wreck-Gar, is best known for
being part of the Monty Python comedy team. He can be seen in all of the Monty
Python films, as well as National Lampoon's European Vacation and
Casper, and can be heard in such animated films as The Quest for Camelot
and South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. He also appears as the character Dr. Nigel Channing
at the Journey Into Your Imagination ride at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World, Florida.
The role was originated for the Honey, I Shrunk the Audience attraction, and later became the
replacement for the Dreamfinder character in the main attraction ride. (To the gripes of the webmaster,
who hates when they change classic theme park attractions, although Idle does add some needed humor to the ride.)
Casey Kasem, best known as the "Casey's Top-40" guy, played the voice of Cliffjumper in both the TV series and TF:TM. He also plays the voice of Teletran-1 on the TV series. He has also played many other cartoon voices, such as Shaggy on Scooby-Doo.
Though his character survives the movie, Kasem's Cliffjumper does not appear in post-movie episodes of the TV series. Kasem quit the show in 1986 when series introduced a character which was supposed to be a cariacature of Libyan dictator Muhammar al-Khaddafi. Kasem, being of Arab descent, claimed the character was a racial stereotype and left the series. Because of his absence, scenes that were supposed to include Teletran-1 were changed to Teletran-2, with a new voice actor.
Chris Latta, who sometimes used his birth name Christopher Collins, (photo not available) played the voice of Starscream in the movie and the TV series,
and on the T.V. series played various roles such as Wheeljack, Defensor, Reflector, Skullcruncher, Krunk, and Spike's father, "Sparkplug" Witwicky.
He was also the voice of the Cobra Commander on the G.I. Joe series. He was the original voice for the characters of Mr. Burns and Moe the bartender from the animated TV series "The Simpsons," but only on the first season. He was also a stand-up comic, and appeared twice on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," once as the Pakled Captain Grebnedlog ("We are smart...") and once as a Klingon. He also appeared on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."
Despite the death of Starscream in the movie, Latta's character lives on. Latta reprised the role for two post-movie episodes of the TV series, where Starscream appears as a ghost-like entity. The character also makes a guest appearance on the CGI-animated Beast Wars: Transformers series in the episode entitled "Possession," with the voice played by Doug Parker. Starscream also made brief cameos in the Beast Wars episodes "The Web" and "The Agenda Pt.3".
David Mendenhall, who played the voice of Daniel in both the TV series and TF:TM, has been in several movies and TV shows, including the sci-fi flick Space Raiders, with Sylvester Stallone
in the 1987 film Over the Top, and the TV series "Our House."
Mendenhall reprised the role of Daniel on the post-movie episodes of The Transformers TV series.
John Moschitta Jr., who played the voice of Blurr,
has held the Guinness World Record as the world's fastest talker. He has made many
appearances in commercials (such as those for Micro Machines) due to his
Moschitta reprised the role of Blurr for the post-movie television episodes of Transformers. He appeared at the 2000 Botcon convention.
Judd Nelson played the voices of Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime in the movie,
after being featured in two of the "Brat Pack" films: The Breakfast Club
and St. Elmo's Fire. Since then, he has had numerous small roles in film
and television, and can be seen as a regular on the NBC series Suddenly Susan.
He has a degree from the prestigious Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
Leonard Nimoy, who played the voice of Galvatron in the film, is most commonly known as Mr. Spock from Star Trek. He, like co-star Orson Welles, has also directed movies, such as Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Three Men and a Baby.
Hal Rayle write-up coming soon.
Clive Revill, who played the voice of Kickback, also played the
voice of The Emperor in Irvin Kershner's The Empire Strikes Back (that is, until George Lucas
goes and replaces him with Ian McDiarmid...). He is a well-respected stage actor who was born and raised in New Zealand.
He can be seen on-screen in the comedies Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It .
Neil Ross write-up coming soon.
Robert Stack was the perfect choice to play the voice of Ultra Magnus in the Transformers film.
From his well-known portrayal of Special Agent Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (a role he reprised in future projects),
Stack was always the stoic "straight-shooter," a noble character you root for, but without the complexity of a truly heroic main character.
Stack was a veteran actor who had appeared in numerous films dating all the way back into the 1930's.
Later in life, his on-screen persona had been an easy target for humor in such films as Airplane! and Caddyshack II.
Later on, he was equally funny as the voice of an FBI agent in the animated movie Beavis and Butt-head Do America.
Stack was also widely recognized as the host of the television series, Unsolved Mysteries. Stack passed away in 2003.
Lionel Stander (Kup in the film), was on the notorious "Hollywood Blacklist" during
the 1950's. Some 324 directors, writers, and actors on this list were
considered to have "communist connections or beliefs" and were supposed to
never be able to work in Hollywood again. (Stander and most of the others
on this Blacklist probably had no communist ties whatsoever.)
Nonetheless, this veteran gruff actor from The Bronx managed to find work in Hollywood in both film and
television, eventually ending up in his familiar role on the 80's TV
series Hart to Hart. Stander passed away in 1994, at the age of 86.
Frank Welker, highly regarded in Hollywood as a "voice god",
played the voice of Megatron, Soundwave, Rumble, Frenzy, AND Wheelie!
He also played plenty of characters on the TV series (too many to list, in fact). His work in
animation and film is unmatched, and his list of credits is enormous (check out his entry at
The Internet Movie Database for the most impressive credit listing you'll ever see).
It is interesting to note that Welker has shared two roles with actor Leonard Nimoy: Galvatron (a role Welker took over for the post-movie TV episodes), and Mr. Spock. (Welker provided the "screams" for Mr. Spock in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.)
Orson Welles, who played the voice of Unicron, after a successful background in stage theatre, initially became famous
as a radio voice actor. His 1938 broadcast of the "War of the Worlds" radio program
(which caused a mass hysteria because some people did not realize it was fiction), as well as his popularity as the voice
of Lamont Cranston, aka "The Shadow", brought him to Hollywood. With enormous creative freedom
and resources at his disposal, he directed and co-wrote his first feature film, Citizen Kane, as a smack-in-the-face
to his primary financier, RKO Studios owner William Randolph Hearst. The film was a financial disaster and an embarrassment
for the studio (which tried to destroy every print before its release), but in the years since has been hailed as "the greatest film of
all time" by many film historians. Welles was never given the respect due to him during the rest of his career, having
earned himself a reputation as a 'troublemaker', but nevertheless went on to direct such classic films as The Magnificent Ambersons
and Touch of Evil, as well as star in hundreds of film projects, including as The Muppet Movie.
The Transformers: The Movie is an important film for Welles since it was the last film he worked on, as he died during the film's production. (Though some posthumous works of his still awaited release, namely the film Someone to Love.)
A rumor has circulated on the Transformers newsgroups that since Orson Welles died before the movie was completed, Leonard Nimoy was called in to complete Welles' lines. This rumor, which had been accepted as truth within the Transformers fan community for many years, was dispelled by Susan Blu (Arcee) at BotCon '98. According to Blu, Orson Welles did, in fact, voice every line of Unicron's.
There is also a rumor that he declined the chance to be the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars.
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