"Heroes? Frank Welker, Frank Welker and Frank Welker. He is hands down my most giant hero in the animation VO community. He is an amazingly gifted genius. He can create every sound that you might hear in a jungle: the drip of the raindrops, the wind rustling in the trees, and all of the inhabitants that you might encounter there. I love animals. I mean I love animals and Frank's great ability is that not only can he make the sounds of the animals; he can give them a true voice. I've done episodes of cartoons that had an environmental bent focusing on things like ivory poaching, global warming. He portrayed a mother elephant being torn from her baby by ivory poachers for her tusks. The mother's cry and the baby's anguish were all there in Frank's voice. Captain Planet did a show centering on puppy mills and what he did in that show... there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I've heard him do dozens of sensitive performances through the years and he always, always delivers something so special and unique and moving."
Franklin Wendell Welker (born March 12, 1946) is an American voice actor. He is responsible for a broad spectrum of character voices, and other vocal effects that have appeared over the last 40 years in American television and motion pictures.
Welker is listed as the number one "All Time Top 100 Stars at the Box Office," not as a box office draw, but in terms of the total revenue generated by the films in which he has participated, for the sheer number of voices he has done — over 1,200 — ranging from his work on Scooby-Doo
to the present day. (In fact, besides The Movie
and the 1988-91 series A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
where Carl Stevens did the voice, he has been the only voice of Freddy since the beginning.) Go look him up on IMDB
. Depending on your monitor resolution and DPI settings, his resume is anywhere from 50-60 pages long. It'd be easier to list the works where he hasn't
As it should be, Welker's reputation is astounding and alongside Mel Blanc
, he is likely the most famous voice actor in the world. He is revered as a god by many in the industry. Welker's ability goes beyond creating human voices and he is often cast as animals and used for animal vocals, where he has an uncanny talent at imitation. If the movie or show has any sort of budget and it has a regular animal character, he probably does the voices for it.
Welker hasn't been entirely on animated shows, either. Animal sounds or otherwise "beastly" characters in live-action work also keep him in high demand. As an interesting side note, he provided the voice of a screaming Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
, while Leonard Nimoy took on the role of Galvatron (an altered Megatron) in Transformers: The Movie
. Welker also cameoed in The Informant
as the father of Matt Damon's character.
Largely because of the demand of his animal voice work, Welker more often plays a side character than the Hero. His most famous high-profile work has been Scooby-Doo
as Freddy (and Scooby since Don Messick
's death), The Transformers
as Megatron and Soundwave, and more recently the voice (both speaking and non-speaking) of Nibbler in Futurama
One interesting little story about Welker is that he was nearly included in some cartoon's credits for voice work, until the guys remembered that no, they'd used an actual horse. He's just that ubiquitous. In terms of voice acting, he's a bit of a Memetic Badass
Frank Welker has provided voices for:
- Adventures from the Book of Virtues - Socrates, additional voices
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron - Goddard, Poultra, Roxy, various animals and people
- Disney's Aladdin - Abu, Rajah, Cave of Wonders, additional voices
- Animaniacs - Ralph, Thaddeus Plotz, Pharfignewton, Runt, Buttons, Chicken Boo, Flavio, Narrator, additional voices
- Baldur's Gate - Most monsters, as well as the avatar of Amaunator and the sahuagin king Ixilthetocal
- Batman Beyond - Woof, various animals and mutants
- Beauty and the Beast - Philippe the horse, the Footstool, and the wolves
- Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey - The Stations/Station
- Disney's Bonkers - Fall-a-part Rabbit, additional voices
- Brian Froud's Faeries - Puck, Fir Darrig, Trow, and Hunter
- CarnEvil - Umlaut the jester skull
- Cars - Frank the combine
- Cats Don't Dance - Farley Wink
- Cinderella - Lucifer in the sequels.
- Codename: Kids Next Door - Professor XXX Large, president, truck driver, giant rainbow monkey, Mr. Uno, additional voices
- Curious George - George
- Dave the Barbarian - Faffy, additional voices
- Dexter's Laboratory - Monkey, Krunk, Mr. Luvinsky, Quackor, additional voices
- Dinosaur - The Carnotaurus
- Epic Mickey - Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
- DuckTales - Bigtime Beagle, Baggy Beagle, Poe De Spell, Bubba Duck, the Phantom Blot, additional voices
- Dungeons & Dragons - Tiamat, Uni, various one-off characters (mostly human)
- Dynomutt Dog Wonder - Dynomutt
- Evil Con Carne - Boskov
- Foofur - Foofur
- Futurama - Nibbler (in, surprisingly, his natural voice), Seymour, Fleb, various animals and aliens
- Garfield and Friends - Bo, Booker, Sheldon, Mort, additional voices
- The Garfield Show - Garfield (replacing the late Lorenzo Music), Eddie Gourmand, additional voices.
- Gargoyles - Bronx, Cagney, dragon, additional voices
- G.I. Joe - Wild Bill, Torch, Polly, additional voices
- The Golden Child - Demon vocal effects
- Goof Troop - Waffles the cat, Chainsaw the dog
- Gremlins - All the gremlins, except Brain, who was Tony Randall
- Hercules - Pegasus
- Histeria! - Father Time, Fetch, Pule Howser, Abraham Lincoln, additional voices
- House II: The Second Story - Slim Reeser
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Djali and Achilles
- Inspector Gadget - Dr. Claw, Brain, Mad Cat, additional voices
- The Island of Doctor Moreau - creature voice effects
- Jabberjaw - Jabberjaw
- The Jetsons - Orbitty
- Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures - Bandit, Jeremiah Surd, additional voices
- The Kwicky Koala Show - Dirty Dawg
- Jim Henson's Muppet Babies - Kermit, Skeeter (replaced Howie Mandel), Beaker
- The Lion King - animal vocal effects
- The Little Mermaid - Max the sheepdog, animal vocal effects
- Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Sonya the bear
- Mars Attacks! - Martian vocals
- McDonaldland - Grimace (the purple thing)
- Mighty Max - Warmonger
- Mortal Kombat - Reptile (Voice), Shao Khan (Voice; first movie only)
- Mulan - Kahn, Crikee
- Mulan II - Little Brother (replaced Chris Sanders)
- My Neighbor Totoro - Totoro
- Pac-Man - Chomp Chomp, Morris
- The Pagemaster - Horror
- The Pirates of Dark Water - Nibbler (retroactively dubbed in to replace Roddy McDowall on the earlier episodes.)
- Pocahontas - Flit
- Punky Brewster (animated) - Glomer
- Quest for Camelot - Ayden
- The Real Ghostbusters - Ray Stantz, Slimer, The Boogeyman, additional voices
- The Rescuers Down Under - Marahute and Joanna
- Richie Rich (Hanna-Barbera) - Dollar
- Robot Chicken - Usually reprises the role of any character listed here.
- Saturday Supercade - Bango, Bongo, Donkey Kong Jr., Coily, Fred, Q*Ball, Q*Dad, Q*Mongus, Sam, Slick, Ugg, Wrongway
- seaQuest DSV - Darwin
- The Schnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show - Meat
- Scooby-Doo - Fred, Scooby Doo (2002-present)
- The Shadow - The Phurba, a "living" Tibetan ritual dagger
- Shrek - Dragon (uncredited)
- The Simpsons - Santa's Little Helper (now replaced by Dan Castellaneta), Snowball, various animals
- The Smurfs - Hefty Smurf, Pewit, Poet Smurf, Clockwork Smurf, Azrael, additional voices
- The Snorks - Occy, Tooter
- Spawn - Malebolgia
- Species - Sil's alien vocals
- Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends - Iceman.
- Spiral Zone - Ned Tucker, Dr. Lawrence and Razorback
- Superfriends - Marvin White, Wonder Dog, Darkseid, Kalibak, Mxyzptlk, Toyman, The Joker, additional voices.
- SWAT Kats - Dr. Viper
- Tangled - Maximus
- Tarzan - Sabor
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze: Tokka & Rahzar
- Tiny Toon Adventures - Gogo Dodo, Furrball, Little Beeper, Calamity Coyote, Byron Basset, additional voices
- Titan Maximum - Newscaster
- The Transformers - He did a lot of voices on that show, including most of the first year Decepticons. In fact, the only first-year Decepticons he didn't voice were Starscream, Reflector (both Chris Latta), Shockwave (Corey Burton), and Thundercracker (John Stephenson). Most remember Welker as the voice of Megatron and Soundwave. He also took over the role of Galvatron after Leonard Nimoy voiced him in the movie.
- Transformers film series - Soundwave, Devastator, Grindor, Ravage, Reedman (Ravage's nanobots), Shockwave, and Barricade (albeit the latter through an animation mistake). He also voiced Megatron in the video games and accompanying theme park ride instead of the movie voice actor Hugo Weaving. Most recently, he voices Galvatron in Transformers: Age of Extinction.
- He also voices Megatron for the Transformers ride at various Universal Studios theme parks... and he cut radio ads so that Megatron could threaten you directly from your car.
- Transformers Prime - Megatron (with a fantastic display of Vocal Evolution) and several additional voices, as well as reprising the role of Soundwave when the character talks in "Minus One".
- Here, have the full list!
- Trollkins - Bogg Swampley, Flooky
- Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch - Wheelie, Chopper
- World of Warcraft - Sha of Doubt, Elegon, Sha of Fear, Y'shaarj, Reshad
- Yogi's Space Race - Jabberjaw, Buford (also appeared on "The Buford Files"), Nuggetnose (also appeared on "The Galloping Ghost"), Captain Good/Phantom Phink, Kleen Kat/Sludge
And many, many
more. Frank Welker is a Man of a Thousand Voices
(probably even more than Mel Blanc
, with whom he worked over 20 times).