Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices

Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 8:54pm CDT

Categories: Cartoon News, People News, Interviews
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The Netflix Transformers War for Cybertron Siege series is being well recieved by many fans and critics but you may be curious as to what some of the most prominant Optimus Prime voice actors had to say about it.

Firstly we have Garry Chalk, who was the voice of Optimus Primal in Beast wars and the voice of Optimus Prime in the Unicron Trilogy. Here is what he stated on Facebook:

"Ok I watched the first episode of the new Transformers on Netflix .....um...
Everyone tries to sound like a tough guy and as a result they all have the same pace and delivery. Visually it's pretty good but I am sorry the voices were kind of low energy."

Transformers News: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices

Transformers News: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices

And then we have Peter Cullen who was asked how he felt about other people doing Optimus Prime back in March (when conventions were still a thing that happened). He specifically mentions the Netflix series when mentioning that it hurts that he isn't the one doing Optimus Prime and that it is wrong for the production to be using non union talent in order to cut costs. You can tell he cares deeply for the character he voices and his legacy. Now, while it may seem like he is speaking ill of other voice actors or of the idea of others being Prime, his emotional responses are really towards the producers who are using cost cutting tactics that may hurt actors' wellfare in general. Frank Welker, the voice of G1 Megatron, also shares how wrong he feels it is for others to be hired when the known voice actors are available and willing to work.


This article was last modified on Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 10:11pm CDT

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Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074738)
Posted by sol magnus on August 2nd, 2020 @ 9:08pm CDT
I didn't know the reason the NETFLIX show didn't use Peter Cullen and Frank Welker was due to essentially cost-cutting and not using Union talent. That kind of sucks. They don't even make it seem like it would have cost them a whole lot more.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074741)
Posted by Seibertron on August 2nd, 2020 @ 9:21pm CDT
I'm sorry if what I'm going to write upsets anyone, but I can't take much more bad Transformers fiction whether it's comics or cartoons.

In defense of Rescue Bots, I haven't seen much outside of season 1 (and possibly season 2). It was good, it just wasn't for me.

Cyberverse wasn't for me either, but I respect the opinions of some people that have liked it, so I'll just chalk it up to it not being my thing. Though I'd argue that the terrible Bumblebee radio voice at the beginning at the attention-deficit appealing 11-minute episode format was very off-putting to me as well as some other aspects, but again, not everything Transformers related has to be for me.

However, the NETFLIX Transformers Wars for Cybertron series is intended for people like me. It's supposed to be a dark show that tells the origin of the Transformers. It has, without a doubt, some of the worst directed acting I've ever heard in Transformers. The acting and pacing of their lines is so agonizingly slow that it's extremely challenging to even watch the show, despite some amazing animation. Somehow, it's even worse than the Prime Wars Trilogy voice direction. I'm not blaming the actors, some of whom I personally know, all of whom are excellent with their craft (and I was really impressed with Jason Marnocha's Megatron in the Prime Wars Trilogy so how that awesomeness got lost between series is beyond me, though Frank Todaro's Starscream remains an enjoyable homage to Chris Latta's and is one of the few voices that don't seem to suffer t h e e x t r e m e l y s l o w p a c i n g w h i c h r e m i n d s m e o f t h e s l o t h f r o m Z o o t o p i a.



It seems to be a problem with the directing, which is really unfortunate. I don't know as much about the animation business as I would like, but Transformers cartoons should be the pinnacle of Transformers fiction (and maybe one could argue the comics because at different times I have looked to either of them as the flagship fiction). I don't mind the story line, it's just the torturous slow pace of the Transformers talking that takes away from the experience for me. Watching a Transformers cartoon that is aimed at an older audience shouldn't be a chore to watch.

One last thing ... Transformers don't need to ever say the word "ass". I was really disappointed to see that word slip through. Afterburner, tail pipe, rear fender ... are all much more clever word choices for Transformers to say.

The animation is pretty good. I have a few gripes, but they're fairly minor. I'm not a fan of the "fluid" torsos that make the robot parts look like they are "stretching" like human skin as the torso moves. It looks weird and isn't how Transformers should move. Most of the robots look great. It looks like our toys walked right off the screen in many instances. While I'm not a fan of the pronounced lips on some of the characters, at least it's an artistic choice that some characters have but others don't. And the ones that do have it have different lips (i.e. Bumblebee and Megatron). For some reason, I don't mind it on Megatron's face, but Bumblebee's look really weird (though so does his entire head design for some reason). And why aren't Jetfire's eyes red when he's a Decepticon? Seems like an oversight ...

After having looked forward to this for the past year, I am very disappointed and disheartened by the show so far. The disappointing trailers showed everything we unfortunately needed to know.

Can't believe that I even have to write any of the above 3 episodes in to a series that is supposed to last another year or so until the War for Cybertron Trilogy is completed.

Spend some money on some good voice directors! If there's not enough dialogue to fill the length of the episodes, than write some more. Please!!!

Hopefully, the upcoming NETFLIX Masters of the Universe show with it's amazing voice cast is a much more enjoyable show to watch and has a good set of directors working on it.

Transformers Prime remains the last Transformers cartoon that I really enjoyed. Preceded by Transformers Animated and Beast Wars before that (again, because of the acting mostly, though Cullen's Optimus Prime was way overdone in Transformers Prime).

Sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings. Just really bummed.

EDIT: Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way: https://www.seibertron.com/transformers ... ces/45076/ (though Garry Chalk isn't one to talk after the poor voice acting, again mostly due to directing or writing issues, in the Unicron Trilogy cartoons)
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074742)
Posted by sol magnus on August 2nd, 2020 @ 9:21pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:You should never meet your heroes
As the old saying goes.

As far as negativity goes, it is a completely average show with some bad bits (mostly audio related). I've read comments elsewhere of people proclaiming the show as "awesome" which is equally mind blowing. Obviously different strokes for different folks. But there is nothing I saw in this show that is worthy of that high a logical assessment. Shows of the past have had truly awesome moments, even Sunbow. But what was there in this show that was that exciting and/or captivating?

I think unrealistic, blinkered praise can be just as damaging as vocal negativity. That's the kind of thing that gives popularity to the mediocre. Because those behind it don't think there is anything to change or improve.

You didn't like it. I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you. :roll:

I thought it was pretty good. As good as Sunbow? Heck no. There were story choices made I didn't like. The voice acting is definitely problematic in spaces, but I put that down to voice direction. I could think of plenty of things I didn't like, yet none of them overshadow the overall experience of the show, which to me was positive. This was NOT Prime Wars Trilogy. I categorically oppose the idea it's somehow 'worse' than that. It's a retelling that delves fairly effectively into the war that started it all (again). Now that I've seen the comments Cullen and Welker have made, and having seen them, I have a far more negative opinion of the show in a meta way than I did just on watching the show itself.

I suppose it comes down to what the "bar" is supposed to be. The expectations that I have are probably lower than what many people who are fans of the fiction are expecting. Probably something along the lines of Transformers: Prime, but I think Prime had a far higher budget than this feature.

I'm hoping the next chapters are better directed. We'll see. I'm going to watch it either way.

I don't call that "blinkered praise" at all. Do you?
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074743)
Posted by FigureGunplaFan on August 2nd, 2020 @ 9:35pm CDT
So... Disowned Adaptation trope confirmed?
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074744)
Posted by Seibertron on August 2nd, 2020 @ 9:36pm CDT
Aimless Misfire wrote:And characters getting killed early on? If they want to kill characters just make up a new one that nobody cares about, like Maxima. I hated how they killed Cliffjumper in Prime & Bumblebee. What if some of us actually want to see that character in action for a while?


:APPLAUSE: :APPLAUSE: :APPLAUSE:

Image

Though I don't agree with you about the origin retelling. It's actually the first time G1 has been retold as a proper G1 retelling, despite the many revamps over the years. I'm excited about it as well as seeing some of the back story before we get to Earth. It's the slow pace of the acting that's makes it a chore to watch.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074746)
Posted by o.supreme on August 2nd, 2020 @ 9:41pm CDT
Many of your points are spot-on Ryan thank you so much. Although I probably did enjoy the series a bit more than you it seems. The voice acting was off, but to me it seemed like it was actually an improvement over Prime Wars just me I guess. A lot of loud whispering I call it, for some reason. However a lot of things seem to improve over Prime Wars and I hope that it gets better with Earthrise.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074747)
Posted by Seibertron on August 2nd, 2020 @ 9:45pm CDT
o.supreme wrote:Many of your points are spot-on Ryan thank you so much. Although I probably did enjoy the series a bit more than you it seems. The voice acting was off, but to me it seemed like it was actually an improvement over Prime Wars just me I guess. A lot of loud whispering I call it, for some reason. However a lot of things seem to improve over Prime Wars and I hope that it gets better with Earthrise.


I don't think I'd call it an improvement. The acting seems about on par with the exception of a few who are worse off like Megatron. The animation is night and day better, but the voice acting leaves much to be desired (again, presumably because of the voice directors or writers or whoever is to blame other than the talented voice actors who are just doing the job they're told to do).
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074753)
Posted by EvasionModeBumblebee on August 2nd, 2020 @ 10:33pm CDT
I just finished the last episode, here's my thoughts on it:

Ok, first off, when they scan Bee, Arcee, and Cog for weapons they don't find anything and let them through.

COG.

The dude literally made out of weapons with several barrels sticking prominently out of his arms was not found with any weapons on him.

Anyway, onto the actual thoughts. It's more of a bulleted list than a review, but here they are:

- I was basically expecting something on par with the Prime Wars trilogy, and well. . . it was better than that. Not great, but it was entertaining. The last 3 episodes, particularly episode 4, were the better of the bunch IMO

- The voices were kinda all over the place and most of the lines were just really slow, the short pauses in between words were really jarring. Megatron's low voice kinda worked with that, though.

- The stuff with Ratchet and Impactor was good, and honestly they were the only characters with anything interesting going on. I get that it's supposed to be war and gritty but that doesn't mean that your characters can't have personality, just look at the much better War for Cybertron/ Fall of Cybertron, which still has a fairly dark tone but with likable characters, fun dialogue, and personality.

- Bumblebee's bit with the Alpha Trion protocols was actually really cool, but then Shockwave wipes them. What was all that for then? I get it was to find the allspark, but what about all that stuff about how important the protocols were and how Bumblebee was chosen? That all just kinda goes away, which really bugged me since the setup was one of my favorite things in the show.

- I did like Starscream earning his position as Seeker commander. It's basically just to replace Jetfire, but it was kinda neat to see something different than the usual Megs/Scream relationship.

- The show didn't handle fight scenes very well - it was mostly just shooting at a distance and all of Prime and Megatron's confrontations were one punching the other, they lay on the ground for a minute, and then get up and punch the other. Repeat cycle.

- It definitely didn't end the way I thought it would. I figured with all the earth modes in ER we'd spend most of our time there, but we get more setup for what happens on Cybertron after Siege than we do for the Ark crew. With the Decepticons still on Cybertron, I can't imagine much of the ER show actually takes place on Earth. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but not what I expected.

Overall I'd probably go with 2.5/5 - It had some cool stuff and it was entertaining overall but it just wasn't great.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074755)
Posted by Ultra Markus on August 2nd, 2020 @ 10:36pm CDT
some of the voices sound a little off
like shockwave for example
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074757)
Posted by ScottyP on August 2nd, 2020 @ 10:39pm CDT
Seibertron wrote:
Cyberverse wasn't for me either, but I respect the opinions of some people that have liked it

However, the NETFLIX Transformers Wars for Cybertron series is intended for people like me.
Skip ahead on Cyberverse to season 3, or at least watch its middle Quintesson invasion arc. It's so good, with some amazing deep cuts on top of the new creative stuff.

Also, I don't think WfC was for us. I think it was for the casual Netflix viewer that probably watched the movies and maybe TF Prime but not much else.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074758)
Posted by First Gen on August 2nd, 2020 @ 10:53pm CDT
Its true. The voice acting was rough. How many guys voiced OP? Sounded like 3 or 4.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074759)
Posted by Seibertron on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:06pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:Also, I don't think WfC was for us. I think it was for the casual Netflix viewer that probably watched the movies and maybe TF Prime but not much else.


They'd get more people interested in Transformers and sell more toys and merchandise if they quit making cartoons and comics that aren't great because of acting, writing, directing, etc. The general audience arent a bunch of idiots. They know good entertainment when they see it just like we do, though maybe I'm misunderstanding what you wrote.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074760)
Posted by Jeddostotle7 on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:07pm CDT
Wow, of COURSE avoiding union actors is the reason for Hasbro's recent new little stable of voice actors for Cyberverse, Netflix, RBA, etc. with almost no one I recognize, how the hell did I not think about that before??? It makes so much sense now! That's low-key kinda scummy of them.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074761)
Posted by Flashwave on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:13pm CDT
EvasionModeBumblebee wrote:I just finished the last episode, here's my thoughts on it:

Ok, first off, when they scan Bee, Arcee, and Cog for weapons they don't find anything and let them through.

COG.

The dude literally made out of weapons with several barrels sticking prominently out of his arms was not found with any weapons on him.
.

I laughed at that too. But what are you gonna do? Judge someone by their alt mode? Isn't that Altist? Lol.

Maybe Cog's weapons systems don't work until he transforms, and they were not expecting him to be able to turn into guns for other people?

I'm glad in a way we have some other voice talent being groomed for the roles, Jason did a fantastic job the first time around with his Megatron in Combiner Warsand we totally should have an "Heir and a Spare" for the day Welker can't do ut any more, which hopefully is a Long, LONG time from now. But I agree that its not good that its happening because they are getting undercut
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074762)
Posted by Deadput on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:17pm CDT
Jeddostotle7 wrote:Wow, of COURSE avoiding union actors is the reason for Hasbro's recent new little stable of voice actors for Cyberverse, Netflix, RBA, etc. with almost no one I recognize, how the hell did I not think about that before??? It makes so much sense now! That's low-key kinda scummy of them.



Corporations will do literally anything to save money while trying to make as much as they can.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074763)
Posted by Seibertron on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:20pm CDT
Jeddostotle7 wrote:Wow, of COURSE avoiding union actors is the reason for Hasbro's recent new little stable of voice actors for Cyberverse, Netflix, RBA, etc. with almost no one I recognize, how the hell did I not think about that before??? It makes so much sense now! That's low-key kinda scummy of them.


I don't think the avoidance of union actors is the reason. Some of these actors are very, very talented. It's the directing that is extremely lacking in my opinion.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074764)
Posted by Seibertron on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:22pm CDT
I moved a bunch of cartoon related posts from the toy discussion of this to the cartoon forum.

Here's the cartoon discussion: netflix-transformers-war-for-cybertron-series-trilogy-discussion-t112705.php

Here's the toy discussion: netflix-transformers-war-for-cybertron-toy-line-discussion-t114589.php

Hard to keep the two separate, but I one should be more for discussion about the toys in general while the other topic should pertain more to the cartoon discussion with plot and character discussion, though admittedly the two will at times overlap.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074765)
Posted by Deadput on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:26pm CDT
Seibertron wrote:
ScottyP wrote:Also, I don't think WfC was for us. I think it was for the casual Netflix viewer that probably watched the movies and maybe TF Prime but not much else.


They'd get more people interested in Transformers and sell more toys and merchandise if they quit making cartoons and comics that aren't great because of acting, writing, directing, etc. The general audience arent a bunch of idiots. They know good entertainment when they see it just like we do, though maybe I'm misunderstanding what you wrote.

As if Hasbro is ever going to invest to get the creative talent needed for stuff like this to make truly great fiction.

The best they have gotten to work on stuff recently is Rooster Teeth who aren't even that big overall, but even then it doesn't really count since RT wasn't that involved, they didn't do the animation, majority of the VO (they got one or two RT people to do VO, Miles Luna and I think someone else), story writing, etc. Just some parts of production.

If corporations aren't going to invest in the proper people for bigger franchises like Star Wars then what chance does Transformers have?

It's pointless to hope for good fiction these days in general, the only thing to really do is to be pleasantly surprised when something turns out to not suck.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074766)
Posted by Seibertron on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:26pm CDT
First Gen wrote:Its true. The voice acting was rough. How many guys voiced OP? Sounded like 3 or 4.


Yah, there was that as well. Yelling voice sounded 100% different than normal talking voice. It was very jarring.
Re: Peter Cullen and Garry Chalk Chimed In on Netflix Series' Voice Acting and Business Practices (2074767)
Posted by Deadput on August 2nd, 2020 @ 11:35pm CDT
Seibertron wrote:
First Gen wrote:Its true. The voice acting was rough. How many guys voiced OP? Sounded like 3 or 4.


Yah, there was that as well. Yelling voice sounded 100% different than normal talking voice. It was very jarring.

The raised-voice parts of Optimus in the show were the only ones I actually unironically "cringed" at, with others I didn't like such as Soundwave I only thought that they weren't good, they didn't actually get a physical reaction out of me otherwise.

It was simply unconvincing.


Man I actually googled up Jake and he was born only a few months before me, that means he's 23 I think, I don't think he's a terrible VO or anything but man as someone who has practiced doing VO myself rule of thumb is that you should absolutely not try to act as a character who is much older then you, it's one thing for impressions and such but in an official setting it can be unconvincing.

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