Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hokey Smoke!

They called Mel Blanc the Man of a Thousand Voices, and he made his characters his own.

Maybe June Foray doesn’t have as many voices as he did. But she certainly does some memorable ones who will always be identified with her.

We used to chase each other around the house, imitating Granny doing her little death screech on the violin. I felt so sorry for Sylvester in this one, and really wanted him to catch and eat that bird – until Granny did her death screech. Yikes. And her Nell Fenwick, so innocent, so pure, so able in that goofy hat and with those ruby lips to get Dudley Do-Right into so much trouble.

Now at age 94, she’s won her first Emmy. Seems to me it’s a long time coming.

Personally, I would have given her an Emmy for her Warner Brothers work. Foray’s Granny was at the same time innocent and terrifying, as was her Witch Hazel. It’s these characters – not the bland, boring, yeah he’ll win at the end Bugs Bunny that made these cartoons work. You’ve got to have a good villain. And Granny was villainous, whether it was with her threats or with her broom. And Witch Hazel, well, anyone who can cackle like that has got to be a bad ‘un.

I like what Chuck Jones said of June Foray: "People say she is the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc is the male June Foray."

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