Doing laps in the LA Fishbowl

A New Panda in Town

For those of you who think that I spend my days playing Angry Birds and baking cobblers… well, you’re mostly right. But wait! I have proof of legitimate and gainful employment: tomorrow, Monday 19th, Nickelodeon rolls out a sneak preview of a series that will start in November—KUNG FU PANDA: LEGENDS OF AWESOMENESS. 
It is, in my biased but usually-jaundiced view, pretty awesome. The animation looks great, the writing is whip-smart, and it’s got the movie’s combination of hi-larity and heart. I play Monkey, one of the Furious Five. (I need to have a little altar dedicated to Jackie Chan, the movie’s Monkey, to thank him properly for being responsible for my livelihood. I got my start in voiceovers sounding like him in “The Jackie Chan Adventures,” a show which gave me a crash course in voice acting, gave me cred and landed me the crackerjack agents I have today.) 

Tune in if you can. I think it’s on at 8 PM, but check your local listings. The Nickelodeon website will give you all the info you need, plus some clips. The episode is a good one for me; it’s a nice spotlight to the relationship between Po the Panda and Monkey. 

I am not, of course, acting alongside Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, David Cross & Jack Black, but if you closed your eyes during a recording session, you might think otherwise. These actors are phenomenal, and not just at sounding like celebrities. Kari Wahlgren. Fred Tatasciore. Amir Talai. Mick Wingert. Max Koch. Their names might not be familiar, but in the voiceover world, they are titans, or on the way to becoming one.  We mostly record as a group, and though I’m occasionally awed and intimidated by their quick-morphing, borderline-schizophrenic verbal shape-shifting, I love hanging out with them. They’re like family, a family in which Scatman Crothers sings duets with Christopher Walken, and Tony Soprano stops by for profanity and cannoli.

Of course, I could be setting myself up for a big, hubristical ostrich egg on my face… recasting voices is notoriously easy in the animation world. I was on a series where the main celebrity villain was recast during a season and recorded with different actors, but they ended up reverting back to the celebrity… and he never knew he’d been dumped and then rehired. You should never count your voices until they’ve aired. But, unless you tune in Monday and hear Daniel Dae-Kim’s voice coming out of Monkey’s body, you’ll get to hear me at work.  It’s a total joy.
September 18th, 2011 - Still Life Las Vegas


8 responses to “A New Panda in Town”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Whoo Hoo! Looking forward to hearing your voice on TV. Thanks for the early heads up.

  2. Stel says:

    Excellent–Monkey in the house! Another James Sie voice-aganza! And your colleague doing Soprano is uncanny. Thanks for the clip. Looking forward to all the great voice work.

  3. Stel says:

    Oh–also, love the new graphic heading this blog. Seems like things just got a little more gnarly in LA . . .

  4. Joshua Bailey says:

    Any idea when it will premiere in full? I still remember when they said it would premiere last year, and now they just give us a vague "this fall" message.

  5. James Sie says:

    It's kinda frustrating, not knowing when it's coming out, innit? It's all scheduling, and working around the movies. Last I heard it was going to premiere in November, around Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed…

  6. Joshua Bailey says:

    Nickelodeon aired another sneak peek yesterday, and after it aired, said that the show would premiere on November 7th! It's about time. I've really enjoyed the first two episodes so far.

  7. James Sie says:

    I'm so glad you're liking them! I know I'm biased, but I really feel so happy to be a part of this show.

  8. j says:

    that is amazing, everyone really sounds like the actors in the movies. Congrats, and lol on the altar to Jackie Chan 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.