Corey Burton delivers a shock to the brain

Thu, March 6th, 2003 at 12:00am PST

TV/Film
Rob Worley, Columnist

Superman

fans received a bit of a shock as they watched "A League of Their Own"

-- the March 1st episode of "Static Shock" that featured a guest

appearance by the Justice League and the return of the villain Brainiac -- and

heard the voice behind the mechanical menace sounding more like Michael Clarke

Duncan than voice actor Corey Burton.

"It's definitely me," Burton confirmed to C2F/CBR News. "The

voice was pitch-shifted down to give Brainiac a thunderously deep voice. You

hear my timing and vocal idiosyncrasies, but you can't really detect my own

voice in it anymore.

"I was a bit taken aback because I didn't feel it was necessary,"

Burton continued. "Then again, because ["Static Shock"] is aimed

at a younger audience, I think [the producers] wanted to make the villain of the

piece more monstrous and foreboding than an eerie, creepy presence."

The voice-shift wasn't the first shocker Burton experienced with this

episode. "I was a little surprised when I first read the script,"

Burton said. "It wasn't in the same vein as the 'Justice League.' The

overall feel of it just seemed, by comparison, a little on the 'hokey' side. And

Brainiac's character had been altered quite a bit, from what I figured had

already been so well established in the other shows. The lines made him come

across as a hands-on-the-hips, challenging-the-universe, stereotypical villain

as opposed to this vast cool intellect."

Burton continued by explaining how he credits the development of the Brainiac

character to the script rather than to himself. "It's entirely effortless

for me to voice the character," he said. "I look at the words and say

them in a steady tone, and they just ring the right way and have such drama.

It's the choice of words and the way they're arranged [in the script] that give

the character its wholeness, its power. [With 'A League of Their Own'] I looked

at the script and panicked -- all of Brainiac's lines seemed to be off."

However, Burton's view of the "Static Shock" script changed during

the voice recording session. "Once I started hearing the rest of the show,

I discovered that this show was intended to be sort of campy, even though

presented in a serious manner. I mean, 'Justice League' scripts are really juicy

-- the show really simmers with great melodrama that's appealing to the

'slightly more mature' crowd. This particular 'Static Shock' episode was heading

in that direction, while having some light moments. It's definitely

entertaining."

Part II of the "A League of Their Own" crossover airs this Saturday

on "Static Shock!"

Animation correspondent Xum Yukinori contributed to this story.

 
CBR News

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