• Hey, It's That Voice! #45: Dee Bradly Baker

    Hello and welcome back to that wonderful article that lets you look at the voices behind the Steven Universe characters you know and love. It's time for "Hey, It's That Voice!" Today, we are going to take a look at the voice of Steven's adorable pet lion, Lion!

    Lion is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Granted, we are slowly learning more about exactly what Lion is, but there are so many more mysteries about him that are just driving us mad! I certainly would love to just know the possibly massive history concerning this pink animal. Only time will tell. But who voices this fierce and fluffy feline (cause lions are cats)? Why, that would be Dee Bradley Baker!

    Anyone else curious how much Lion's ticket cost?

    Okay, before I go any further, I do want to give a disclaimer: this article concerning Dee Bradley Baker's career is a skimming of his major roles. Since starting his voice over career in 1993, Baker has been in numerous productions (at the time of writing this article, 467 different roles according to IMDB), I will only touch upon his most notable roles when it comes to this article. Baker is considered one of the most prolific voice over artists, along with Tom Kenny, Billy West, Lauren Tom, John DiMaggio, Tara Strong, Phil LaMarr, Frank Welker, and Maurice LaMarche. You are more than welcome to venture to his IMDB page or his Wikipedia page to take a look to see what he has contributed to (and see just how much he has affected your childhood).

    Born in Bloomington, Indiana and raised in Greeley, Colorado, Baker has been a performer his entire life. By the age of nine, he was already steadily working on musicals, operas, plays and stand-up. Upon graduating, Baker received a Boettcher Scholarship and attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While there, he philosophy, biology, fine arts, and German (which he also studied overseas for a year at University of Goettingen). While at college, he continued to perform in local theater productions, which he continued after he graduated with a bachelors in philosophy.

    In 1989, Baker moved to Orlando, Florida where he was working on an improv sketch comedy show at Disney's EPCOT Center's Wonders of Life pavilion, titled "The Anacomical Players". While working for various projects for Disney and Universal Studios, Baker got his first major voice over role as Olmec in the Nickelodeon game show Legends of the Hidden Temple.

    Olmec (Baker) with is glowing red eyes, as seen in Legends of the Hidden Temple.

    While potraying Olmec, Baker would provide a "big, booming, loud, god-like voice" for the giant rock-god. He would narrate a legend to the numerous contestants and ask them questions. Along with presenter Kirk Fogg, the two would host 120 episodes over three seasons. In 2016, both Baker and Fogg reprise their roles for the live-action film.

    After the end of Legends of the Hidden Temple, Baker moved with Fogg to Los Angeles, California where he got involved with voice-over work, starting with Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel.

    Daffy Duck (Baker) in Space Jam.

    In 1996, Baker starred in his first feature film, Space Jam. In the film, he voiced two major Looney Tunes characters: Daffy Duck and the Tasmanian Devil (as well as a few other characters).

    Numbuh 4 (Baker) in Codename: Kids Next Door.

    In 2002, Baker joined the cast of the Cartoon Network cartoon Coedname: Kids Next Door as Wallabee "Wally" Beatles, better known as Numbuh 4. While on the show, he would lend his voice to other characters such as the Delightful Children From Down The Lane (along with the rest of the cast of Sector V), the Tolietnator, Heinrich Von Marzipan, Mr. Fibb (of Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb), Tommy Gillian (Numbuh 2's little brother), and "Numbuh 6" (also known as Bradley the Skunk).

    Viewtiful Joe (Baker) in the first Viewtiful Joe game. Henshin-a-go-go, baby.

    The next year in 2003, Baker became the English voice of a fan-favorite Capcom character, Viewtiful Joe in the game of the same name. Baker would continue providing the English voice of Joe for every video game the main series, including Viewtiful Joe 2, Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble, and Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble!. However, he did not provide the voice for Joe in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds or Ulimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 (where it was provided by Darrel Guilbeau).

    Cinderblock (Baker) in Teen Titans.

    Baker supplied the "voice" of the Teen Titans villain Cinderblock. This isn't a role that is completely unknown for Baker, as he often voices monstrous characters. Years later, after the end of the original Teen Titans cartoon ended, Baker would return to "voice" Cinderblock again in Teen Titans Go!. Similar to other DC animated universe characters like Harley Quinn and Mercy Graves, Cinderblock has crossed over from television into the main comics.

    Klaus Heissler (Baker) in American Dad!

    In 2005, Baker became a series regular of the long running animated show American Dad! as Klaus Heissler, a former East German Olympic ski-jumper trapped in the body of a goldfish. Originally, the character was supposed to have a French-accent, but Baker auditioned with a German-accent instead (which he himself has stated that he loves the German language). The producers loved his audition so much that they reworked the character around Baker.

    Wildmutt and Stinkfly (both Baker) in Ben 10.
    Baker would continue voicing numerous of non-human characters, quite literally, with the Ben 10 series. Starting with the first television series in 2005, Baker would voice numerous monsters, creatures, and aliens. Two main aliens that he would voice include Ben as Wildmutt and as Stinkfly. As the series and media franchise continue, Baker would continue to voice more characters, more monsters, and more aliens for Ben to turn into (including different versions of Wildvine, Heatblast, Diamondhead, Four Arms, Cannonbolt, Upchuck, Eye Guy, Swampfire, Humungousaur, and many others).

    Momo and Appa (both Baker) in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    In the popular Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Baker lent his voice to both Momo and Appa. The character proved to be a fan-favorite by critics and fans alike. Along with voicing Momo and Appa, Baker also voiced all the other animals in the series. Baker would reprise the roles of both for the 2010 live-action film.

    Perry the Platypus (Baker) in Phineas and Ferb.

    Baker also voices another well-known animal. For the cartoon Phineas and Ferb, Baker provides the "voice" of Perry the Platypus. While auditioning, Baker provided three unique creature sounds, and one of them is the sound we now know as Perry's "aggravated purr". In 2014, Perry was nominated for a Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award for 'Favorite Animated Animal Sidekick'.

    BMO (Niki Yang) and Cinnamon Bun (Baker) in Adventure Time.

    Yet another fan-favorite character that Baker has voiced (at least for me), is Cinnamon Bun from Adventure Time. And, as with almost every other show that Baker has assisted with, he has supplied his voice for various other characters and monsters (including providing Lady Rainicorn's voice in the original pilot).

    Mabel (Kristen Schaal) and Waddles (Baker) in Gravity Falls.

    And finally, Baker supplies yet another fan-loved animal. In the Disney cartoon Gravity Falls, he supplies the "voice" of Mabel's pet pig Waddles. The only time that Baker does not provide Waddles' voice is when Waddles, gifted with intelligence, creates a speaking device (his voice is then that of Neil deGrasse Tyson). Similar to Perry, Waddles was nominated for a Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award for 'Favorite Animated Animal Sidekick' in 2014.

    Baker has also given a gift to his fans. Over the years, Baker has gotten numerous questions about how to get into the voice acting world. He has created the website iwanttobeavoiceactor.com for anyone with interest of being a voice over artist.

    And that will do it for this edition of "Hey, It's That Voice!" Join me next week were we take a look at an employee of a swanky hotel in Empire City!