I can hardly believe this one! As part of their Voices Against Cancer Initiative event in Sioux Falls, the nonprofit Voices Against Cancer (VAC) will be bringing Peter Cullen as a guest. Cullen happens to be the voice behind what I think is the greatest cartoon hero of all time: Optimus Prime! In this (hopefully) brief post, I will geek out a little over why having Cullen come to Sioux Falls absolutely rocks.
The Voice of Optimus Prime
Growing up, Transformers was probably my favorite cartoon. And of all the Transformers that came out, none were ever as cool as Optimus. I think that one hundred percent has to do with Cullen’s voice acting. Somehow Cullen created a voice that had authority, compassion, empathy, and wisdom all wrapped up into one package. If someone were to ask me what the perfect sound for a true leader would be, my answer without hesitation would be the voice of Optimus Prime.
I happen to be one of those upset kids back in 1986 when Optimus Prime died. Yes, looking back, it was possibly a good storyline arc. But in reality, when Optimus died, so to did a great role model. He was a true hero that many children looked up to and were learning about compassion for others. Luckily the powers that be eventually brought Optimus back (I’m sure sales had to do with that).
So I don’t geek out too much about Optimus I’ll move on to other cool voices Cullen has done over the years.
There is more to Cullen than just Optimus
Cullen’s Wikipedia page has a long list of roles to which he has lent his voice. Here are a few of my favorites I think are worth calling out.
- Predator! Cullen was the voice of the Predator. I remember seeing that movie back in ’87 and loving it. Well, actually I still love the film and the fact he was the voice of the Predator just rocks!
- Eeyore. I will admit, I’m not a big Winnie the Pooh fan. But like many other people, I think Eeyore is a great character. Actually, I always wondered if Douglas Adams didn’t turn Eeyore into a robot and call him Marvin. Cullens was the official voice of Eeyore from the late 1980s to the early 2010s and is so once again.
- Venger. Dungeons and Dragons was one of my favorite Saturday Morning cartoons (remember when that was a thing?). Venger is another of Cullen’s voices where I think his talent for including some authority is beyond all expectations.
- Mantus. This one comes from the Pirates of Dark Water. Mantus may be the number two villain, but I have a feeling he would have been the top villain if the series had been able to run to its conclusion. Again Cullen absolutely nails the controlled temperament of Mantus.
VAC promo for Peter Cullen
Voices Against Cancer shared this video on their YouTube channel to promote Cullen being a part of the event. This vid has a few voice highlights from Cullen.
Earlier this week I blogged about Frank Welker. Welker is also coming to the VAC event and happens to the be voice of Megatron. Here is another promo video from VAC pitting Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) against Megatron (Frank Welker).
Actually, I already know who will win between the two: (queue cheesy 80s song) All of us fans that get to meet these voice actor icons. Plus, all the money that will be raised to fight pediatric cancer.
More to come
So far, I have blogged about two guests coming to the VAC event. There has already been a third announced (blog coming next week), and I know there are a bunch more announcements forthcoming. I will admit, though, I am already wholly sold on traveling to Sioux Falls so that I can meet Cullen. All of the other announcements are just frosting on an already super sweet and yummy cake..
Song of the Day – Transformers
Since I mentioned Transformers The Movies I think it is entirely appropriate to include the classic (and very 80’s) theme song from that movie by Lion:
Bonus Song: Cullen’s voices
Ok, this one isn’t a song. It is a video that includes many of the voices Cullen has done over the years.