FSM Media

by Dianna Ranere

Interview with Raymond Persi the Voice of Flash in Zootopia #ZootopiaBluRay

Interview with Raymond Persi the Voice of Flash in Zootopia #ZootopiaBluRay

 

Zootopia In-Home Global Press Event
Zootopia In-Home Global Press Event

 

One of the most exciting parts of my trip to LA last month was getting to interview the voice of my favorite Zootopia character, Flash, voiced by Raymond Persi. I am not sure exactly what I pictured “Flash” to look like, but Raymond far exceeded that, and he talked much faster than I had imagined, lol.

Raymond Persi was a director on the little show The Simpsons before being brought into Disney Animation Studios by  Rich Moore, the co-director of Zootopia, when he started to develop Wreck-It Ralph. Wreck-It Ralph was the first film he was a story artist on at Disney. He later went on to work on Frozen, and then the two shorts Ghetto Horse and Feast.

In the past when visiting the Animation Studios we learned that during the making of the films they use people that work in the studio as scratch voices – “It’s called just a temporary voice, just to tell the story. And every now and then, we keep some of those voices in”. Raymond was the originally the scratch voice for Flash in Zootopia but they liked him so much they kept him in.

Interview with Raymond Persi the Voice of Flash in Zootopia #ZootopiaBluRay

Raymond Persi voiced the following:

Zootopia  – Flash (voice)
Frozen Additional Voices (voice)
Get a Horse! (Short) – Pete’s Car Horn (voice)
Garlan Hulse: Where Potential Lives (Video short) – David (uncredited)
Wreck-It Ralph – Gene / Zombie (voice)
Do Geese See God? (Short)  – Animation (voice)

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In Feast, he didn’t get to do any voices but his two Boston Terriers did. He brought them into the studio to record them eating and the grunting and snorting sounds they made when squeezed. He said, “they are both snorty dogs anyways, so it worked out well”.

Interview with Raymond Persi the Voice of Flash in Zootopia #ZootopiaBluRay

When Rich Moore along with the Head of Story, Jim Reardon, brought him in to do scratch for Flash, he thought to himself  “Normally you think, oh, you’re going to do the voice of a sloth, you think okay, I’ll talk slowly.” But that’s not what they wanted. They said, “No, no, he talks normal. He just has spaces in between the words.” So they recorded for like half an hour or so, and also coached him on how they wanted Flash to sound. “I think my voice just sounded stupid enough that it worked.”

 

 

 

Thinking of the scene above, (and liking it to nails on a chalkboard) we wondered how it felt for Raymond voicing it. He explained,”My goal when I did that scene was to make you feel like nails on a chalkboard. So thank you so much for letting me know that I did it right”. I have to agree, when you are watching that scene there is a sense of “Come on, spit it out” and it you feel how frustrated Judy is and it just makes it so much more funny to me.

When creating a voice for a feature film he explained, “you force it a little bit. One of the interesting things about voice acting is like you don’t have your hands, you don’t have your face, and you don’t have your body to act with. So it all has to come out of your voice. So you have to focus all the characterization in the voice to make it work, and that’s a fun challenge.” Having done two voice-overs now, I know a little of what he is talking about. You think it looks easy to do but when you actually go to do it it is so much more involved than just reading a line.

After our interview with Raymond, I also had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Flash himself. See what happens when I get to ask him a question….

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Walt Disney Animation Studios Presents 'Zootopia' - In Theaters March, 4th, 2016 #Zootopia

Visit the official ZOOTOPIA website here – http://movies.disney.com/zootopia

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