This year, the TV academy split the Voice-Over category, which it introduced back in 1992, into two separate awards: Best Narrator and Best Character Voice-Over Performance. Narration has tended to take a back seat to the showier work done by performers giving voice to characters on some of TV’s most popular animated series.
Below, we take a look at the talent contending for this new prize for voice-over performance. The nominees include three past winners of the combined category, two rookies and veteran voice artist Harry Shearer, who has never taken home an Emmy.
Chris Diamantopoulos as Mickey Mouse in “Mickey Mouse”(Disney Channel)
in this reboot of the classic shorts, Chris Diamantopoulos becomes the most recent actor to tackle the iconic role of Mickey Mouse. He does a great job imitating the iconic voice of Mickey, and the show overall is impressive.
However, the episode he submitted is only three minutes long. That could be a problem as it is much shorter than the rest of the performances in this category. So, while the show is likely to prevail in the Animated Short category again this year, I don’t think Diamantopoulos is going to join them in the winner’s circle.
Stephen Full as Stan in “Dog With a Blog” (Disney Channel)
Stephen Full is nominated for his performance as the title character Stan, the talking dog. He submitted the episode “My Parents Posted What?!”, where his character take part in a talent show.
He briefly recites Shakespeare and sings in a cute performance that I’m glad broke through and got a nomination. However, this is a case of the nomination being the win as the submission is not the strongest in contention.
Seth MacFarlane as Peter Griffin/Stewie Griffin/Glenn Quagmire in “Family Guy” (FOX)
Seth MacFarlane earned a third nomination for his voice work (he won in 2000 and lost in 2009) and 12th overall nomination for “Family Guy. WIth a past win for Best Song, he is looking to add a third trophy to his shelf with “Into Harmony’s Way.”
Peter Griffin and Glenn Quagmire (both voiced by MacFarlane) form a Simon & Garfunkel-type folk duo. This episode is skillfully done, as most of it is MacFarlane speaking to himself in the voices of Peter and Quagmire. He also sings, and harmonizing with yourself can be a challenge. MacFarlane does well, and he could end up winning the Emmy.
Seth Green as Various Characters in “Robot Chicken” (Cartoon Network)
Seth Green, like his “Family Guy” co-star and fellow nominee MacFarlane, has raked in bids as both the lead performer (5) and producer (4) of his show. “Robot Chicken” won Best Short-Format Animated Programme in 2010 and is contention again this year.
For this category, Green submitted the second DC Comics special, which saw the villains going on vacation and facing their superhero rivals. He is the most versatile of the nominees, voicing more than a dozen different characters. However, while he is a veteran of the animation categories, I don’t think this will be the year for him in either race.
Maurice LaMarche as Calculon and Morbo in “Futurama” (Comedy Central)
Maurice LaMarche won two consecutive Emmys in 2011 and 2012 for his work on “Futurama.” In his episode, “Calculon 2.0,” he voices Calculon, a robot parody of various hammy actors, and in particular Orson Welles (a impersonation that was part of his winning entry in 2011).
The legendary LaMarche could prevail again, His performance in the episode is funny and there is a lot of skill behind it. This beloved voice actor could definitely win his third Emmy.
Harry Shearer as Various Characters in “The Simpsons” (FOX)
All of the primary castmembers of “The Simpsons” have won Emmys for their performances with the exception of Harry Shearer. Shockingly, he has only reaped one bid for his work on this classic series, which dates back to the premiere in 1989. He lost in 2009 to Dan Castellaneta, who gives voice to Homer Simpson.
His episode is “Four Regrettings and a Funeral,” where he voices some of his most iconic characters: Kent Brockman, Mr. Burns, Younger Burns and Smithers.
Prediction: I am calling this in favor of Shearer; he is simply the best of the nominees. And the split in the voice-over categories works in his favor fo finally securing his long overdue first win. If there is an upset, it will likely be LaMarche or MacFarlane.