Robert Fredrick "Rob" Paulsen III (born March 11, 1956), sometimes credited as Rob Paulson, is an American voice actor, best known as the voice behind Raphael from the 1987 cartoon of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Yakko Warner and Dr. Otto Scratchansniff from Animaniacs, Pinky from Pinky and the Brain and Animaniacs, Rev Runner from Loonatics Unleashed, and Throttle from the 1990s and 2006 versions of Biker Mice From Mars. His role as Yakko won him a Daytime Emmy Award for male vocal performance; he won a second one for his portrayal of Pinky.
In total, Paulsen has been the voice of over 250 different animated characters and performed in over 1000 commercials. He continues to play minor parts in dozens of cartoons as well as supporting characters in animated movies.
Paulsen was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is married to Parrish Todd and has one son, Ashton. In an interview with a Chicago TV station, Paulsen described himself as "a singer who decided to become an actor." Growing up in Grand Blanc, Michigan, Paulsen sang in choir throughout his youth and adolescence and began performing in plays in grammar school. However, his idol growing up was Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings; he considered the arts to be a secondary career choice, primarily interested in becoming a professional hockey player.
Paulsen has long supported charity organizations, and donated considerably for cancer research. He has worked a lot for GOALmodels, a program for adolescents, and is a sponsor of Camp Will-A-Way, a camp for mentally and physically disabled children. He provided the voice of "Dog" in the Taco Bell kids meal commercials from 1996 to mid-1997, with Eddie Deezen as the voice of "Nacho" the cat.
He began his voice over career at Hanna-Barbera on The Smurfs animated television show as an extra in 1981. A few years later, his career launched into more substantial roles such as Tripwire, Cobra Slavemaster, and Snow Job on G.I. Joe and Corky on The Snorks. He had an impressive turn as the villain "Jesse Blue" in the series Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. The character has a bit of a cult following, due in part to Paulsen's excellent portrayal.
During the 1980s Paulsen also explored the field of live action cinema. His first movie was Eyes of Fire in 1983. He played supporting roles in Body Double, Stewardess School, Mutant on the Bounty, and Warlock. He appeared in television shows during this time as well, such as MacGyver and St. Elsewhere. He mentioned in an interview, regarding his role in Body Double, that he would not want his child (who was very young at the time of the interview) to see the movie, so he could not really be proud of his work. Paulsen's first major role was in 1987, as "Raphael" in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series.
Paulsen became more prevalent in the world of advertising as well. In the 1980s he had been the announcer for the sitcom Cheers and continued to secure roles as an announcer. He appeared as the voice of "Mr. Opportunity", spokesman of Honda commercials on TV and radio, the announcer for Buffalo Dick's Radio Ranch, and the spokesman for Lucky Stores, a West-coast grocery store chain, before it was acquired by Albertsons in 1998.
However Paulsen's most famous advertising role was in the original commercial of the now ubiquitous Got Milk? campaign. The famous commercial, Who Shot Alexander Hamilton?, aired in 1993, and launched the Got Milk? campaign into a monstrously successful enterprise. Paulsen continues to be one of the most sought-after commercial voice actors in the industry.
He can be currently heard as the voice of singing Mini-Wheat in the Mini-Wheats commercials in Canada.
Tuning in to SpielbergEdit
Throughout the early 1990s, Paulsen continued to co-star in animated series, which allowed him to branch further into radio and television announcements and dropped live-action acting from his repertoire. In 1993, he voiced "Antoine D'Coolette" in ABC's series Sonic the Hedgehog, and "Arthur", an insecure accountant in a moth costume (wings included), in the superhero series The Tick in 1995.
In 1993, he starred as the title character in both Mighty Max and The Mask. Also at this time he starred in what became one of his most popular roles, "Yakko Warner" of Animaniacs. Paulsen also provided the voice of "Pinky" from Pinky and the Brain, a show which won him several Annie Awards and a Daytime Emmy in 1999.
He also did a number of characters in Tiny Toon Adventures, including "Fowlmouth", "Arnold the Pit Bull", and "Concord Condor". In the direct-to-video movie Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, he did the voices for "Banjo Possum", "Mr. Hitcher" (who would also appear in other episodes), and "Johnny Pew".
Paulsen has provided voices for a great amount of characters, among which are Yakko Warner, Dr. Otto Scratchansniff and Pinky in Animaniacs; Steelbeak in Darkwing Duck; "Brick" and "Boomer" in The Powerpuff Girls; Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost in The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper; Ogden Ostrich in Channel Umptee-3; "Reuben" in Lilo & Stitch: The Series; "Jack Fenton," "Box Ghost," "Technus", and "The Ghost Vultures" in Danny Phantom; "Carl Wheezer" and "Butch" in Jimmy Neutron; "Mark Chang", "Mr. Birkenbake" and "Peppy Happy Gary" in The Fairly OddParents; Peck the Rooster in Barnyard, and Back at the Barnyard; and "Gordon" in the Nickelodeon cartoon Catscratch. He was also the voice of "Rothchild" in the early episodes of Samurai Jack. Additionally, Paulsen provided the voice of "PJ" in Goof Troop, the animated series starring Goofy. He also voiced "Zeek" and "Joshua" in K10C: Kids' Ten Commandments, Rude Dog in Rude Dog and the Dweebs, and Archie the Raccoon, A.K.A., Ze Archer in "Mask of the Raccoon" on The Penguins of Madagascar. He reprised his role as "Throttle" in the 2006 Biker Mice from Mars, and played a role in The Boondocks as an art teacher. He also provided the voices of 2T Fru-T, Mike Ellis, Dark Comet and Ronald in the 2001 cartoon series Butt-Ugly Martians. He also portrayed the voice of Chomper in The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, Spike and Rinkus in The Land Before Time sequels and Spike in the TV series, but Spike was played anonymously in the original The Land Before Time. Paulsen also played Mo in The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water. It was not long before Paulsen returned to Warner Bros. Animation, which had diverged into a new era of television serials (following what is sometimes referred to as the "Silver Age of Animation"). Paulsen appeared as "Rev Runner" of the new show Loonatics Unleashed and stars in Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island. He also voiced "The Source" in the Teen Titans episode "Employee of the Month." He was also the voice of the character "Squeeky" on the TV show Danger Rangers. Paulsen also provides the voice for the Honda character "Mr. Opportunity." In the Rob Zombie animated film, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, Paulsen voices the characters "El Gato" and "Col. Hans Wolfburger". He also has a role as "Ditto", one of the alien forms on Ben 10. He is also the current voice of classic Disney character "José Carioca". Rob became the new voice of "Prince Eric" of Disney's The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea in 2000. He is also the voice of Peck the rooster and other minor characters in the Nickelodeon computer-animated series Back at the Barnyard & various minor characters on the Disney Channel animated series, The Replacements. One of the newer titles he is voiced in is the Tinker Bell line as Bobble. He also did the voices of Boober Fraggle, Sprocket and Marjory the Trash Heap in the animated version of Fraggle Rock. As well as Gwizdo in the Dragon Hunters movie. regrets The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
In video gaming, much voice talent has bled over from television and radio voice actors. Paulsen has appeared in video games such as Doom 3 and Clay Fighter 63 1/3. He plays "Fluffy", the Chinese-crested dog, in 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue, an Irish-talking pubtender in the 1996 video game Toonstruck, and "Morte", a floating, talking skull, in Planescape: Torment, as well as "Anomen Delryn" in Baldur's Gate II and "Gray Fox" in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an assist trophy. He provides the voice for Erik the Swift of the Lost Vikings in its second installment. He portrays "Tobli" and "Lian Ronso" in the English version of Square Enix's Final Fantasy X-2 and has played the lead character in Bubsy. Although an extremely minor role, Paulsen has also done the voice for the Greek soldiers in God of War. In the video game The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge, he does the voice of "Igor". He also reprised his role as "Yakko Warner", "Dr. Scratchansniff", and "Pinky" in Animaniacs: The Great Edgar Hunt. Rob Paulsen voiced the lead character, Lazarus Jones, in the PS2 game Ghosthunter. Rob also voiced Alfredo Fettuccini, Bob the Ghost Pirate, Lookout and Ghost Priest in The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition. He voiced the Fox and the Mouse in the Green Eggs and Ham PC game. He also voiced "Tlaloc" in [ Tak and the Power of Juju].
Paulsen is also the off-camera voice of the syndicated television series Funniest Pets and People which is seen on Superstation WGN and other television stations throughout the United States and abroad.
Rob Paulsen has been nominated for an Annie Award for his role of "Pinky" for 4 consecutive years, which he won in 1996, 1997, and 1999. In 2004 he was nominated for his role of "The Troubador" in The Three Musketeers, and in 2005 he was nominated for his role in The Happy Elf. In 1999 he also won the Daytime Emmy Award for the role of Pinky.
Paulsen has been a regular industry guest and featured panelist at Comic-Con International over the past several years. He has also appeared at animation industry-related events such as the World Animation Celebration in 1998, among many others. He has also been a guest at several anime conventions, including JACON, Mikomicon, and Anime Overdose. Paulsen was a guest of honor at Anthrocon in 2007.
Sometimes people in attendance would request him to sing the famous "Yakko's World" number, where he sings all the nations of the world with his "Yakko" voice in a fast-paced delivery without rehearsing.