One voice, many faces…the Force is strong with this Star Wars icon…
Some of the many unknown voices of Mark Hamill
“I am Undergrowth!” — Undergrowth in Danny Phantom
“Hiccup, Hiccup, Hiccup. Why do you have to make things so difficult?” — Alvin the Treacherous in Dreamworks Dragons series
“Let me be blunt, John. I don’t think this circus or your family can afford not having our protection.” — Tony Zucco in The Batman
“Hey, hey, fine! I tried to be reasonable. You don’t want my services? OK. But you’re gonna wish you’d listened, old man. Oh, yeah, keep my number handy. You’re gonna be calling Tony Zucco, and soon.” — Tony Zucco in Batman The Animated Series
So you think you know the many voices of Mark Hamill? Think again. The above quotes are taken from just a few of his many voice acting characters aside from his now iconic Joker role. Chances are, you heard him in some animated TV show or other and simply didn’t realize it at the time due to his skill.
To start with, I’ll let this video explain the first show for me.
So, in this show, we have young Danny Fenton/Phantom attempting to keep his secret identity under wraps while growing up as an average everyday teenager. Throughout the beginning years of his ghost fighting career, he has fought various types of ghosts ranging from The Lunch Lady (the first sentient ghost he fought) to Vlad Plasmius (whom he would find out was also a half ghost like himself, but used his powers for evil), and even an older completely evil version of himself.
Each were powerful and dangerous in their own way, but due to the ghosts he fought between them, Danny was able to grow and develop his powers to the point where he at least stood a chance of beating them one-on-one.
As the final season of Nickelodeon’s hit show Danny Phantom came around however, voice actors were needed to bring the characters to life, so to speak. One of those people just happened to be Mark Hamill himself. He lent his voice to the character Undergrowth.
In short, this character was basically an overgrown weed and attempted to control all humanity in an effort to return the earth to the way it was, naturally green with plants everywhere. While simple in nature…if you pardon the pun, Mark Hamill voicing this character was still fun to watch. Just the life and energy he gave to his character was just so much fun to watch.
Due to being a sentient plant, Undergrowth is able to easily regenerate limbs, a power Luke could only wish he had at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. If one watches this episode closely enough, they will catch a fun little twist on the father attempting to train/sway a child cliche from the Original (and possibly even new) Star Wars Trilogy.
For anyone who wants to watch this fun episode along with the rest of the Danny Phantom series, it is available through Netflix DVD rental or Amazon video. The entire series is definitely worth a watch. For those Star Wars: The Clone Wars fans, if you listen closely enough, you just might recognize another actor playing the role of Walker, the ghost warden.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Series
Hopping from one company’s TV animation branch to another’s film animation branch, we have Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon series. In previous seasons, this show also went by Dragons: Riders of Berk then Defenders of Berk before receiving its new and current title Dragons Race to the Edge. The Edge being the name of their current base of operations as they continue their search for new dragons and ways to tame/help them.
In this current series (which is being released on Netflix), the events of the show take place after the first movie, but roughly three years prior to the events of the second. In each season, Alvin is this typical big, booming character who is sort of your stereo typical viking with a massive girth, and huge bushy mustache and beard. He is a sight to see and not someone you would want to mess with. This is regardless of the fact that over the course of the series (Riders and Defenders of Berk to Race to the Edge), he goes from straight up villain to anti-hero. Either way, you don’t know what to expect from him other than complete fun, due in part to his voice actor Mark Hamill.
Now, due to how long his character has managed to stick around, it has become a sort of game to see how many, if any, episodes Mark’s character Alvin the Treacherous appears in each season. As of this season he’s made a cameo in at least one of the episodes.
Batman: The Animated Series/The Batman
While Batman the Animated Series (having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary) may have been more popular than its successor, simply titled The Batman, both have the distinction of allowing Mark to voice the same character in two different iterations. No, it’s not The Joker…although he did that for the former. In this case, it’s Tony Zucco, the man who murdered Richard “Dick” Grayson’s parents and started the young man down the path to becoming Batman’s now iconic partner Robin.
In Batman: The Animated Series, Tony Zucco is a simple mob racketeer. This means he goes around soliciting the service of his men in return for protection money that he only gets a percentage of after handing the bulk to his boss. On paper it seems simple enough. Hire Tony and his guys and get protection from other “less than respectable” people. Of course, on paper is the only place it looks good. In reality, it was either pay him with money or blood. Either worked for him.
Sadly, this is what befell John and Mary Grayson after the ring master of the traveling circus rightfully refused to pay the exorbitant protection fee. Once the meeting between the two went south, Tony headed into the main tent and partially sawed through the trapeze wires that were part of “The Flying Graysons’” act. Since the ring master wouldn’t pay, he then chose to make an example out of the two in an effort to ensure he did. Then of course, many people know what happens from there. “The Flying Graysons” went out to perform their act as normal, only to have it sadly cut short, and leave their only son an orphan.
In “The Batman” series however, Tony Zucco appears to be a bit younger and more of a calculating character than his former counterpart. This time, instead of being a racketeer who works for someone, he is the mob boss that is simply looking for protection money for him and his boys. Aside from that though, the situation is the same, pay him in either cash or blood. Again, he doesn’t care which so long as he gets paid.
No matter the iteration of the character, Batman: The Animated Series or The Batman, Mark Hamill does an amazing job bringing both to life. Despite being the same character, he can be either the simple brute strength racketeer as in the former show, or the more cold and calculating mob boss as in the latter show. No matter what, he is a joy to watch.
Throughout his long acting career, both in front of the camera or behind a microphone in a recording studio, Mark has given life to many characters. The ones discussed here (Danny Phantom’s Undergrowth, Dreamworks Dragons Alvin the Treacherous and Batman: The Animated Series/The Batman Tony Zucco) are of course only a few of the many characters he has lent his voice to over the years. If you want to watch him in these roles and many others, one has to no look no further than Amazon, Netflix and the like. Just a word though, while some of his roles were more surprising in the best way possible, than others, they are worth at least one viewing. Enjoy!
May The Force Be With You
You can see Mark Hamill return to his iconic role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, coming to cinemas on December 15th 2017