Who is Ronnie Schell? (If you don’t know, don’t feel bad. Before doing the research for this post, I had no idea either.) Ronnie Schell is an actor, comedian, and voice-over artist who has been working in showbiz since the 1950’s. He’s 81 as of this post and still active in the industry. Here’s a link to his IMDB page for a full list of his credits, but I want to focus on his voice-over work from the 80’s.
You may be familiar with the Smurfs (little blue creatures who were magical and lived in constant danger of being eatern by a wizard, not too far off from my childhood, actually). Well, Ronnie did some voices for them. None of the main characters, but random other ones.
You probably don’t remember Shirt Tales though. If memory serves (which it usually doesn’t), the Shirt Tales were animals that wore shirts. They were special shirts. They had writing on them that would change with each situation and/or emotion that the animal had. I think they fought crime somehow. I guess I really don’t remember much. Sorry about that. Anyway, Ronnie did the voice for Rick Raccoon.
If you don’t remember Shirt Tales, you may not remember Pound Puppies. This cartoon focused on the lives of dogs that were either on their way to the pound, or from the pound. The main antagonist for the series was the dog catcher, and the protagonist was Cooler. Cooler than what? I don’t know. His name was “Cooler”.
What I think is really funny about the 80’s was the fact that ANYTHING could be made into a cartoon. Smurfs was the only one that had any creative merit as it existed in story form before it was made into a cartoon. Shirt Tales was created by a greeting card designer and its characters were featured on greeting cards prior to becoming a cartoon. And Pound Puppies was inspired by a series of plush toys. Let’s not even mention shows like G.I. Joe or He-Man (oops, I just did).
Anyway, we all have to take work as it comes to us, occaisionally regardless of artistic integrity. In the end, you may be able to say that you worked in the industry you wanted for your whole life. Congratulations Ronnie Schell! Keep up the good work! You are an inspiration to creative types everywhere, even if they don’t know your name.