Burton, a respected voice actor, played, among other roles, that of Dale and Zipper in "Chip 'N' Dale's Rescue Rangers", and is the current voice for Ludwig Von Drake.
The post on his message board I am referring to concerns Corey's opinion of the works of Phil Harris, Ed Gilbert and Alan Young, all of whom worked in radio dramas.http://www.coreyburton.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=499&sid=f881ef74cdf4a2294bc2a60394854bea
Mike Sommer wrote:
...Harris was to reprise his role as Baloo in Tail Spin, but went to Ed Gilbert. Did you ever get to work with Mr. Harris, and any thoughts on Mr. Gilbert?
Corey Burton: I was incredibly fortunate to have worked with and spent some richly memorable times "hanging out" with the legendary character during breaks outside the studio. Relieved to be around somebody who actually knew a thing or two about his career, he regaled me with stories of Benny, Dennis Day, his own show with Alice, Remley and the gang; and what it was like to be a part of those Golden Days of Radio... Here's what I once wrote about my first indelible impression of the man:
I'll never forget seeing him re-record "the Bear Necessities" right after a 20 year hiatus from show business (it was for a parade, or a "World on Ice" show). After a few faltering attempts at doing a verse at a time, they were willing to 'make do' with what they had, and thanked him, when he bellowed in a scolding tone, "Now hold on a minute! Lemme just do da Whole Damn Thing, willya?". And out rolled an entire spectacular take, that had me tingling with feverish excitement! As Phil would say, "Ohhh MMann!!". I've never gotten over my outrage at Disney's TV Animation division for replacing him, rather than adapting the Baloo character to fit his age for the Tailspin series. He was 'One-of-a-Kind, Daddy'!
CB: I also knew highly respected actor/entomologist Ed Gilbert quite well, long before the Tailspin re-casting debacle; and frankly, I remain sadly disappointed in his acceptance of that ill-considered (but obviously profitable) soundalike voice acting role. Not just for his unqualified credentials as a uniquely original and charming musical personality, but for essentially endorsing the misperceived need to replace a classic voice talent who simply couldn't satisfy the gymnastic performance requirements necessary to deliver the mediocre out-of-character dialogue that the company was unwilling to hire premium-quality writers for.
"He's just gotten TOO OLD to sound like the Baloo we need for this series..." was the pathetically lame excuse for the trashing and substitution of Harris' tracks, already recorded for the first 3 or 4 episodes - when I knew full well that they had merely overloaded the classic performer with words that didn't fit in his authentic mouth, and his naturally laconic delivery was "dragging down the show", being unable to double the pace and energy level demanded by the dismissively uncaring writing/production "talent". Shame on them all. If they didn't want the Real Baloo, I say they ought to have invented a new mediocre character to fit in with the rest of that mediocre series, instead of trying to "cash in" on the name and tone of the original beloved performer (one of the cases in which "ownership" of the character voice should rightfully have been granted to Harris, and him alone).
Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck) comes across on his radio program as a absolute joy to work with, any thoughts on this native Scotsman?
Known Mr. Young for ages. One of the finest gentlemen in the business, and still a remarkably youthful, consummate ego-free pro. Though Scottish* in origin, I should point out that he's actually one of the most "All American" people I've met in show business - with a overriding, sincere sense of Midwestern values and attitudes about the world, and his "place" in the Industry. ...and here's what I previously wrote about him:
Alan created that character, and wrote and produced the L.P. where Uncle Scrooge first appeared. Best known as Wilbur on "Mr. Ed", he's been a genuine Movie Star - and starred in his own radio show. I'm sincerely honored to be treated like a peer when we work together, which is fairly often (Adventures in Odyssey radio shows, and various Disney cartoons). Such grace and dignity emanate from this kind-hearted Giant of show business. I still well-up with emotion whenever I watch his deeply satisfying closing scene from George Pal’s "The Time Machine". ...And how lucky am I to have had the great privilege of discussing the film with him!
*correction: While his father hailed from Scotland, Alan Young was born in the north of England.
Granted, this is merely opinion, he is entitled to it, and I don't think any show from the Disney Afternoon is without its low points. Granted, too, if Phil Harris truly was up to the task, and Disney was amiss in hiring him (with all due respect to Ed Gilbert, who IMHO did a marvelous job, was a marvelous person and will be indeed missed), it's a shame Harris lost his chance, but it it isn't the case, it merely reflects Burton's personal bias against Gilbert and for Harris regarding the character of Baloo.
Either way, again, he isn't obligated
to like TaleSpin, and it is merely his personal two cents, after all, but I found his comment bear a (serious, non-immature-cartoon-attack-on-his-person-filled, thanks
) look-see all the same.