Alexander Gould's parents have some very special keepsakes of the actor's childhood. Whenever they want to hear what their now 18-year-old son sounded like when he was 7 or 8, all they have to do is pick up one of the many toys that feature his voice.
He's the voice of the tiny clownfish Nemo in the Disney animated movie "Finding Nemo." A 3-D version is being released today in theaters.
Gould spent two years in and out of recording studios when the movie was being made for its original release in 2003.
"I remember bits and pieces of the recording sessions," says a much deeper-voiced Gould. "I never got the chance to work with the other actors and really didn't meet them until we were doing press for the movie.
"But the director and producer were incredible to work with."
Those recording sessions were done at the Pixar studio located in the Bay Area. Gould vividly remembers visiting the studio, which was laid out to look like a mix of college campus and amusement park.
Recording sessions were new for Gould but the acting part was familiar. The Los Angeles native was only 2 when he landed his first role in the TV series "Bailey Kipper's P.O.V." and had been on a dozen other TV shows -- from "Ally McBeal" to "Boomtown" -- before landing work in "Finding Nemo."
Being the voice of Nemo isn't Gould's only venture into the animated animal kingdom. He was also the voice of Bambi in the 2006 direct-to-video release "Bambi II."
Gould can thank his parents for him getting started in show business at such an early age. His mother, who did some commercial work when Gould was young, was told by friends that her cute son should be in commercials.
He's been working steadily for 16 years, including the role of Shane Botwin on the Showtime series "Weeds."
Now that the series has ended, Gould's taking a break and will begin looking into other TV roles in 2013. He's also looking at the possibility of going to college. "I'm not quite sure where I'm headed," Gould says.
But he knows where he's been. And should he forget, his family has boxes of "Finding Nemo" merchandise to remind him. He figures that one day, a lot of that merchandise will look good displayed on a shelf.
The one thing you probably won't find displayed in his home is an aquarium. "The message of 'Finding Nemo' is that fish don't like being in tanks," Gould says.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, email@example.com
or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.