Tara Strong reprises role as Bubbles for re-imagined 'Powerpuff Girls' on Cartoon Network

The Fresno BeeJanuary 19, 2014 

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"The Powerpuff Girls: Dance Pantsed" is a re-imagined computer-generated special based on the popular Cartoon Network series of 1998-2005. It features the vocal work of Tara Strong, who re-creates "Bubbles."

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Voice actor Tara Strong has a staggering 372 film, video game and TV credits.

Even June Foray, considered the top female voice talent ever, has amassed 281 credits in a career that started in the 1940s.

Without Strong, the likes of Harley Quinn from "Batman: Arkham," Raven from "Teen Titans," Dil Pickles from "Rugrats," Timmy Turner from "The Fairly OddParents," Twilight Sparkle from "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" and a legion of other animated characters would have nothing to say.

With that much talking going on, it's impossible for Strong to remember every time she stepped in front of a microphone. But there's one voice that she'll never forget -- mainly because the fans won't let her -- Bubbles, the cute and sensitive member of "The Powerpuff Girls."

She did most of her voice work for Bubbles when the series aired from 1998-2005 on Cartoon Network. Strong returns to the role for the re-imagined computer-generated special "Dance Pantsed" that debuts tonight. Along with Strong, the special features the original voice cast of Catherine Cavadini as Blossom, E.G. Daily as Buttercup, Roger L. Jackson as Mojo Jojo, Tom Kane as The Professor and Tom Kenny as The Mayor.

The special also includes a guest appearance by Ringo Starr, who not only gives voice to Fibonacci Sequins, Townsville's most famous flamboyant mathematician, but also performs the original song "I Wish I Was A Powerpuff Girl."

The show follows Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, three girls with superpowers. Along with Professor Utonium, the scientist who brought them to life, the three live in and fight criminals in Townsville.

It's been several years since Strong had to speak for Bubbles, but she had no problem reprising the voice.

"Bubbles has really never gone away. It's the most asked voice that people want me to do. And, Bubbles even comes out in my real life," Strong says. "I will use that voice when I'm arguing with my husband. There's no way he can win a fight when I talk like Bubbles."

The only way Strong's been able to amass such a huge list of credits -- by the age of 40 -- is to often do voices for eight to 10 projects at a time.

Voice actors are often given a sketch of the character and part of the script when they audition. For Strong, that means starting from the point she thinks the producers and animators had in mind and then adjusting the voice if necessary. Not with Bubbles. Strong recalls how stunned creator Craig McCracken was when she did the voice the first time, she nailed it so perfectly.

Going back into the recording studio to work with the other "Powerpuff Girls" actors was a breeze for Strong. Some of the voice talents had worked with other cast members over the years, but this was the first time they were all together again. It felt like no time had passed.

Strong's become one of the top voice talents despite wanting a more traditional on-screen career. Soon after persuading her parents to get her an agent while she was in the seventh-grade, the Toronto native went to an audition for the animated show "Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater." It wasn't until Strong landed the role of Hello Kitty that she realized a career as a voice talent was possible.

Strong's only regret about voice work is that she got started too late.

"I would have loved to have been working when they started 'The Simpsons.' Those people made some serious money," Strong says.

 SHOW INFO

“The Powerpuff Girls: Dance Pantsed,”

 7:30 p.m. today, Cartoon Network

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.

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