Amanda Leighton always wondered what her bulldog, Watson, would sound like if he had a voice. She decided his voice would have a high-pitched sound.
The Clovis West graduate never anticipated giving her dog his own voice would help land the biggest job in her young acting career. Leighton is providing the voice of Blossom for the relaunch of the animated series, “The Powerpuff Girls,” created by Craig McCracken.
Leighton grew up a huge fan of the Emmy-winning animated series, which originally aired on the Cartoon Network from 1998-2005. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are three young girls who fight crime in Townsville.
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Cathy Cavadini provided the voice of Blossom in the original. Leighton knew she couldn’t stray too far from that voice work, but she wanted to bring her own touches.
“I love the original series, but as an actor I had to bring as much of myself to the role as possible. I remembered the voice I had given Watson and I used that, but went a lot higher-pitched,” Leighton says.
Leighton was cast along with Kristen Li (Bubbles) and Natalie Palamides (Buttercup) for the new series that debuts Monday, April 4, with back-to-back episodes. Starting 6 p.m. April 21, the series will begin airing in its normal time slot.
Her personality fits mine the best. We are both Type A and have a little attitude.
The adventures of the super trio, who can save the day and be home in time for bed, debuted at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. After the launch on Cartoon Network, the series will be released in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The original series generated more than $2.5 billion in merchandise sales. So, it makes sense that there will be a new line of products based on the new series that should hit stores later this year. The 20 licensing partners will produce toys, books, clothing and more.
Leighton, who took her first lessons at Alan Autry’s Dirt Road Productions when she was 10, has been acting steadily since moving to Los Angeles with roles in “Six Feet Under” (as a singing cactus), “Criminal Minds,” “90210,” “House,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Make It or Break It.” She appeared in national commercials for Plavix, Comcast and Meow Mix.
She always had an interest in voice work, but she got serious about it last year. The role in “The Powerpuff Girls” was the first voice role she landed.
“I have been having a blast,” Leighton says. “I liked the cartoon because it was a show about girl superheroes. They felt like they could do it all. It is easy to relate to them.”
Cartoon Network launched “Powerpuff Yourself,” a website where you can make your own character to share on social media.
For the show, the actors record each episode together, which allows Leighton to work with the other voice talents including veteran voice actors Tom Kenny and Roger Jackson, who speak for the Mayor and Mojo Jojo.
Leighton says she’s trying to learn as much as possible and “be a sponge.”
It has been an adjustment going from a traditional acting to a world where she uses her face, hands and body to accent the emotions she trying to impart. She bounces around the recording studio a lot when she’s working. She wore sweat pants to one recording session, but she stopped when she and the other actors started taking selfies after work.
Leighton plans to continue to go after on-screen work. She will be on the Fox series “Rosewood,” airing at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 6.
The Powerpuff Girls
- 6 p.m. Monday, April 4, Cartoon Network