Saturday, 22 November 2014

Dr. Mallard and Mr. Tentacles: A Tribute to Eberhard Prueter and Rokuro Naya

On the 30th of October, 2014, I found that one of my favourite voice actors, Eberhard Prueter, had died two days prior. It was really a shock; he had so much energy in his performance and it was sad that I never got to meet him, whether I spoke German or not.
He was best known for voicing my all-time favourite cartoon character, Squidward Tentacles, in the German dub of Spongebob Squarepants. He had a voice and performance style like no other. He brought so much energy and feeling to Squidward, as well as capturing that dry wit that made him by far the funniest character on the show. He had this way of finding the emotional centre of a line and hitting it right on the mark. It's like he really thought about Squid's thought process and drove it home. I daresay he was second only to Rodger Bumpass.
It was shocking that he died only at the age of 69, but the cause of death is really none of my business.
What matters is that he's gone and I will remember him forever.
His other roles included Yajirobe from Dragon Ball Z, Vulture from Spectacular Spider-Man, Zazu from The Lion King, and the other character in this title, Dr. Donald 'Ducky' Mallard from NCIS.
As Ducky, he was good but miscast. Not much else to say about his performance. It was cool he got to play him, though.

About a month later, I learned of the death of Squidward's Japanese voice actor, Rokuro Naya. He was 82 and had succumbed to pneumonia.
Like Prueter, Naya had a very distinctive voice, even though his performance style was nothing unique to his country. He wasn't exactly as good as Squid as Prueter was, but he was perfectly cast, given that his nasal voice was his natural speaking voice. Sadly I only managed to hear a little bit of Naya's performance, but I enjoyed it all the same.
He was best known for villainous roles in Shonen anime, including Shinobu Senusi in Yu Yu Hakusho and Aquarius Camus in Saint Seiya, although he was also known for voicing Sir Topham Hatt in Thomas the Tank Engine, a role he took over from the same guy who was Kami in the Dragon Ball franchise.
Coincidentally he was also Ducky in NCIS. It's weird that two voice actors who share the same two characters are lost in the same year, but it's nothing to think too hard about.
Unfortunately I never got to hear Naya as Ducky, but I'm sure he wasn't exactly perfectly cast either.

In conclusion, I'm going to miss both these guys. They were both really talented and brought something very special with their distinctive voices.

I made pictures for both of them the day I found out about what happened to them.

This one was done in memory of Prueter. I was in the library and I had time to do a quick painting in his memory so I worked intensely on it.

This one was done for Naya. It looks sloppy because I forgot my Bamboo stylus which I had left back at home in London, and I was in the University animation studio room uploading all my artwork when I found out the news, so I quickly sketched this out on Photoshop. There were also people waiting for me to get off the computer so that's why I didn't go into detail or clean up the drawing.
I chose a facepalm because I figured that's all Squid had energy for after crying over Prueter. Also it's pretty much what I felt like doing.