• John Burghardt

“Why hire a voice over artist ?” Because…….. “They’re Grrrreat!’ (even if you're a Grinch!)

Watching cartoons on a Saturday morning was like a ritual for my brother and I. We had to be awake on time, plan, decide and compromise on which cartoons we would watch every weekend.


No beta!


And no twenty-four hour cable network showing cartoons in the 1970’s!

What a big deal it was for us kids to watch these shows to kickoff our weekend’s! It was also a big deal for companies to market the latest and greatest toys and breakfast cereal to us who were watching. As much as I loved sitting on the couch eating my Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes while watching my favorite shows, I looked forward to hearing Tony the Tiger say his iconic tag line, “They’re Grrrrreat!”

But who was the voice behind Tony the Tiger?

Thurl Ravenscroft was the booming voice behind Kelloogg’s Frosted Flakes animated character, Tony the Tiger, for fifty plus years.

His voice acting career began in 1940 and lasted until his death in 2005 at age 91.

He achieved early success as part of a singing group called The Mellomen; a group who can be heard on many popular recordings of the Big Band Era. Among the acts that The Mellomen supported were Bing Crosby, Frankie Laine, Spike Jones, Jo Stafford and Rosemary Clooney.

The Mellomen also contributed their voices to Disney films such as Alice in Wonderland and Lady and the Tramp.

And just to name a few, Thurl's big bass voice can be heard in several other Disney films such as "Monstro the Whale" in Pinocchi, "Billy Bass" in The Aristocats and "Captain the Horse" in One Hundred and One Dalmations. In addition to his film work with Disney, Thurl can be heard at the Disneyland theme park at attractions such as the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion.

Thurl was also a big part of the Christmas spirit for us kids! He can be heard crooning “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch!” for the classic Chuck Jones animated holiday special “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!” based on Dr. Seuss’ book. Working on this epic classic opened a door to other "Dr. Suess inspired", Chuck Jones masterpieces, such as Horton Hears a Who!, The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax.

Thank you Thurl Ravenscroft for being a part of my Saturday morning cartoons ritual and inspiring me to use my voice as an actor. Thank you for all the good you did for others!