Today Disney unveiled our first look at our characters new look (which is actually pretty on-model and true to the original versions, just with a bit more stylized edge) and the current voice cast.
Ryan Potter, Scot Adsit, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph, and even Stan Lee are all returning to reprise their voices! Sadly Damon Wayans Jr. and TJ Miller, who are already pretty busy (and probably too expensive) won’t be returning. Wasabi will be voiced by Khary Payton, a casting decision I am content with because Payton is a fantastic actor and I know him from Teen Titans (as Cyborg). Fred I’m a little more concerned about because TJ Miller OWNED that role, and I don’t think replacing him is going to be easy. He’s going to be voiced by Brooks Wheelan, a comedian who was on SNL for a little bit. Beyond that I know nothing about him, so it’s hard to tell if he’ll be a good replacement or not. I just hope TJ Miller is genuinely unavailable, and not, say, prevented by DreamWorks under a clause to keep voicing for How To Train Your Dragon shows and not work for Disney. (Yes, this actually happened. Apparently, a clause in Eddie Murphy’s contract for Shrek 2 prevented him from voicing Mushu again. Jeffrey Katzenberg is a petty individual.)
There are going to be a lot of new characters, including Andrew Scott as the new main villain, Obake (which apparently means shapeshifter…ooh), Jenifer Lewis as a professor, Susan Sullivan as Fred’s mother, and a bunch of others. No word if the Callaghans will be returning at all (I feel like we should see Abigail at least once to know how she’s doing, what with her being in a coma and having her father become a villain and all), if Yama will come back, or if any of the deleted movie characters (like the Fujitas) or the characters from the original comic (like Marys Iosama, Hiro’s love interest) will show up. Maybe they will in later seasons, who knows? But I hope the cast will be very diverse (especially in Japanese characters). I would also like Tadashi to appear in flashbacks/be a major role in spirit.
The animation is looking nice so far. My only complaint is that the detail in Wasabi’s hair is lost in the new style. Also Honey Lemon’s colourings are different…we’ll see if that means anything.
But man, I was so happy to see these news. My fave characters are back and look amazing. And since the show is being handled by the creators of Kim Possible, you know it will be good. I want this show to be very popular so it will last awhile and spawn a healthy franchise (it doesn’t have to be as big as Frozen, but better than what we currently have). I can’t wait for more! 2017 cannot come soon enough!