The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Rebecca Miller Asherie

Heavenly Voices and Bestial Bodies: Issues of Performance and Representation in Celebrity Voice-Acting

popularization of celebrity voice-acting over the past two decades marks the intersection of two prominent figures in contemporary American culture, namely the celebrity and the animated animal. This paper reflects upon the performative and representational implications of celebrity voice-acting and explores how this phenomenon allows celebrities and their animated animal counterparts to engage in a symbiotic relationship which liberates the star from the constant scrutiny of extra-textual media representations of his or her body while simultaneously endowing the animated animal with an authoritative and politically-viable vocal endorsement.

Biographical statement:
Rebecca Miller Asherie is a doctoral candidate in the Cinema Studies department at New York University. She holds an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU and a B.A. in Linguistics and Italian from McGill University in Montreal. She is currently conducting research for a dissertation on the cultural history of the figure of the animated animal in American cinema, including issues of aesthetics, performance and representation of animals since the inception of animated film.