Voice artist Greg Berg talks with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.com about his work on the original Turtles animated series of the ’80s
TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles.com: How did the opportunity to voice for the original Turtles animated series come to you?
BERG: I was doing the voices of “Baby Fozzie” and “Baby Scooter” on The Muppet Babies [1984-91] and it was when the Turtles animated series had really started to take off. The word was out that they were looking for voice actors. I didn’t think that I was up for the Turtles series because all of the voice characters that I had done up until then were these cute and cuddly characters. Barry Gordon was the actor who voiced “Donatello” on the original Turtles animated series. He had a previous obligation that took him away from the Turtles for many weeks and when the word got out that they were looking for a voice actor that could match what Barry had already been doing for Donatello without disrupting the show, I went in and meet with the casting director and I was hired. I only worked on seven episodes of the Turtles animated series and there were over two hundred episodes shot.
The Turtles have been around for over thirty years….Is it surprising that we’re still talking about the Turtles animated series all of these years later?
BERG: It is. I worked on the Turtles back in 1991. It’s great to meet Turtles fans at the conventions I travel to. I’m so glad that the Turtles fans have keep the interest alive all of these years later.
What are your thoughts on the new Michael Bay produced Turtles movie that’s coming out later this year?
BERG: I haven’t even seen the trailer yet! So I can’t give you my thoughts on it. I’ve heard that the Turtles look different than how they looked on the animated series. I’ve heard that the Turtles look like football players. Every time they’ve released something new with the Turtles, they’ve almost always looked different. I get mail from Turtles fans all the time where they send me pictures of Donatello from the other Turtles shows that have come to television over the years and even though it’s not the Donatello that I voiced I still sign them because Donatello means so much to Turtles fans.
What do you think it is about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that has captivated so many of us over these last thirty years?
BERG: I think it hit at just the right time on television. It was made for comic book fans and it was different for Saturday Morning for the time. The Turtles were fighting crime and on television you had cartoons like Jem[1985-88] and Yogi Bear [1961-88]. There wasn’t anything on telelvision like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when the animated series first hit the airwaves. Plus, I think that in that time, young kids were also growing up watching things with Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee and I think that carried over and stayed with kids as they grew up.