“In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.”
Yep, that was Corey Burton, and you have heard his voice a lot more than you realise!
Corey Burton began his career at age 17 under the name of Corey Weinman with an imitation performance of voice actor Hans Conried for Disney. He studied radio acting with Daws Butler (Time for Beany, Merrie Melodies, Yogi Bear) for four years and went on to work with nearly all of the original Hollywood radio actors in classic style radio dramas.
Burton is perhaps best known to Disney fans for his imitation of the late voice actor Paul Frees as the Ghost Host in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction. Burton also recited the classic line “Welcome, foolish mortals” in the opening of the film version of The Haunted Mansion.
Burton was also approached to record a new safety spiel for the beginning of the original Haunted Mansion ride. He declined and the spiel was instead recorded by voice actor Joe Leahy.
Burton provides many others Paul Frees-like voices for Disneyland Park, including several newer pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction (like the “Pooped Pirate” and the pirate voice that guides you on and off the boat), Grumpy on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction, and almost every voice in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Burton performed another Frees imitation for comedian Stan Freberg’s album Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America, Volume Two. He also impersonated Frees as the voice of the alien foreheads in Larry Blamire’s period science fiction spoof Trail of the Screaming Forehead. Burton performed a Frees imitation as the voice of the announcer in the 1999 film Dudley Do-Right.
In the 60th Anniversary Edition and the 2010 special edition of Disney’s Fantasia, Corey Burton voiced all of Deems Taylor’s voice-over work. The original audio elements for Deems Taylor’s commentaries were getting deteriorated that they couldn’t use them anymore. Disney decided to have Corey Burton re-record all of Deems Taylor’s commentaries for consistency.
Burton appeared as Shockwave, Sunstreaker, Brawn and Spike Witwicky in the 1984-87 Transformers cartoon series by Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions. He later appeared as Megatron, Ratchet, Ironhide, Brawn, Cyrus “The Colossus” Rhodes, Spike Witwicky and Longarm Prime/Shockwave in the Transformers Animated series by Cartoon Network.
Burton stated in an interview that Shockwave was by far his favorite character to perform in the original show. However, he turned down the offer to reprise the role in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, so the part was given to Frank Welker.
Burton is also known to fans as the audio double for Christopher Lee: For Star Wars, he has voiced Count Dooku in Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and several Star Wars video games.
For the Kingdom Hearts series, he voiced Ansem the Wise/DiZ in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
Burton has portrayed Brainiac in the DC animated universe. He appeared as Brainiac in eight episodes of Superman: The Animated Series, two episodes of Justice League, two episodes of Static Shock, and five episodes of Justice League Unlimited. Although not set within the DCAU, he also voiced Brainiac in three episodes of Legion of Super Heroes and reprised his role in the online game DC Universe Online.
Where else have I heard that voice?
- The Scarecrow, The Russian and Ronald Marshall in Batman: Gotham Knight.
- V.V. Argost and Leonidas Van Rook in The Secret Saturdays.
- James Bond Jr. in the animated series of the same name.
- The Pupununu in Tak and the Power of Juju.
- Invisibo in Freakazoid!.
- Old Queeks in Mike, Lu & Og.
- Captain Marvel in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
- Red Tornado, Silver Cyclone, Doctor Mid-Nite, Doc Magnus, Mercury and Thomas Wayne in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
- Ziro the Hutt in the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars film and in the television series (2008-2014) Count Dooku and Cad Bane.
- Tomax in G.I. Joe.
- Goon, Kanawk and Tauron in Robotix.
- Law in G.I. Joe: Renegades.
- Brain, Dudley H. Dudley, Hamilton Hill, James Gordon, and Wizard in Young Justice.
- Burglar in The Powerpuff Girls episode “Burglar Alarmed”.
- Dash Whippet and additional voices for Pound Puppies, starting in season 2.
- Brainstorm, Malware and Mr. Baumann in Ben 10: Omniverse.
- Dracula in Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man.
- Ranger Smith in the Spümcø animated specials, Boo Boo Runs Wild and A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith.
- Various male characters on Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi.
- Burton played Starlab Controller Jerry Lyden in the syndicated radio drama series Alien Worlds.
- Burton has done work for the Universal Studios – Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida in addition to the Universal Studios Japan theme park.
- Burton does voice-overs for many commercials and promos; for instance, Burton’s voice is featured in some Old Navy commercials, a role he inherited after the death of Bill Wendell.
- He recently provided his voice for the Final Fantasy XII TV promo.
- In the WWE, Burton provided voice-overs for the WrestleMania XXV recap segments.
- Almost all character roles in the 1980 cult classic Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind.
- In the Critters film series, he provided the voices for the Krites, but he was only credited for the first one, and he also developed their language (as revealed on his website).
- The narwhal in the live action film Elf.
- The narrator for the video game Brütal Legend.
- Tromell Guado and Maester Kelk Ronso in the PlayStation 2 video game Final Fantasy X.
- Volteer the Electric Guardian Dragon, Exhumor and Mason in The Legend of Spyro trilogy.
- Zeus in the video game God of War II for the PlayStation 2, and God of War III for the PlayStation 3.
- Footman, Bricabrac, Goggles, Fluffy Show Announcer and WACME Quiz Master in the 1996 adventure game Toonstruck.
- Numerous supporting roles on Focus on the Family’s radio drama Adventures in Odyssey, voicing over 90 characters, most notably Jesus Christ, Walter Shakespeare, Cryin’ Bryan Dern, and The Great Wishy Woz.
- Doctor N. Gin and Doctor Nefarious Tropy in the GameCube and PlayStation video game Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex.
- Jack the animated pumpkin that narrates the haunted attraction The House at Haunted Hill.
- Hugo Strange in the video game Batman: Arkham City.
- John Grey (Jean Grey’s father) for two episodes of Wolverine and the X-Men.
- Sylvester McMonkey McBean and the Sneetches in Storybook Weaver.
- Sylvester McMonkey McBean and the Sneetches in Storybook Weaver Deluxe.
- Provided voice samples for some songs, most famously in DJ Hazard’s drum and bass track entitled ‘Machete’, he is also working with Australian producerShockOne to provide voice samples for his new album named ‘Universus’.
- Game Narrator for Disney Coaster.
- Announcer for the El Rey Network launched by Robert Rodriguez.