Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast is out on DVD and Blu-Ray TODAY (3/3). We got a copy yesterday and my kids have watched it multiple times – even dad watched it with us and really loved the movie. It is funny and heartfelt and perfect for all ages. While we were in LA for the McFarland USA event, we were able to cover the in-home release of the Disney Tinkerbell movie and interview some amazing people. We have already shared our Interview with Director Steve Loter & Producer Michael Wigert and Story Artist Ryan Green & Animation Supervisor Mike Greenholt. Today we get to share with you our amazing Ginnifer Goodwin interview. She did the voice of Fawn in the movie!
I was blessed enough to be able to ask several questions during the interview so I am going to be marking those so you know it was me 🙂
Q : How do you prepare differently for a voice acting role vs. something either in Film or Television?
GG : Oh my Gosh, well this was on the job training. I was completely unaware when I signed on it was gonna be so completely different. I did a little bit of voice work before, nothing major. I worked on this Film for 3 years and so other things came along, along the way. But it’s entirely different cause I didn’t realize until I was doing it how much I control myself when I’m doing on Camera work. I can rely by the blink of an eye literally to express something especially if it’s gonna be in Film my face is gonna be the size of a School Bus. [LAUGHTER]
Suddenly, to have a project where I was relying solely on my voice, not having any idea what the animation was gonna look like, was really, really challenging. I had to liberate myself. I had to find a way to let go of everything physically and find a grounded real connected place from which to be larger than life. There’s a lot of things about my own voice that I always thought were very overly animated but I found out when my voice was actually animated that I can seem a bit dull and monotone and nasal, and there’s all kinds of like harsh judgments I could give myself. In redoing the first couple of passes that we made for the Movie I found that there was a way to find Fawn’s very expressive voice when I could let go of everything physically.
Q : There was a lot of emotion at the end of the Movie. How did you handle that?
GG : You know, every time I read the script, I cried my eyes out. Every time we recorded it, I cried my eyes out every time I’ve seen it. At first I did react to it because I had a personal experience, it’s a horrible story. I had dog that was accidentally put to sleep by a Vet. No joke. There was a lawsuit. It was crazy. Literally they accidentally put my dog, my completely healthy dog to sleep. In the beginning when we started recording, it kept triggering that of course because Fawns being given an opportunity to say Goodbye. But then as I played Fawn for 3 subsequent years, it did just start becoming about the scene itself and about Fawn’s relationship to Gruff. I’ve never had a problem being emotional. Everything didn’t actually come. I actually think that the sound recording they used was one of the earlier part, at least part of the scene was from one of the earlier versions of the Movie that we recorded when they were like, we’re not gonna make you do this again. But I kept doing it anyway and they would use different bits and pieces but I think the one that they used was actually an earlier one. But anyways yeah, no it wasn’t too difficult. The story is written so gorgeously.
Q : The Characters who play always seem to find the good in people and that was definitely the message here. Is that something inherent in your personality?
GG : Oh 100% and I think that’s why I get cast the way I do. I find Voice Over Acting very difficult, and I would like to just do this from now on if I could. I think it’s the most exciting challenge. But I do think that I’m certainly cast for being me, absolutely.
Q : Were you familiar with the whole Disney Fairies world going into this, like the whole lore?
GG : I’m a Disneyphile. I don’t know if that’s a word, it is now. I’m a Disneyphile and always wanted to do this. This to me was the pinnacle. I just always wanted to voice Animated Features for Disney. I was familiar with the franchise. I hadn’t seen all the Movies and then like ripped through them when I got the role. I find them to be like these particular Movies, I’m shocked in the States are straight to Video. I think they’re excellent. This particular Movie certainly appeals to both Genders.
They’re just so well done, the stories are so well told. The Characters are flawed. The Morals are evolved. They’re definitely messages I would want taught to my Children. So yes, I was familiar with them, but I can say I was familiar before and now I’m a Fan.
Q : You mentioned that you always wanted to do a voice for Disney. Do you have an idea of what Character you would like to portray?
GG : I don’t care. I would play a Mouse in the background of a scene and be happy. And anything they want to give me. I believe and this is not my toeing the Company. I believe that Disney tells stories in the best way. I don’t think there are better Storytellers than the ones in this particular Company. And so I would play any role for Disney and be happy, which I told them repeatedly. I would love to share my Acting future at Disney.
Q : What do your kids think about you being in this Movie?
GG : I have a little boy who has never seen a Screen in his life. He’s very young so I’m not sure if he would understand what a Movie was and he won’t be exposed to this Medium until he’s a little bit older. But he’s super, super, super imaginative and he is almost 9 months old. He reads books, and I’ve never heard of anything like it. He crawls over his toys to pull his books out of his bookshelf and like opens them, like gets on his elbows, and opens them. And like stares at pages and flips them and when we read to him, he kicks his feet and he goes Rrrr.
We do have Disney Storybooks to help him with this particular world of storytelling so that he has that kind of introduction before he meets the Character and animate Characters in animated form. I can tell you that he has this thing for “Finding Nemo” that blows my mind. He has no reference. It’s not like he’s relating to the Movie. It’s that he has the book and he likes the colors. So he doesn’t let go of his Nemo Bath toy.
Is there a book version of this yet? Yes of this, of “Neverbeast.” [AUDIENCE YELLS YES] That’s gonna happen tomorrow. [LAUGHTER] That’s gonna happen tomorrow. He’ll love it. He’ll love Gruff, especially because my husband does voices for all the books, all the Book Reading. And now we just have trigger words too, cause like he’ll like sound effects from books. For a long time I’d do like Boom for things. And now it’s so funny. I don’t have to be doing anything and I can just be like Hey Oliver, Boom, and he’ll just die out laughing. It’s awesome.
Q : So what was more challenging for you on this Movie?
GG : The most challenging part of it? Just learning how to Act all over again. I just couldn’t rely on anything that I’ve relied on before. So learning how to Act just using my voice was very, very, very difficult. I would have fired me if [LAUGHTER] if I had only had the first couple of passes at the Movie that we first did. But they were kind enough to let me try different things over and over again until we found her and now I’m very proud of it. But in the beginning I sucked. [LAUGHTER]
Q : What was your favorite part of the Film?
GG : I liked that last scene. I mean the most fun I had was probably the Animal noises scene just cause it was so out of my wheelhouse. I was like studying You Tube Videos trying to learn different Animals. And sometimes, they had a list of noises to try. The only Animal noise I could make is that Monkey. There were these Monkeys that had been at the Memphis Zoo that my Sister grew up emulating and that became like the Climax Animal of that scene which ended up being fun but they were difficult. How do you make an Elephant trumpeting his trunk? How do you make that noise? And I’m a terrible growler and howler, so that was a good day. But I think my favorite scene is the last scene just cause to me it’s the most powerful and it’s an unexpected ending for a Film of this nature.
Q : Do you have any pets?
GG : I do. I’ve had everything under the sun. Literally. I had some Hermit Crabs named Romeo and Juliet. And they smelled really bad. I’ve had Guinea Pigs and Hamsters and Gerbils and every kind of furred animal, and every kind of Fish and Dogs, Cats. I was raised going to my Grandmother’s farm all the time and we had Pet Roosters and Miniature Horses and Goats and everything.
I now just have one Cat because we live in a tiny Apartment in Vancouver and I frankly felt that with a baby that we were being kind of cruel to these Cats, like they’re not getting the attention that they needed. Two of my three cats now have homes with the Children of friends of mine. So we can keep tabs on them but they also are being raised around young people and can play, but I did keep one selfishly.
Q : Any future projects that you’re really interested in trying or anything coming down the path for you?
GG : I’d like to do more Animation. I love making TV. People ask me a lot about TV vs. Movies. And as far as Live Action goes, I do prefer a TV life and playing a Character for a long period of time and growing and changing with her. And I also think that outside of Animation really TV is the only place where people are taking risks. Animation clearly being the Film version of that where you can have a world with new rules. Right now honestly, I want to be with my kid and so I’ve had to have big heart to hearts with my Representatives telling them please don’t hate me, I don’t want to work on my Once Upon a Time hiatuses for the near future because I’m in my late ’30s and I’m not gonna get this time back. And so right now, it’s all about Mommy and Me classes.
Q : Was this your first Voice Acting role that you’ve had?
GG : I’ve done some other things. I’ve done a bunch of Robot Chicken. My Sister’s an Animator and she called me one Christmas and she said, I have a Christmas Present. We’re Jewish but she’s like I have a Christmas Present for you. And I was like, what is it? She’s like, are you sitting down? I said Yes. I got you a Voice over job.
The last Voice Over job audition I’d had was for a Series I don’t think ever came out that was playing Ninja Rabbit, and at the time, the Casting Director said to me, can you sound more like Ninja? And at the audition I said, I’m so sorry, I don’t really have a frame of reference for a Ninja. Can you tell me what they sound like? She’s like you know, just like a Ninja, but like a Ninja that’s also a Rabbit. [LAUGHTER] So I thought for sure I was never gonna get a voice over job because I literally said, I’m so sorry. I am without any standard of comparison. I can just do different voices and you can tell me if that sounds like maybe it would fit.
So things weren’t really working out in that area and my Sister got me this job, like blatantly went to her Boss and was like, my Sister’s this Actress and she’d like to try this out. And so they started hiring me to do a bunch of their Characters which was great fun.
I did a Spongebob Square Pants, which was awesome. I was a Mermaid from the Valley. And then I taught them about shopping at the Mall. I did a Sophia the First, which was great fun and I got to sing which I really, really had always wanted. I’m not a great Singer but I don’t really care. I know I’m not great. My Father was a Musician in a Recording Studio and I know that there are buttons on a Console to make you sound better. And so [LAUGHTER] That’s how I presented it. I had been auditioning Disney Animated Musicals since I moved here in 2003 and I kept saying to them I know there’s a button, I know there’s a button. And finally they let me use that button so I got to do that and I got to use that button again to do.
There’s a Feature on “Neverbeast” in which Fawn teaches everyone about the names of Animal groupings and that’s all Musical style. So that was great fun. Singing for Disney, that’s living the dream if you have the button. [LAUGHTER]
Q : When you were in the room recording, were you pretty animated with your actions?
GG : Um, that is actually the only time I think that I get like really, really, really scared is probably singing in front of people so I think it was, if by animated you mean, was I shaking, yes.
Q : What about when you were doing the voices part for the Film?
GG : Oh yes, I was all over the place. It was climbing up the walls. I’m sure I’m Off Camera most of the time because I’m really running around the room. I was pregnant for a couple of sessions and I was told by my Doctor I had to get off my feet and they offered to postpone recording but I really wanted to do it so they said Oh, we got something great. We got something great. And I’m OK. And we go in a Recording Booth and they’ve set me up in a bed in the Recording Booth and it’s covered in like Disney Stuffed Animals. And I got to record lying down with Disney Stuffed Animals for a couple of sessions and that was so good.
We wanted to know if she took a Selfie. Here is what she said “Yes I did somewhere. I did. I made them take photos when I was like a Photo Shoot of just the bed cause this is the greatest. It’s like me with my bowl of Candy and I can get used to this.”
Q : Did you give you a lot more liberty with the script, like did they let you Improv at all?
GG : They ask you to for sure. I’ve of the school that it is my job to make the words work so I’m not good at Improv and I’m not confident at Improv so besides like offering up the Monkey sounds…
I love that you did that. It’s so funny.
GG : Yeah. I really stick to the script. I think that too much Improv, unless you’re someone like– I mean there’s clearly people who are genius at that, and it’s an Art. But I think that sometimes with some of us, who aren’t as genius at it, when we start Improv-ing, our Characters becomes just us. And that’s boring so I just think it’s my job to make the words work.
Q : What’s your favorite Disney Movie?
GG : I got in so much trouble cause recently I was asked about my favorite Princess Movie and I was thinking that no one wanted to hear me talk about Snow White anymore so I said “Beauty and the Beast” and you know, poop hit the fan. But I’m gonna say it is “Tinkerball and Legend of the Neverbeast.”
lol – Good Answer Ginnifer! 🙂
This was such a fun experience. I love watching her on TV and she is just as amazing and animated in real life. I wish we would have had more time. Your family will love the movie and the characters. We have a few of the toys and animals from the film and my kids haven’t stopped playing with them. They even sleep with them lol.
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This was an all expense paid trip provided by Disney. All opinions expressed are my own.