April 6-7, 2024
With a powerful and instantly recognisable voice like his, you’d think Dan Green (Yu-Gi-Oh!, Sonic X, Viva Pinata) was always destined to go into voice acting, but his jump into cartoon and anime dubbing actually came quite by accident.
“It’s an example of that old saying, ‘[It’s not what you know], it’s who you know,’ right?” Green begins.
“I was lucky that my friend from school got into dubbing and asked me if I wanted to be a background voice in a show. That was all luck. You can’t make luck happen, but you wanna be prepared for if it does.”
One of Green’s earliest roles was as the legendary Pokémon Entei from the third theatrical Pokémon film, and he also snagged that role with a good amount of luck.
“I happened to be doing a show in the same studio that Pokémon was using for their actors, and I guess one of the producers heard my voice, and that helped to get me an audition,” he tells.
“When I did the character of Entei from the third Pokémon movie, that was exciting because it was a movie, it was actually in theatres, and I’d never had that experience before, but also the character itself has a really interesting role to play in what I thought was a really interesting story.”
Describing that as his favourite role to-date, Green said he found the idea of Molly, the little girl in the film with a mostly absent dad, viewing Entei as a surrogate father to be a very human relationship that we can all understand. In his words, the film’s themes had a “universal appeal.”
As far as favourite characters go, Yugi Mutou is a close second for Green.
“Playing Yugi and Yami Yugi, or Atem, the Pharaoh, that is always going to be a hugely relevant experience in my life,” Green says.
“Doing the work was fun, it was a great span of several years, and getting to know these people, many of whom are lifelong friends of mine now, it was a very rewarding process, and it would be rewarding even if I didn’t have fans, that would have still been a great experience, creatively.”
Green’s third favourite may seem a very left-field choice at first.
“There was an anime, Samurai Deeper Kyo, and I got, again, to portray two characters in that, and that was the first series I got to do the directing, as well as adapting the scripts, and that was a rewarding process as well,” he says.
All three of his favourites are split-personality, dual-role characters – Entei is just Professor Hale as a Pokémon, The Pharaoh lives inside Yugi’s body, and Demon Eyes Kyo is the scarier Kyoshiro Mibu.
It was during his time on Yu-Gi-Oh! that Green developed a close friendship with fellow voice actor and Supa-Star, Eric Stuart, who you may know as Brock from Pokémon and Yugi’s eternal rival, Seto Kaiba. Stuart also directed the dub for the first two seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh!, which is how they first met. Soon they realised they had more in common than just working on anime together.
“I like gaming, so does Eric; so do a bunch of our friends from that crew – actors and engineers that were working on those [4Kids] shows, and that was back when online gaming was a new thing, so we’d get Call of Duty and play as a team.”
Dan Green will appear at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Perth (29-30 June).
Lead image: Dan Green at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Sydney. Pic by Ewan Ly.