In August of 2021, I sat down to chat with Kaitlyn Robrock, the voice of Minnie Mouse for many of Disney’s shows and movies! And to celebrate the release of the new short film MICKEY SAVES CHRISTMAS this weekend, we had the opportunity to talk again about her Disney story! Keep reading for the full conversation:
CORBAN: It was so great to chat last summer about THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MICKEY MOUSE! What have you been up to since then?
KAITLYN: There’s been some fun projects that have come out since our last chat, including the previous WONDERFUL WORLD OF MICKEY MOUSE specials of season 2 – THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF MICKEY MOUSE, THE WONDERFUL SPRING OF MICKEY MOUSE, and THE WONDERFUL SUMMER OF MICKEY MOUSE! I’ve also had the great honor of completing my role as Felicia Sundew in Disney Channel’s AMPHIBIA, done some dabbling of voices in THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, Marvel’s WHAT IF?, and the I AM GROOT shorts, and have some truly delightful stuff on soon-to-be released projects.
CORBAN: Oh wow, I had no idea you were involved in those projects! How does the recording or preparation process look different when working with different studios (like Marvel, Lucasfilm, or Disney Channel)?
KAITLYN: With my animated shows, the structure is very clear where actors often go into their sessions alone with a vocal director, an engineer, the creator of the show, and often the script writer of the episode. We all work together to bring the episode to life, adapting here and there, and finding the spark. For those other projects, they were part of the ADR/looping world, where we go in after the main dialogue is completed and most of the animation or filming has completed, to add background vocals and sounds to the ambiance. Anytime there’s a crowd scene or background actors in a shot, it’s our job to give them a natural voice to meld into the world along the stars – not to stand out, but to prevent silence from standing out. You’d notice if there was nothing being said or murmured in a restaurant more so than an intimate moment in a park with people in the far distance. I absolutely love doing it.
CORBAN: My favorite aspects about holding these interviews are getting to learn about your passions and exploring the teams involved in creating a new Disney+ project, so needless to say I’m excited for the MICKEY SAVES CHRISTMAS short film. What can fans expect with this festive new tale?
KAITLYN: Our new story for MICKEY SAVES CHRISTMAS really harkens back to those fantastic Christmas specials that Rankin-Bass had always done with their stop motion teams. A sweet little story about being there for your friends and family during one of the most treasured times of the year. It’s something we hope will be a holiday tradition for people all over the world every year!
CORBAN: Rankin-Bass films like RUDOLPH and SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN fill homes every year, and I’m convinced that MICKEY SAVES CHRISTMAS will become an instant classic. What does a “day in the life” look like when working on a project like MICKEY SAVES CHRISTMAS?
KAITLYN: When creating a special like this, we always start with the dialogue to give the story structure, and then follow up with songs, so it can allow our stop motion animators to focus on any nuances. It takes time and patience and a lot of love when working with that medium, so I’m very excited to see the outcome of all their hard work!
CORBAN: I love seeing the collaborative process that goes into making a new film project. When we talked last July, we focused on your relationship with the late Russi Taylor, who you described as one of your personal heroes. What would you say to aspiring voice actors who look up to your work?
KAITLYN: To those future voice actors out there, the biggest bits of advice I could give now would be to be prepared for a lot of time and patience and investment into this craft. There’s no deadline, there’s no set of rules for how it’s supposed to be, but in my opinion, you should be loving the journey just as much as the destination. The training, the classes and workshops, the creation of demos, the network connections you make with your peers and agents, being prepared and knowing that while 99.9% of your auditions will be rejected, we do this because of the love of the craft. It is meant to give your heart purpose in the act of acting and giving to others something worth evoking emotion. I am looking into doing coaching for up-and-coming voice actors, or even seasoned professionals in the business if they so choose, so hopefully I can give to others what I have been given in my own course!
CORBAN: That’s some great advice! And it’s awesome to hear you’ll be coaching the next generation of voice actors. How do you see the world of voice acting changing in the next few years?
KAITLYN: The lockdown and the pandemic have really shifted the gears of voice over, especially since during that time we had to learn how to record from home and learn quick. Animations was the one of the only mediums of the entertainment world that was able to continue during such a tumultuous time, and much of it is still happening remotely as we go back into the studios. That allowance of remote recording and remote learning for actors has allowed more and more people all around the country to be able to jump into the world of voice over. Anyone can try! It still takes a lot of drive, passion, patience, and investment to succeed though, so who knows where the next great talents will come from. Only time will tell.
CORBAN: I’m excited to follow along with your upcoming projects and looking forward to what’s next for the voice acting world. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us!
And, to the reader, you can check out MICKEY SAVES CHRISTMAS on Disney+ in the United States on Monday, November 29th.