While I was in Los Angeles for the Zootopia Bluray press day, I had the opportunity to sit down not only with Raymond Persi, the voice behind Flash from Zootopia, but with Flash himself! What a fun (albeit SLOW) experience! Zootopia is coming to DVD/Bluray/Digital this week (June 7)! My travel, accommodations, and activities were provided by Disney, but all thoughts are my own. Affiliate links are used in this post.
If you had the chance to sit down with Flash (ie, the fastest sloth at Zootopia’s DMV, of course), what would you ask him? I admit I was a little out of my comfort zone when I sat down with Flash to interview him on camera last month, but it was an experience I wouldn’t have traded for anything. I mean…it was Flash. He clearly stole the show with his winning personality (how can you not smile when Flash speaks?).
See what Flash from Zootopia had to say about teenage drivers (I’m sure he has seen a lot of them at the DMV):
We also had the chance to chat with Raymond Persi, the voice behind Flash, as well as a story artist for Zootopia. Before coming to work with Disney, Raymond was a director on The Simpsons. Director Rich Moore asked him to be one of the story artists on Wreck It Ralph several years ago, and he has since worked on Frozen and the shorts Get a Horse and Feast.
He described to us how he landed the job of voicing Flash: “A lot of times when we are creating our rough versions of the films, we don’t really know who’s going to be cast yet. We don’t even know if characters are going to stay in the film. They’ll bring in a lot of artists and other people to come in the recording room. So, you might be at your desk working, and all of a sudden, (they want you to) be a gorilla now. Every now and then they like what the voice sounds like and they’ll stick it in there. In my particular case, I got to be that little annoying brat Gene from Wreck It Ralph and then the zombie from Wreck It Ralph and then in Get a Horse I was another little annoying character, the horn…”
He continued, “And then for Frozen, I just had one little line in there, but the guy talking, his wife calls after him and she says, ‘Faster, Persi!” so they used my last name which is a fun little treat for me.”
And then came Flash. “When you’re asked to do a sloth, what’s your first instinct? You think, I’m going to talk slowly, but Rich Moore and Head of Story, Jim Reardon, had a different idea. They wanted him to speak normally, but with just a lot of pauses in between, so that was fun. I sat down and we recorded scratch for half an hour or so and then I guess my voice sounded stupid enough because they kept it in.”
I wouldn’t say stupid enough. I think he was absolutely perfect as Flash!
Raymond’s role as Flash has extended beyond the workplace, although he has been afraid to use Flash’s voice around friends for fear that they’d hit him. Ha! He said, “For the first time, I think my mother understands what I do for a living. And my nephews and my nieces, they like (the fact that I am Flash). What’s great (is that) they’re really hyper, but when I go there, they want to walk really slowly. It’s a great game for me because then I don’t get tired.”
Flash’s DMV scene is still one of my favorite parts of Zootopia! I can’t wait to see which roles Raymond will end up playing in the next Disney animated films. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from him!
Zootopia is coming to Disney DVD, Bluray, and Digital download on June 7, 2016. Order it now!
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