If you’re the parent of a young child, then chances are you’re probably already aware of the new animated show “Sofia The First,” on the Disney Channel. It follows young Sofia, an ordinary girl with a commoner’s background until her mom marries the King and suddenly becomes royalty.
The show stars several celebrity voices, including Ariel Winter, Wayne Brady, Sara Ramirez and Tim Gunn. It also stars some talented voice-over artists that aren’t so recognizable by name but have certainly built a reputation in the voice-over world. One such talent is Meghan Strange, who joins the show as the sassy songbird Robin.
Meghan has lent her voice to several well-known animated projects and is most recognized for the her role as the singing sidekick ‘Paw Pilot’ in the animated Disney Jr. series, “Special Agent Oso.” Her characters range from snarky to super-sweet, but her specialty is characters who are endearing, spunky, and even a little sassy. She first gained attention as the voice of ‘Ruby’ in Cartoon Network’s animated series “Land Before Time” and then went on to work on the English version of “Stitch!” as the beloved Penny (Piko).
I recently had a chance to catch up with Meghan to find out about her new role in “Sofia The First” and about working as a voice-over artist.
JM: Tell us a little about your role in the new Disney Jr. animated show “Sofia The First”.
MEGHAN: I play a sweet but sassy songbird named Robin, who helps guide and encourage little Sofia on her new adventures, along with Clover the bunny (voiced by Wayne Brady), Mia the Bluebird and Whatnaught the Squirrel.
JM: What’s the best part about working on an animated project? And, to counter that…what’s the hardest part?
MEGHAN: The best part of working on an animated project is that you don’t have to worry about how you look! No one minds if you’re having a bad hair day, which makes the work that much more liberating. The hardest part is being in the booth alone – without fellow cast-mates. Our voice director, Sam Riegel, does an excellent job of setting up scenes and “reading us in’ to help us feel the flow of the scene, however, because of my stage experience, I can’t help imagine how exciting it’d be if we all recorded together.
JM: Did you see a drawing of your character prior to starting on the project or did you have to simply visualize what Robin looked like? And, does that help or hinder your ability to voice the character?
MEGHAN: I was shown a drawing early on, and Craig Gerber (Sofia’s creator) and Jamie Mitchell (Exec. Producer) were very specific in terms of communicating how they imagined Robin – a little saucier than your average songbird. Seeing an image always helps tremendously in finding a character’s voice and essence. Their eyes and the shape of their mouth, the way they hold themselves – all of those things are great indicators of how a character sees the world and what the creators have in mind.
JM: You’re certainly no newcomer to the voice-over world having worked on “Special Agent Oso,” “Land Before Time,” and “Stitch!” What’s been your favorite character you’ve voice and why?
MEGHAN: It’s so hard to say. Working for Disney has been an absolute pleasure. Paw Pilot on “Special Agent Oso” was certainly a favorite because the entire team was terrific and we did record together. Also, I got to do lots of singing, and the music was fantastic. I also loved playing Penny on “Stitch!” because she’s a little bit of a departure for me since I tend to play sweet characters and Penny is far from sweet. That said – being a part of Sofia is super exciting. You can’t help fall in love with the show – I’m thrilled to be a part of it!
JM: Do you know what’s coming up next? And, how can our readers keep up with your career?
MEGHAN: Thankfully, there have been plenty of auditions so far this year, so hopefully I’ll have good news to report very soon. My website (www.meghanstrange.com) is the best way to get the news on what I’m up to – here’s hoping it’s a busy year!
With her talent, it’s a safe bet that Meghan Strange will be voicing another kid-favorite character again real soon.
Catch new episodes of “Sofia the First” every Friday at 9:30 am on Disney Channel and at 5:30 pm on Disney Junior.