The Battle of the Planets cast hard at work in Studio B of the Valentine Recording Studios. From left to right; Alan Dinehart, Casey Kasem, Janet Waldo, Alan Young and Keye Luke.


The voice recording for Battle of the Planets was accompished differently than most animated programs. At this late 1970s point in broadcast history there was not a lot of dubbing going on for television, especially for a weekday children's cartoon.

Most American animated productions record the voice tracks first, then move on to the actual animation. That way the images can be drawn to better reflect the inflections of the actors and more closely match their performances. But since most of the animation on Battle of the Planets was already completed, the voice actors found themselves having to work backwards. They had to follow strict timings for the footage they were dubbing.

An additional obstacle was the lack of videoscreens and timecodes to help guide the actors. They had to hit timing marks perfectly with their line readings with absolutely no visual reference at all. According to all the actors this was a difficult process to get used to at first, but they were able catch on quickly and work naturally with it by the end of the series.

The process went like this: The next episode of Gatchaman was chosen to produce and the film was delivered to Jameson Brewer's viewers. One of the viewers would then sit down and watch the episode on a Movieola. This process was important, since it was at this stage that the timings of all the action would be noted and rough dialogue would be timed out and added. After this initial script was created for Brewer, he would take a look through, add his own notes and send it back to another writer to finish up the dialogue. Brewer would then take a final pass to tighten things up and the strictly timed dubbing lines would be ready.

In addition to the dubbing lines, dialogue had to be created for characters like 7-Zark-7 and Susan. Immune to having to conform to rigid time limits, they were given blocks of dialogue with a rough time limit. They were able to speak more freely and be edited down later in the traditional manner. Once in a while, the American sequences featured new images of G-Force and of course those were all untimed. Only occasionally were regular character's lines from the original animation not timed, and usually those would consist of reaction noises and shots where the speaking character's mouth was not seen on camera.

There was not a lot of ad-libbing allowed with the production. The very nature of the strict line timings simply didn't allow for it. The actors were free to find their own readings and characterizations for the roles they played though, so that helped to give them more creative control over their own characters. Jameson Brewer and Alan Dinehart would also reportedly often incorporate ideas about dialogue changes from the actors.

The sessions were recorded at the Valentine Recording Studios which were located on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in North Hollywood, California. All the actors remember the studio as being a very nice spot owned by a friendly husband and wife. Janet Waldo recalled; "It was run by a very charming couple who became close to all of us. We all looked forward to our recording sessions."

Jimmy and Eve Valentine started the little recording studio together in 1949 and it operated continuously until approximately 1980. The owners changed focus when their hobby of restoring automobiles started proving more time intensive and profitable than their recording business. They still own the recording studio site, although it is an automobile museum now, and they are still active with their restoration business.


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