Immortal animation: The true story behind 'Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling'

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August 10, 2013

GARRETT: There was never a visitor [from WWE]. It was its own thing. I think [DIC] just paid them a big licensing fee to do it. [WWE] was so jammed doing their world tours and their other TV shows.

HART: Back then, it was so hard to get Hulk, because they had him going seven days a week. That’s how we kept the company going.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Do you have an idea of what Hogan thought of the show?

HART: Hulk loved the cartoon. Even at the beach bar that he has down here in Tampa, called Hogan’s Beach, we’ve got some of the cartoon up on the walls here. To this day, Hulk realizes that if it hadn’t been for the cartoon show along with the wrestling, he probably wouldn’t have sold the merchandise that he was able to sell.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Brad, did you record with the full cast or do your part as Hulk separately?

GARRETT: We did it with the full cast. When you do film animation, like when I do a Pixar film, everyone’s recorded separately. That’s the way it is for 99% of all feature animation. Television animation is done as a group. There’s a lot more detail in feature animation. Scheduling is a lot tougher. They’re constantly tweaking it. TV animation has got to be in the can in a week, so you get everybody together. It was a very funny group and it was a lot of fun. I was 24 at the time. I learned a lot because I was new to voiceover. The sessions ran anywhere between three to five hours to record your 22 minutes.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Is there something to be said for both you and James Avery participating in “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” and then hitting it big in sitcoms – you in “Everybody Loves Raymond” and James Avery in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?”

GARRETT: No, one really has nothing to do with the other. It’s a whole different community with voiceover work. James Avery is a very good actor. He was classically trained, but he always recorded without shoes. We used to make fun of each other all the time. He had a great sense of humor. He was the first guy from that cast to really explode, but he was already doing film and TV back then.

HEYWARD: That’s happened in many cartoons we’ve done. We gave Arsenio Hall his first role. He played one of our Ghostbusters. One of our writers in one of our first cartoons, “Heathcliff,” was a young guy we found by the name of Chuck Lorre. He is one of the hottest writers and producers in television. He does everything from “Two and a Half Men” to “The Big Bang Theory.”

WWECLASSICS.COM: Brad, what was the environment like when recording “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling?”

GARRETT: Stu Rosen was the director and he was really one of the best animation directors. He was very original in his directing. He was very actor friendly, he let you take risks. Obviously, you have to stick pretty much to the script, because the writers are there and that’s what they want. But if you came up with something or threw something in that worked, he wasn’t afraid of it.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Did you record the voice first or was the animation done first?

GARRETT: A lot of people think you do the voice after the animation’s done, that they draw it and you match the lips. You do that if you have to, but the animators draw off of your performance. Everything emanates from the performance. I was watching a lot of really great guys how to do ensemble voice work. There’s a real give and take in a group. This whole show was about the group of wrestlers. So we all fed off one another.

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