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General Voice Actor Discussion General discussion about the actual people behind the voices should go here.

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Old 07-05-2021   #1
PaperSplash
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Default What exactly the reasoning for the "block of names" style of official voice credits?

I know that in a lot of old animated TV shows, the credits were like that because they were listing all of the people present in the studio for the entire season; it was easier than updating the credits to detail all of the voice actors' roles on an episode-by-episode basis. But that doesn't explain a lot of other animated TV shows (even contemporary ones!) that don't specify voice roles but do update the credits each episode. And of course some animated films and especially a lot of video games who don't follow the traditional episode/season format still do the "block of names" thing.

So what's the deal? Is it the same logic as to why if there's multiple artists or composers, for example, the credits usually don't go into specifics as to who did what? Do the people making the credits just don't think people will care any more about voice actors' roles for it to be worth the extra space?

Sorry if this seems ranty; it's just something that's bothered me for the longest time.
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Old 07-05-2021   #2
VAKid
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Default Re: What exactly the reasoning for the "block of names" style of official voice credi

It's always been something I've had on my mind too, Specifically when it comes to minor roles. I usually assumed it was just a case of space, but then there's shows like The Simpsons that still do it and I'm convinced in those cases it's just a loophole to avoid giving proper credit to the actors.

Then again, it could be a union thing where some shows choose to identify who voiced what character and others don't. But I'm not too familiar with the ins and outs of the industry to know for sure. I will agree that it gets annoying very fast.
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Old 07-06-2021   #3
drakh
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Default Re: What exactly the reasoning for the "block of names" style of official voice credi

To be honest, I don't think there's any one clear reason for it. Well, for lower budget productions it's probably to cut any corner they can, and non-union productions would at times want to obfuscate things and not make it obvious who's who. And there probably are productions where they have a small cast doing multiple characters and don't want to draw attention to that.

But a lot of the time I think it's just an arbitrary decision by the producers, doing things the way they're used to without any deeper thoughts as to why.
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Old 07-06-2021   #4
millicent
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Default Re: What exactly the reasoning for the "block of names" style of official voice credi

I suppose it could just be a case of grandfathered-in show business traditions to a certain extent. I might be misremembering, but I wanna say that a lot of "Hollywood" feature films from the 40's and earlier (and even as late as the 60's) would credit the actors (in the opening credits--the only credits the films often had) but never actually specify their parts. I know some TV shows as late as the 80's would credit the "guest stars" of an episode by listing their names right after the opening credits but not list them again in the closing credits and never specifying their parts. I've noticed some instances of the IMDb contributors seeming to have been confused as to which credited guest star played which role as a result, so I guess the game of deciphering these lists might just be an age-old part of being aficionados of film/TV actors. And as has been brought up before, sometimes these lists, tricky as they are to figure out oftentimes, can frequently have that feel of still feeling like they had genuine effort put into the order of the cast list/changing every single episode despite one wondering why they didn't just go to the effort of listing the characters.
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