What makes this an anecdote is that most places list Otis Harlan as the voice of the mole and, in fact, list it as his last role since he died in 1940. He supplied the voice of the dwarf Happy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) so it is not inconceivable that he would have been around to do voice work while Bambi was in development.
So I took a look at the book Walt Disney’s Bambi: The Story and the Film by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas (Stewart, Tabori & Chang Inc. 1990) and this is what they wrote: “The little mole who popped up out of his burrow at Bambi’s feet, squinted at the bright sky overhead, and commented ‘Nice, sunny day’ then plunged back underground to continue on his way. Perce said this line so well, and so often, that he was talked into recording it for the film. Pearce’s ad-lib acting and dialgoue was good for the picture, because it kept the characters alive for the story crew.
“Next to Walt, Perce was the best storyteller and actor. He knew how to characterize the specific traits of an individual. He loved to get up and perform for us and even became identified with many of the cartoon cast on each picture.”
Despite his many significant contributions to Disney animated and very first live-action films, very little is known about Percival C. Pearce. Perce started at Disney on February 18, 1935, left on October 2, 1953 and died on July 4, 1955
Pearce started as a cartoonist. Seaman Si’, The Adventures of a Blue Jacket on the High Seas of Fun and Trouble which is a 1917 book collection of cartoons originally drawn for and published for The Great Lakes Bulletin, the Naval Training Center newspaper featuring a character he created. Pearce also did editorial cartoons and political caricatures for his news agency, some of which appeared in the New York Evening Post, and were later included in a 1917 article in Cartoons Magazine called “Under the Big Dome” by Elisha Hanson (v. 11, no. 4, April 1917).
Rating NIMH. In the Minneapolis Star Tribune of July 16, 1982, animator Gary Goldman who was promoting the release of The Secret of NIMH (1982) stated, “We took the film in and let them make their own judgment. I know a G rating has the kiss of death in the industry but I don’t believe it. I think there are families out there who are mad as hell because they go to a film that’s rated PG and there’s swearing and semi-nudity and things that may be realistic to one genre of people but another genre says, ‘I didn’t come here to be demoralized. I came here to be lifted up.’
“We had arguments with the people marketing the film. They wanted a PG. We said, ‘We made this film for us. We’re entertained by it, so why shouldn’t a teen-ager or an adult like it?’ You’re aiming at the wrong audience, because there are going to be people that have to go out and get refunds because their five year old is frightened by the caves or the special effects’. Jerry Goldsmith wrote some very intense music.”
Popeye and Olive Married. From the Florida St. Petersburg Times March 9, 1939: “Popeye the Sailor and Sweetie Wed. The voices of Popeye, the Sailor Man and Olive Oyl, his sweetie, were man and wife yesterday. That sounds odd, we know, but Jack Mercer, 24, who speaks for Popeye movie cartoons and Margie Hines, 21, who speaks the pieces Olive Oyl seems to say were wed March 3 in Ft. Lauderdale. They made the announcement at Fleischer studios where the animated films are produced.”
Mae Questel, of course was the voice for Betty Boop and Olive Oyl but did not want to move when the Fleischer Studios relocated from New York to Miami. Hines was hired to replace her as both Boop and Olive and continued to do so until 1943. When the now re-named Famous Studios returned to New York Questel returned to the role in 1944.
However, as publicity for the studio, the idea that Popeye and Olive got married finally (just as when Wayne Allwyne and Russi Taylor who had being doing the voices of Mickey Mouse and Minnie got married) was too good to pass up even promoting that the couple ate a “wedding breakfast of spinach”. Even Time magazine in its March 20, 1939 issue mentioned it. A short time after Mercer returned home from the service after World War II, they got divorced.
My Little Pony. When asked by the L.A. Daily News January 2, 1989 what items from the 1980s will become collectibles in the future, cartoonist Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame answered, “My Little Ponies, with synthetic manes and tails that drive small girls crazy. Each comes encrusted with jewelry. It’s the only toy my daughter has. She also has a My Little Pony villa. It’s not a toy; it’s an entire lifestyle!”
Bill Scott Talks The Bullwinkle Show. From the underground comix magazine STOP! #3 (1982) that was published in New York, here is an excerpt from an interview by Judy Wilmot of Bill Scott:
“Recently, I saw an award winning Charlie Brown special at UCLA and nothing happened. I was bored. A half hour of material we’d have done in three minutes. Hanna-Barbera won out. All smart people loved Bullwinkle. The Bullwinkle Show has the most loyal and most intelligent audience. But it was never Number One. It’s a special show for special people and it’s long-lived and always funny but never the number one grabber. And it was expensive. Jay was constantly mooching money. The later episodes were never reduced to 16mm and they were the most expensive. We put a lot of money into them.”
In the Arizona Republic newspaper for August 1, 1982, Phyllis Tucker Vinson who was then NBC’s vice president for children’s programs about why Bullwinkle was cancelled, “Bullwinkle really hasn’t caught on with today’s children. I think one of the problems is it’s a lot of verbal humor and younger kids don’t get it. Older kids do and I do.”