November 14, 2012

Minorities in cartoons: Michael Dorn

Minorities in cartoons: Michael Dorn

This week’s “minorities in cartoons” entry is Michael Dorn.

Background

Dorn is best known as the actor who played Lt. Worf in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine.” His distinctively deep voice can also be heard in various cartoons. Dorn usually plays either someone tough (similar to Worf) or as someone authoritative.

Dorn’s most prominent voice work might be as I.M. Weasel in the Cartoon Network series of the same name. In that show (a spinoff of CN’s “Cow and Chicken“), Weasel is an extremely competent, intelligent, and popular person beloved by everyone. Most early episodes see Weasel subject to constant scorn/jealousy by I.R. Baboon, an extremely dimwitted, easily agitated baboon who tends to speak Hulk-like (voiced by “Tiny Toon Adventures”‘s Charlie Adler). Baboon tries constantly (and ineptly) to prove himself better than Weasel (as the theme song notes), but to no avail.

Later episodes usually paired the two up as intellectually mismatched friends a la “Pinky and the Brain,” with the two forced to deal with some problem. Weasel and Baboon also often faced “Cow and Chicken”‘s obnoxious devil-like Red Guy, who became a recurring enemy.

Dorn was also the voice of Kalibak and Steel in “Justice League” and “Superman: The Animated Series” respectively. He’s also done a voice in the “Kim Possible” movie “A Sitch In Time.” Dorn voices the descendant of Rufus, the naked mole rat pet of Ron Stoppable.

Dorn’s voiced animated versions of Worf, but usually only in parodies (such as ones on “Family Guy”).

(Updated 11/15/16)

Tags: African-AmericansanimationIM WeaselMediaMIchael Dornminorities in cartoonsStar TrektriviaWorf