I have mentioned in the past that Sloth is one of our very favorite characters in ZOOTOPIA (which comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on June 7th), so imagine how excited I was when I found out I was going to have a change to interview not only the voice of Flash, Raymond Persi, but also the actual Flash himself! That’s what happened two weeks ago in California.
We started out with an interview of Raymond Persi, who came upon playing the role of Flash a bit accidentally. He explained that when making films they first do rough versions of them and “sometimes we don’t know who’s going to be cast yet, or we don’t even know if that character will stay in past one screening of the film. So they bring a lot of different people in the studio to do “scratch voices” it’s called – just a temporary voice, just to tell the story. And every now and then, we keep some of those voices in.” Raymond’s first scratch voice that ended up staying in a film was Gene, the little jerk from Wreck It Ralph, along with the Zombie. Then later on Get A Horse, he said, “I got to be another little jerk, the little jerky horn.” He also had a line in Frozen, which was fun for him because the character’s name was Percy.
While Raymond didn’t do any voices on the short Feast, his two Boston Terriers did! They brought the dogs into the studio and recorded them like eating things, as well as their grunts and snorts. He said “they’re both snorty dogs anyways, so it worked out well.”
When it came to Zootopia, producer Rich Moore along with the Head of Story, Jim Reardon, brought Raymond in to do scratch for Flash. Raymond said, “normally you think, oh, you’re going to do the voice of a sloth, you think ‘oooohhhhkaaaaay, I’ll taaalk sloooowly.’ But that’s not what they wanted. They said, ‘no, no, he talks normal. He just has spaces in between the words.’ So we recorded for half an hour or so, and they coached me. They showed me what they wanted. We read the lines, and then the scene didn’t change too much because after that one recording, that’s what they used in the film. I think my voice just sounded stupid enough that it worked.”
While I really enjoyed talking with Raymond, it was crazy fun getting to interview Flash himself. I totally understand the pain Judy Hopps felt in trying to get information out of him at the DMV. It’s a bit frustrating! Check it out:
ZOOTOPIA is available on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, June 7th! If you want to make your own home viewing of the Zootopia Blu-ray a little more special, you can make this delicious Sloth Chocolate Recipe that I created in honor of flash. It’s similar to the chocolate served in Central America where non-Zootopia-dwelling sloths make their home. While it’s meant to be a hot drink, it actually tastes good cold too – – which is a good thing because at the speed he moves Flash’s cup would always be cold by the time he drank it.