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June 07 2004

When Is Buffy Really Buffy? A MediasharX columnist wonders if the much rumoured animated series would be the same without Sarah Michelle Gellar.

And I hate to say this but lets keep the discussion within the parameters of whether the cartoon would be the same with or without SMG and whether a character should always be associated with a particular actress. (Case in point: Did 'Hannibal' lose anything because Julianne Moore played Clarice Starling instead of Jodie Foster?)

Personally I think it would be nice if Sarah could do it but if they got a good enough voice impersonator I say go for it.

'Hannibal' lost a lot of things, but it certainly didn't have anything to do with Julianne Moore. I'd have some real issues if they recast Buffy in a live-action format, but I don't really care in an animated context. I didn't have any problems with the voice acting in the video games, aside from Willow in Chaos Bleeds, and I trust they could get other people to breathe believable life to an animated series. It might be a weird adjustment for a few episodes, but I'd get used to it.
I think it also depends on the nature of the animated show. If it tries to capture the more emotional moments of its live action brother, I think the lack of SMG will be felt alot more.

I imagine it's the chippy lines and wittyness the sound-alike works best delivering, and if you bring it down to an emotional or more casual level, you'll end up with a much different voice that, when all is said, isn't Buffy's.

Oh and I don't really think the Julianne Moore/Jodie Foster comparison is valid. There was nothing particularly memorable or character defining about neither performance, whereas especially considering we've seen SMG as Buffy for 7 seasons, there's definite character definenage there. So much of the character's appeal, to me, is in the way SMG delivers the subtle and cute lines. ("Instead of having slayer Buffy, you could have Buffy Buffy." Cuteness.)

While I do look forward to the animated series, I'm not sure Buffy herself will feel/sound exactly like Buffy. It'll be a different Buffy, not Buffy Buffy, if you will.
I don't think it matters as much in an animated series. If it were live action, that would be different.

But why did you have to bring up Hannibal? That was the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. *shudders* Julianne Moore was excellent in it though, as was Jodie Foster in SotL. I don't think Hannibal suffered because of a different Clarice.
I think Giselle Loren did a great job in the games, some even thought from what I read it was SMG doing the voice work, I think she was a great choice for the Buffy role, many cartoons in the past never had the original actors doing voice work for their cartoon counterparts based on tv or movies, The Real Ghostbusters was a success even without the cast from the movie doing the voices.

I think it's great they did score AH,ASH and NB to do reprise their roles, I am intrested in seeing it.
I also thought Giselle Loren did a great job in the first Buffy game and a good job in the second one. The first game was based in the early years and she had the voice down great. I had a bit of trouble in the beginning getting used to her voice but I quickly was won over and now don't notice at all when I play the game. So, if she's the one who will be doing the voice, I think it will be quite believable that she is Buffy.
But why did you have to bring up Hannibal?

It was on the telly Saturday night and it stuck on my mind. And in regards to Julianne Moore/Jodie Foster, I was one of those people that felt Jodie was the definitive 'Clarice Starling'. I read Hannibal when it came out, I pictured her. But anyway, maybe a Bond analogy would have been a bit better. Sarah Michelle Gellar = Sean Connery?
"Oh and I don't really think the Julianne Moore/Jodie Foster comparison is valid. There was nothing particularly memorable or character defining about neither performance"

Jodie Foster talking about trying to save the Lambs was one of the most heartbreaking pieces in film. ITV 1 have literaly just shown SOTL and Hannibal one week apart, and so here in the UK and Ireland we can experience first hand who we think is better. And my favourite: Foster for the extreme emotion. Moore came the closest second ever and her performance is great, but Foster brought a real vunrability to her role. However I think if Moore had been given the oppurtunity she would have performed just as well
Simon, the reason why I dislike thinking about Hannibal is because I rented the movie and was watching it and during the dinner scene...I was eating. I can't even watch Saturday Night Live do parody skits of that scene. It freaks me out.

But yeah, I don't think it's a good analogy either. James Bond is definitely a better example. I think it would only work 10 or 15 years from now. And I think it's very possible that someday, some young film maker who loves Joss' work may want to remake the movie using Joss' original vision. Then you would need all new actors.

Buffy is an icon. So why not do the Bond thing? I just don't see it happening so soon after the series is over.
I agree with blwessels in that Giselle did a great job voicing Buffy on the video game(s). So does anyone know if she is definitely signed to do Buffy Animated?

I think they'd really have to cast the net far to find someone as good as Giselle. She even has her cadence and inflection down pat. And that's just on the game.
"So does anyone know if [Giselle Loren] is definitely signed to do Buffy Animated?"

Apparently, Nick Brendon said, at a convention, that she'd be doing Buffy's voice. I think that's all the confirmation we have, and we don't know whether or not she lent her voice to Buffy in the short presentation Joss made.
Miss Marple.. Peter Pan.. James Bond.. Pippi Longstocking.. Clark Kent.. Jesus Christ.. Calamity Jane.. Nancy Drew..

I apologize if I sound cold, but I am growing very impatient with fans of the series who can't see anyone but Sarah Michele Gellar in the role of Buffy Summers. With all due respect to the talent of SMG, she is very replaceable. Cartoon or live action. All it would take is a cattle call. Mutant Enemy would make a couple phone calls, and there'd be scores of women as talented and capable as SMG waiting in their lobby in less than 48 hours notice. One of them would win your heart.

Don't believe me? Ask any casting director.
Oh and we have a 'Buffy the Animated Series' category now.
Of course another actor CAN play Buffy. I know you're not impatient with, like, everyone who expressed their opinion on this page, but let me clarify nevertheless.

Using the James Bond analogy (which I prefer to the Clarice one) Some people would still consider Sean Connery the "true" Bond. As would probably I. Now, I'm not covering my ears going "DAA DAA DAA, LALALALA!" when I watch the newer Bond movies (although half of Pierce's are rather shoddy, but hey - beside the pointage.) but there's an undeniable difference.

If the animated Buffy series is good, I'll watch it even if Buffy doesn't sound quite like she did in the TV series, but some people will always consider SMG the "true" Buffy. I mean, there are many subtleties we love about SMG's performance (though that is of course not true for everyone) and that's all stuff we'll miss about Buffy if some other actress can't pull it off. It's only natural.

Again, I'm not saying, and I don't think anyone is, that BtAS can't be done without SMG, but it will be different, and some people will like it less. That's just the way it is.
I liked Pierce Brosnan.
WHACK!!
..ow!

There are people who believe Mary Martin was, is, and always shall be the one and only true Peter Pan. She looked the part, but she wasn't even a boy! Personally I think Robin Williams did the best Peter Pan, and he didn't look the part. Now MORK. If anyone else tried to be Mork from Mork and Mindy, I'd raise holy hell over that, but Gellar was not the first and only Buffy ever. She brought something powerful to the role, I'll grant that, but if only she and Swanson ever had the chance to play the part, then forty years from now there wouldn't be a threesome of nerdy kids arguing over whether Dakota Fanning or Talia Lanning who is the Best. Buffy. Ever.

We can't ruin the dreams of the future hope of Whedon fans everywhere. Well we can try, but that'd be mean.
...

Okay lemme try to put this a different way.

Insisting that SMG owns the role of Buffy lessens the odds of future BuffyVerse projects. It's not that it destroys any chance, but it weakens the franchise potential.

I mean, if you had oodles and gobs of money that you could just throw at Joss Whedon, but you learned that no matter how much money you throw at him, you'd have to keep SMG at gunpoint to get her to come back, well you'd just be throwing your money away; especially if you'd be doing twenty to life for threatening a celebrity with a firearm.

So anyone who is a fan of Joss Whedon's work, and seeks longevity for the BuffyVerse, really needs to let go of SMG. She wanted to take the training wheels off her bike. LET HER. Just let her either sink or swim like all the other washed up has beens. Quit hoping beyond hope that she'll come back. It's not in her best interests to come back. If she came back NOW, it'd be like Keanu Reeves doing "Bill and Ted's Tubular Exercise in Repetition."

...

Lemme try this again: Sarah Michelle Gellar is not Buffy.

Buffy Summers is a fictional character who could be portrayed by anybody. Hell, I could play her if you got me drunk enough. I couldn't play the part WELL, but I could do it. I can't do a backflip while wielding a scythe and then hit my mark and stare formidibly just past the camera as if I'm about to kick some major ass. I can say something witty on cue, but again only if you get me drunk.

Your pet guinea pig could play Buffy Summers if you put her in a tight miniskirt and put a stake in her paw. SMG doesn't have to play Buffy.

If you're more of a fan of SMG than you are of Buffy, that's great. More power to you. I'm happy for you. Let go of Buffy then, and go wait in line for Scooby Doo 3. Then when SMG refuses to ever play Daphne again, insist that she owns the role of Daphne and that no one else can ever play Daphne ever. This will (I hope) insure that there's never a Scooby Doo 4.

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2004-06-09 06:08 ]
Sooo, did you entirely miss the being different part of my post? I never said that someone else couldn't play the part, I never even said someone else wouldn't do the job as good as SMG. Whether I think someone else would or not is really irrelevant, and that was also something I thought I addressed.

I can see that there's some frustration going that probably covers more ground than we've got covered here, but I still stress the fact that I never said someone else CAN'T play Buffy. Regardless of if she does a better or a worse job, my point is that it will be different, and with different, you'll get some people who are cool with it and some people who aren't.

I know I'll miss some of SMG's signature timing, cuteness, tears and other personality treats she brings to the role just by being her, but hey, maybe I just like SMG. (Although I can't say I've seen her in much besides Buffy)

And some people don't. And some people don't care either way. And some people like SMG but will be totally cool with some other chippy young female kicking about with the part.

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