‘Voice Lessons: How a Couple of Ninja Turtles, Pinky, and an Animaniac Saved My Life’ by Rob Paulsen, Book Review

Release Date

Rob Paulsen, voice actor extraordinaire, shifts from talking toons to writing about his life in this inspiring and entertaining book.

Rob Paulsen is a voice actor extraordinaire. Throughout his illustrious career, he has voiced not one but two different ninja turtles in different adaptations of the teenaged mutants, he has turned the nations of the world into a song that only the most dedicated Animaniacs fans have memorized (me, cough), he has survived cancer that not only dealt a blow to him physically but also put his career at risk, and now he can add author to this impressive list. 

Voice Lessons: How a Couple of Ninja Turtles, Pinky, and an Animaniac Saved My Life covers his life story, from an eager Michigander who moved to Hollywood, to his battle with cancer and how he managed to return to work, changed by his experiences but no less grateful. From first page to last, it’s an inspirational tale of what hard work, a little luck, and a positive attitude can accomplish in life. Not to mention being an all around nice person, which Rob Paulsen certainly is. I’ve met him on several occasions, and at each he has been warm, cheerful, and grateful for his amazing career and his fans. 

And for the Spielberg fans out there, there are plenty of references to him as well: “So much of the success of Animaniacs is due to Steven Spielberg.” And there’s even a tidbit of trivia that even I didn’t know. Paulsen did ADR work on E.T. the Extra Terrestrial! You really do learn something new every day.

Paulsen learned a lot from his journey as an actor to voice talent to cancer survivor, and he shares it all. The good, the bad, and the funny. It’s also refreshing that he doesn’t mince words or try to sugarcoat his experiences. Not every moment is sunshine and roses, but he had friends and family who supported him, and it doesn’t hurt that many are naturally funny. 

This book is for anyone, whether they’re cartoon fans, they’re undergoing some kind of health crisis, or wanting to get into showbiz. It’s a fast, entertaining read that time jumps quite a bit but doesn’t confuse the reader. Recommended. 5 out of 5 water towers. 

And, if you want to actually listen to a review by the Animanicast (a podcast devoted to Animaniacs, of which I am a co-host!) then you can check out the episode here: https://www.retrozap.com/animanicast-161-a-review-of-voice-lessons-by-rob-paulsen-and-animaniacs-issue-17/.

Voice Lessons: How a Couple of Ninja Turtles, Pinky, and an Animaniac Saved My Life by Rob Paulsen with Mike Fleeman will be available on October 8, 2019. You can pre-order it now at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo.