RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Donatello VA Discusses Animation And His Role On THE MIGHTY ONES

RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Donatello VA Discusses Animation And His Role On THE MIGHTY ONES

Season 2 of The Mighty Ones began streaming today, and to celebrate, we spoke exclusively with voice actor Josh Brener about the show, voicing Donnie in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more!

We've officially reached July, which means there are plenty of delayed films that fans are looking forward to, such as Black Widow, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, Space Jam, and more. For those with an affinity for animation, however, this month also marks some exciting new releases.

Although The Mighty Ones, an animated series about anthropomorphic backyard object characters, is not a new series, a new batch of episodes has just arrived. Season 2 of the educational animated comedy officially hit the Peacock streaming service today, inviting fans of all ages to join in on the new adventures.

The Mighty Ones is created by Pickle and Peanut's Sunil Hall and Lynne Naylor Samurai Jack's Lynne Naylor. The well-versed animation storytelling duo continues to executive produce the series into Season 2, which has finally made its way to audiences today.

Check out the promo trailer for The Mighty Ones Season 2, along with the show's synopsis below.


 

In every backyard exists a secret world filled with tiny creatures, and The Mighty Ones follows the hilarious misadventures of the smallest of them: a twig, a pebble, a leaf and a strawberry. Living in the unkempt backyard belonging to a trio of equally unkempt humans – who they mistake for gods – these self-proclaimed Mighty Ones are determined to live large and have fun in their wild wonderland, despite their diminutive stature.


In season 2, the misadventures of The Mighty Ones continue as they explore their backyard wonderland and learn more about the strange creatures they share it with. A flood forces the group to live as pirates searching for dry land, Rocksy dabbles in a home makeover, and Very Berry makes a new feathery “friend” who may or may not see her as food. These mighty little beings are relatively fearless, a little misguided and always have each others’ backs come snow, wind or any atmospheric phenomenon that threatens the yard they call home.

Voicing these characters are Jessica McKenna (DC Superhero Girls), Alex Cazares (Victor and Valentino), Jimmy Tatro (Fast and Furious: Spy Racers), and Josh Brener (Silicon Valley). Additionally, Manila Luzon (Ru Paul's Drag Race), Fortune Feimster (The Mindy Project), and Stephen Root (Get Out) will be guest voices this season.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Josh Brener, the voice of Twig in the series, who also happens to voice Donatello in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We were able to pick his brain about voicing multiple anthropomorphic characters, working on cartoons aimed at kids, and of course, The Mighty Ones.


 

Literary Joe: It seems like recently you've been skewed more towards voice acting. Is that more because of COVID and how production has gone, or are you just trying to hide that face and hair?

Josh Brener: (Laughs) You know, it has been a really fortunate thing during COVID that the voice acting stuff has been there, just because I think I would've gone crazy if I wasn't able to do something. And the luxury of voice acting is I was able to do a lot of it from home and occasionally go into a studio, but very grateful for that. Prior to that, it's just because I love it. It's so much fun. And I'm such a fan of Ninja Turtles and Star Wars, and any of those things, when there's an opportunity, I jump up and down. And then getting to create a new character on a crazy zany, wonderful show like Mighty Ones is as good as it gets.

Literary Joe: When you initially got involved with Mighty Ones, did you audition specifically for Twig, or were you auditioning, and they assigned you a character based on your performance?

Josh Brener: So it was definitely for Twig specifically. I'm very lucky to have wonderful VO agents who know me well enough to know that when a neurotic, anxious, stressed, nagging character shows up that I'm the man for the job! (Laughs) Yeah, there definitely is a higher range to twig. And I don't know if it's just because of that nagging nature, that for him to be a little bit more shrill and piercing is a little more fun. I'm not sure if anyone else is quite up in that register.

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Literary Joe: Have you actually worked with the rest of the people on Mighty Ones, or have you done all of your own stuff separately?

Josh Brener: So pre-pandemic, we all got to get into the booth together somewhat regularly, which was incredibly fun. As you can see, it's a lot of very talented, very funny and wonderful improvisers. So we have a blast when we all get to work together. Pandemic definitely put a damper on some of that, but occasionally we'll get to get on Zoom and goof around a little bit, but definitely ready to get back into the studio altogether.

Literary Joe: Do you feel like you are most comfortable voicing characters aimed at a younger audience? Because I know that you do Donatello, you're in DuckTales, Dalmatians, Star Wars... you do a lot of different voice acting for different animation, and a lot of it is aimed at children. So I wondered if that's your comfort zone or if you have ever considered moving into anime or more adult animation with your voice?

Josh Brener: I'm a huge fan of more adult-leaning stuff, particularly comedies. I mean, stuff like Big Mouth, Bob's Burgers, Rick and Morty. I'm a huge fan of all of these shows. So it's just kind of a happenstance thing of where I've ended up thus far. But yeah, listen, if you know anybody over at those shows, please put in a good word for me.

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Literary Joe: To focus more on The Mighty Ones, there are some educational bits in the series. Is there anything that you learned from the show that you didn't know yet?

Josh Brener: We've certainly been introduced to a number of creatures and insects that I was not otherwise familiar with. The stick bug in this new season comes to mind, which plays into Twig's storyline. There's a character coming up that maybe I'm not supposed to talk about yet. Anyways, there are a number of bugs and bug-like creatures that I've really enjoyed. We have some Cicada stuff coming up to look forward to and learn a lot about their life cycle. So for all the entomologists out there, there's plenty to learn.

Literary Joe: I know that you write with your wife, but do you guys do any of the stuff in the writer's room to submit ideas for The Mighty Ones?

Josh Brener: I have not done any writing in the Mighty Ones universe. My wife and I just wrote an animated feature for Warner Brothers, but unrelated to Mighty Ones. The job that our creative team and our writers do on Mighty Ones, I could not hold a candle to. So I respectfully bow to their creative wisdom, and luckily they're awesome. And what they come in with is brilliant, but they let us goof around and improvise and throw in stuff here and there. So, little contributions around the edges, but no, it is definitely their baby.

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What do you guys think of Brener's comments? Will you be checking out Season 2 of The Mighty Ones today? Be sure to share your thoughts in the usual spot, and of course, watch our full video interview below!


 

Josh Brener, an actor best known for his starring role in Silicon Valley, stopped by to chat with us about his adventures in animation ahead of Season 2 of The Mighty Ones, an informational cartoon in which he plays an anthropomorphic twig.

We also talk about some of Brener's other animated roles, particularly his voice work as Donatello in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We also touch on his parts in DuckTales and the animation he and his wife recently developed for Warner Bros.

Brener told us about his love for tardigrades and his hopes to one day portray one in animation, his particular approach to voicing characters like Twig, and his upcoming role in Mythic Quest.

Season 2 of The Mighty Ones hit Peacock today.

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