Animated Television Specials

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Thurl Publicity Photo

Not Thurl

Thurl was involved with numerous animated television specials over the years. Beginning in 1966, he worked on several specials based on the works of Dr. Seuss. He also sang or provided voices on several other cartoons. Of course, his most famous animated role was not for a television special, but for a television commercial. More information about Tony the Tiger along with Thurl's other commercials can be found on the commercials page.

His long career in the animation field led to his being honored with the Winsor McCay Award (lifetime achievement in animation - voice acting) in 2004 from the ASIFA (Association International du Film D'Animation).

Thurl during recording of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

Dr. Seuss (left) listens as Thurl and conductor
Eugene Poddany discuss "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch."

Dr. Seuss Specials
Thurl worked on several Dr. Seuss animated specials beginning with How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1966. He sang on all the songs, but his rendition of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (3:32) was one of the highlights of his career. The version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (2:59) used on the sound track album was slightly different than the one used on the show. Thurl said the entire sound track recording session only took a couple of hours. The DVD of How the Grinch Stole Christmas includes some supplemental material which features interviews with Thurl.

Thurl sang in Horton Hears a Who (1970) as one of the Wickersham Brothers (2:05). He provided the voice of Thing 1 in The Cat in The Hat (1971), and is easily heard as part of the chorus in The Lorax (1972). He also sang on Halloween is Grinch Night (1977).

Other Animated Specials
Thurl did some voice work on other animated specials. He voiced the character of Waldo in Nanny and the Professor and the Phantom of the Circus (1973).

He also sang on The Hobbit (1977), and The Return of the King (1983). Thurl sang on most of the songs on both these Rankin/Bass specials, but two in particular from The Hobbit stand out: "Down Down to Goblin Town" (1:20) and "Funny Little Things" (1:14).

Though not really a television special, Thurl also narrated the Loony Tunes cartoon Superior Duck (0:56) in 1996. This short feature was shown in cinemas before the film Carpool.

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