can we just take a moment to appreciate how the voice of Nigel Thornberry
is this man
Well I don’t know if you’re referring to the last ten years of his career or the last couple of years - but yes - alas - something did happen. Tim had a very serious stroke in 2012 and he now has mobility and minor speech issues - hence why he’s only released one ‘straight to dvd that no one will watch’ movie in the past couple of years. But he’s working on more things at the moment and working on getting himself as well as he can be. All things considered it’s frickin’ amazing he’s working on anything at ALL but a live action or indeed an animated top of the range feature film isn’t likely to be on the cards any time soon.
If you don’t mean the last couple of years and indeed you’re questioning the last decade or so - it’s important to note what he was doing ‘behind the scenes’ that is easily missed in a wider sense. He spent 2004 - 2007 with the Chicago/Broadway/West End cast of Spamalot and thus that limited his screen work/big animation projects. He then quite rightly only did cartoons for a while as a sort of personal recuperation exercise (not to mention a bank account recuperation exercise) alongside some solid TV appearances in shows such as Psych, Cranford, Poirot and Criminal Minds. He also rehearsed and started to appear in a major production of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern in the UK on stage but he had to drop out due to illness - this set him back in terms of work for a year or so as he got himself well again. A few months before his stroke he appeared alongside Russell Brand, Billy Connolly and Eddie Izzard in Eric Idle’s 4 night stage production of ‘What About Dick’ in LA and that was pretty swell.
He has one of the best managers in Hollywood but above anything else TC differs from the norm because he knows what he wants to do and he knows what he doesn’t want to do. He’s always been very honest about saying he doesn’t actually get all that much stuff to ‘pick’ from and what he does do is sometimes the best of a bad bunch - so I’m not implying he gets offered absolute gold and turns it down - but he doesn’t do things ‘for the sake of it’ anymore. His work in the last decade or so has very much all been on his terms. He wanted to be in shows like Cranford and Criminal Minds long before parts were on offer and thus his name and clout got him onto those sets.
I think in an ideal world Tim would have liked to have returned to the UK stage and tv/film industry which has grown particularly strong in the last five years or so but alas his health issues were against him and that path didn’t open up for him. I have no doubt the ‘actor’ in him longs to be nourished and put to use - but that ‘craving’ to work has only applied to strong projects and stage work for the last decade and I totally respect and understand that. Voice work is quick to do and incredibly well paid - despite the fact it’s straight to dvd or a cartoon ‘no one will watch’ - he still gets his paycheque at the end of the month. If he has a choice of working on a far off location on a project his heart isn’t in or weeks and weeks on yet another shitty movie about a talking dog - he’s probably going to pick a cartoon where it’ll hand over a tasty stack of cash and he can be in his garden drinking a nice glass of red by 5pm.
I note above you’re actually probably only questioning why he doesn’t get better ‘voice work’ and thus I’ve ranted at you about his whole career scope for several hours for no real reason. Alas - I am not quite sure why the bigger animation houses such as Disney and Dreamworks and so on haven’t had him in their movies. I’ve always thought it might be that his voice is almost *too* recognisable for them without him being a ‘mega-star’ name. If that makes sense. Eg it doesn’t necessarily sell any more tickets with his name on the quad poster - but as soon as he speaks everyone is like ‘OH IT’S THAT GUY’ and thus it removes something from the character/plot. I mean that’s clutching at straws. But Hollywood is fucking weird and the voice industry is even weirder. It could be as simple as big feature films like that require a lot of commitment for pick ups and so on - that he couldn’t give them in the past few years due to stage work and filming stuff. But alas - now he has more time on his hands to commit to bigger contracts for animated features - his voice isn’t currently strong enough to do it. But I’m sure it will be soon.
Oh look. I wrote shit loads. WHAT A CHANGE. I’m sorry.
I guess the short answer to your question is: ‘Yeah something did happen - he’s not well and his voice isn’t up to standard at the moment - but I’m sure he’ll be in Disney blockbusters asap’.