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Friday, July 13, 2012
'Ice Age 4: Continental Drift' -- Part II
Taiwanese television personality Tang Tsung-sheng, nicknamed Tsung-tsung, came to prominence for imitating former President Chen Shui-bian on the TV show "Celebrity Imitated Show." However, there is much more to the star than simply poking fun at Taiwan's former leaders.

Tang, who graduated from the drama department of Taipei National University of the Arts, is a gifted voice actor as well as a television performer. He previously dubbed the voice for Donkey in the beloved "Shrek" movie series. His voice acting talents have also appeared in "Robots" and, of course, as Sid in the previous installments in the "Ice Age" franchise. So naturally, the creators of "Ice Age" were anxious to have him return for "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift."

"I like to have fun, and I really care about whether the audience is laughing and whether the audience is happy," Tang explained. "In fact, hosting a talk show and comedic acting are similar — the goal is to make people laugh."

Having voiced Sid on three previous occasions, Tang is very familiar with the character as well as his unique style of speaking. "Sid has a lisp, so you have to speak quickly and clearly in order for the audience to comprehend what he's saying. Compared to Donkey's voice, Sid's voice has more of a lisp and uses less air going through his teeth. This makes the character more interesting."

One of the most unique aspects of Tang's voice dubbing work is his use of Taiwanese expressions and phrases. Tang revels in using Taiwanese for his roles and believes that this is a very important way of connecting with Taiwanese audiences. "Using Taiwanese while dubbing helps bring together the culture, meaning that it adds this local atmosphere and feeling to the film," he explained. "I mean, wow! A language originally spoken only by Taiwanese people is now coming out of the mouth of an animated sloth in a Hollywood film. Using the Taiwanese language helps the audience relate to the movie. It's a different and unique way of providing entertainment."

Tang has learned that dubbing a voice in an animated film is a much more challenging task than many people realize. "My first experience of dubbing was for 'Shrek.' I was so nervous. Even with a lot of preparation, the dubbing was horrible. But in 'Shrek 2' and 'Shrek 3,' I gradually started getting the hang of it. So dubbing requires its own set of skills."

Now on his fourth outing voicing one of the most hilarious characters in animation, Tang is delighted with the opportunities that dubbing Sid has given him. "I have a connection to the character Sid. Because I don't do a lot of film or television in the mainland, most people in China only know me as an actor from Taiwanese dramas and shows. But now there are people who say, 'Oh, you're the one that dubbed Sid!'" So be sure to check out Tang as he adds some local flavor to the character of Sid in "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift."

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