Scrolling Eric Bauza’s Instagram feed is like a step back in time — it’s jam-packed with nostalgic television and movie throwbacks to the 1980s and ’90s, when Saturday morning cartoons ruled the day and you had to make sure your VCR was set up to record your favourite sitcoms.
His enduring love for classic cartoons certainly hasn’t hindered his career as a voice actor. In fact, it’s helped propel him to what is arguably the top of the cartoon world — he’s the latest voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian and Tweety Bird in the Looney Tunes Cartoons.
And he’s crushing it. The Filipino-Canadian voiceover artist and Scarborough native won the award for Outstanding Voice Performance in an Animated Program at the 2022 Children’s and Family Emmy Awards last December.
Becoming the voice of some of the cartoon world’s most beloved characters, however, started out with pencil and paper. Watching television as a kid, he’d sketch the characters he saw on screen.
Cartoons were “always an escape and always something that I could turn on and I would just be instantly entertained and just full with joy,” Bauza told Global News, adding that he got his start in Hollywood as a cartoonist and character designer.
“I think the combination of being a cartoonist as well and, you know, wanting to draw what I saw on screen and then the voices just kind of followed.”
A self-admitted class clown, Bauza grew up entertaining his classmates and teachers with impressions and was so good that he was invited to do them for his school’s morning announcements.
“It was so nice that I wasn’t reprimanded for being too much of a distraction. … They allowed for that kind of creativity in my high school growing up in Scarborough. I was such an inviting and nurturing environment to be in.”
In fact, Bauza credits his Canadian upbringing for much of his success.
“We have such great talent that has come out of Scarborough and Toronto in general and such great impressionists. There’s definitely something in the water,” he said, listing Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy as a few of his heroes and inspirations.
Bauza revealed to Global News his favourite cartoon character to voice, how he believes Looney Tunes has adapted over the years and what it feels like to be the latest voice of some of the most iconic cartoon characters in history.
You can watch the video interview, including some stellar impressions, up top.
Check out Bauza’s voice work in Looney Tunes Cartoons, available to stream on Corus’ streaming platform, TELETOON+.