“BoJack Horseman’s” Raphael Bob-Waksberg Reveals The Keys To Making Adult Animation

Netflix’s BoJack Horseman came to a close this year with the sixth and final season releasing in January. The adult animation series starred Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Alison Brie (Community), Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy), and Paul F. Tompkins (There Will Be Blood). Arnett led the talented voice cast as the titular washed-up sitcom star/anthropomorphic horse.

The series itself was created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, who is also a producer for Amazon Prime’s Undone. He also serves as Executive Producer on Tuca & Bertie, which is created by BoJack Horseman Production Designer Lisa Hanawalt that will see its second season make the move from Netflix to Adult Swim this summer.

BoJack Horseman was a successful and widely beloved series, having been nominated for an Emmy Award and winning an Annie Award. Now, thanks to a new edition of Backstage’s In The Envelope podcast, we are able to take a deeper look into the creative mind behind the successful show. Take a look at what he had to say in the following excerpts which were taken from the podcast, or scroll down to check out the entire episode.

When it comes to sharing advice for writers, this is what the BoJack Horseman and Undone producer had to say.

“I’ve written six seasons of a TV show with great help from an incredible staff of writers and other collaborators, but I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve kind of freed myself of the expectation that I ever will.

Stop asking that question and just start writing…. Part of being a writer is just getting it in your bones, getting the muscle memory down, just doing it. I think we’re so often, as writers, afraid of writing something that is less than perfect, and that fear paralyzes us. I’m a big fan of writing less than perfect things.

I feel like there are exciting things happening in animation. There are new kinds of stories happening in animation that hasn’t been told before.”

On to voice acting, Raphael had plenty to share for aspiring actors looking for tricks of the trade. These are some of the suggestions the creator made during the episode in regards to the voice acting community.

“It would behoove them to have that skill set in their tool belt. You want to allow yourself to be flexible. The more variety and the more options you can bring your collaborators, the more an asset you are to have on set or in the recording booth. And then I think it’s very frustrating when an actor comes in and they have decided, ‘This is how this line should be said.’

It’s important to think about how you communicate stuff with just your voice, without the benefit of physicality. How do you give something ‘air quotes’ with your voice? How do you wink at somebody with your voice? How do you leer at somebody?… What if instead of playing [a sad line] very sad, I tried to lighten it or tried to be funny with it? Would that help the sadness come through even more? I don’t believe there is any line bad enough that a good actor can’t save.”

The creator suggests one episode, in particular, to look to for inspiration from Will Arnett’s performance as the titular Horseman: Free Churro.

“If you are a voice actor, I think it is really instructive to listen to what he does and how he modifies and modulates his voice. I think he’s such a pro when it comes to hitting jokes and finding the comedy in lines, but he’s also an incredibly emotive, emotional actor, and he gives a very precise technical performance in that episode. And so I think if you are interested in voice acting, I think it is a performance worth studying.”

What do you guys think of these comments from Raphael Bob-Weksberg? Check out the full podcast episode below!

BoJack Horseman Seasons 1-6 are now available on Netflix.