Keegan-Michael Key explains how he found Toad’s voice for the Super Mario Bros. movie

“The director and I, I was working with my partner and like acting coach on the work and I was channeling actually a friend of mine and the way that he sees the world, and the way that he kind of looks at things… We brought that to the director, and then the voice was – we knew it would be higher in a higher register, so part of what I wanted to do was hit the syntax but almost pretend like I was sucking on a helium balloon while I was doing the recording. At least thinking helium and trying to get the sound a little more like pinching the sound… and then he would go, ‘Higher.’

… Trying to get as high as we could and still have a certain comfort level within the voice. … It was a really fun, exploratory experience to try to find the right spot and try to get those rhythms in a place where it felt like it would be Toad, but kind of a new version of Toad at the same time. So that was the process.”

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