TEEN TITANS GO! & DC SUPER HERO GIRLS Interview With Bumblebee Voice Actor Kimberly Brooks (Exclusive)
Talking to us about her return as Bumblebee in Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse, Kimberly Brooks discusses the character's journey, teaming up with Cyborg, and much more...
In Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse, Lex Luthor wields an ancient Kryptonian power and unites the world's supervillains to capture the DC Universe's heroes. With only the fan-favourite DC Super Hero Girls left to stop the Legion of Doom, the team must cross dimensions to rescue their fellow superheroes from the Phantom Zone, but a fortuitous wrong turn leads them to Titans Tower...where they find much-needed allies in the iconic Teen Titans!
That's the premise of this awesome blockbuster event, and we can promise you'll have an absolute riot with this hilarious, action-packed crossover. Ahead of its Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD release on May 24, we caught up with Bumblebee voice actor, Kimberly Brooks, to discuss her return as that hero.
Brooks has lent her voice to countless animated projects over the years, but has put Bumblebee on the map in a big way. In this conversation, we hear from her about the journey this movie takes the character on, what she enjoyed most about a team-up with Cyborg, and why it's important for Kimberly to be part of such an empowering project full of inspiring messages for young women. Brooks also teases the upcoming Batwheels series where she lends her voice to the Batcomputer.
Check out the full interview below and stay tuned for more from the movie's cast and crew very soon.
Having played Bumblebee for a few years now, what talks, if any, did you have with this film’s creative team before recording about how the story would help advance her story in this DC Super Hero Girls world?
I did not have that conversation [but] I was really thrilled with the script that was presented to me. It’s funny and, of course, hearing all the actors bring the characters to life and seeing the animation and how great it looks…it’s always a wonderful surprise. No, I was along for the ride. It’s such a great script. It makes me laugh and I think true fans of all of our shows are going to get so many of the inside jokes and just love what they’ve done with our characters.
We do see a Bumblebee here who has really grown in confidence, particularly during the scene in which she helps bring this team together; what about that did you most enjoy getting to explore?
It really is a big step forward for her. That’s kind of been the theme of Bumblebee all along. She’s this tiny little bumblebee, but she’s got all of this power - and she knows it - inside and just needs to let it out. She wants to be bigger, but her heart, obviously, is huge. That’s just so typical of Bumblebee to worry about Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and all of them being a team and sticking together and persevering. I love that they gave her this moment to show that big heart and bring everyone together. She’s a voice of reason for the whole team and I’m so pleased they incorporated that as it’s one of my favourite scenes in the whole movie.
Part of the fun of a crossover like this is seeing these different characters interact, but what did you enjoy most about getting to explore Bumblebee’s fun dynamic with Cyborg?
[Laughs] That was so much fun. It’s so well-written. Because of COVID, we were all recording our lines separately. I was recording from home, so I didn’t get to interact with the other actors which, usually, we get to do on these DC Super Girls projects. I wish I could have heard the other actors in that moment, but seeing it now all put together is just amazing. They did such a great job and that’s hilarious. As I said, I think fans of our shows will love those little moments. They’re these perfect little moments our characters have together and it’s great.
I know you’ve been playing Bumblebee for a while now, but in terms of finding her voice, I’d love to know what that process involved for you and how easy or challenging you find it to slip into this character’s skin?
I felt like we established right from the beginning that Bumblebee was tiny, vulnerable, and a little bit younger feeling than the other girls. That helped me land on where the voice would be. She starts off so vulnerable and not knowing whether she believes in herself at the start of the series. In that and this movie, we see her grow and her confidence building and building, so it’s always fun to get to do that. It’s reflected in the voice a little bit too. When she’s Sharon, she loves hanging out with her friends and gets to be more herself, but when she’s Bumblebee, there’s a little bit more of that confidence in her voice. It’s really fun playing those nuances.
Bumblebee is a very smart character and knows her tech, but what’s it like for you as a performer to be given some of that computer jargon to play with?
Oh yeah, it’s totally challenging [Laughs] because I’m not techy at all! I have to work on the lines and try to make it sound like it’s rolling off the tongue when I don’t really know what I’m talking about. It’s real acting [Laughs] because I have no idea what she’s saying half the time when I talk. I love that that’s what her character is into. It’s sort of unexpected and she always uses that with the combination of her big heart to save the day. It’s great. She’s such a fun, loveable character.
There are so many positive and empowering messages for young women in this film; how important is it that you get to be part of that as Bumblebee?
A positive light on teenage girls is amazing. Obviously, we have bad guys, but even Harley Quinn comes around. It’s such a positive show for girls from body image to friendship, sticking together, and teamwork. There are so many lessons to learn, but what I particularly like is the art design and character design where everybody is different shapes and sizes. We all love each other and no one is focusing on body image and all of those things that are such a problem for young girls. I love the positives of that and the friendships are huge. The lessons we learn are so wonderful.
As I mentioned, we see Bumblebee really grow in confidence here, but what are your hopes for the character in this DC Super Hero Girls Universe moving forward? It feels like she could be ready to take on a leadership role which would be an interesting development.
I think all of our characters have their strengths and weaknesses. Some of them are hilarious and comical and Nicole Sullivan is just my favourite actress. She just cracks me up in every scene and she does a lot of improvising which was so much fun when we used to get to be in the booth together. We’d be on the floor laughing during these sessions. Hopefully, now we know our characters and their strengths and weaknesses and the writing has been so great in capitalising on all of those things so I hope for more and more of that. I’d like to continue and maybe do another season. I hope so. When I watch it, I always think ‘We should be doing this forever and ever. This is such a great show and so positive.’ My wish would be that we continue to do this.
You’ve been part of so many iconic franchises from The Simpsons to South Park, Ben 10, and Animaniacs, but what has it meant to you to dip in and out of this DC Universe for so many years before getting to really explore this Bumblebee character in such an in-depth way?
It’s just really amazing. Just being part of the DC Universe is incredible and wonderful and I feel like I’ve been lucky to voice a lot of different characters within this world. Bumblebee is the most recent, though I’m also doing the Batcomputer on Batwheels. Basically, it’s just super cool [Laughs]. I love that I got to put my spin on Bumblebee. People have been receptive because she’s such a great character and so positive. I’ve definitely met a lot of young girls who are obsessed, so I just feel really good about that.
There’s a lot of action in this film; when you’re in the recording booth doing those fight scenes, how physical do you get in the booth? I know some actors have told me that by the end of the day, they’ve lost their voice and are drenched in sweat!
[Laughs] You know, it depends. With Bumblebee, she’s not too strenuous. We do a lot of efforts in the booth, but they normally save that for the end depending on whether there’s a lot of action or not. I find it fun. I get a little bit of exercise, though it’s been different because I’ve been in my home studio. It’s not as lush and large as some of the studios where we record shows like this. That’s usually a beautiful studio called ‘Out Loud Studios’ in Burbank. I try to keep her lively, so we do a lot of action [Laughs] and it’s a part of it and the character. When I’m in the zone, it all flows together.
After being part of this awesome crossover, are there any other franchises or characters you’d like to see the DC Super Hero Girls cross paths with? How about Batwheels?
Oh my gosh, that would be the best crossover ever. Though this was a pretty great crossover I must say because I was laughing so hard [Laughs]. I thought the Teen Titans were so hilarious, but that would be a really good crossover with Batwheels. I could see that. It is just an outstanding show and it looks amazing. I think those two shows would incorporate well together, for sure.
Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse is available on Digital, Blu-ray & DVD on May 24. The movie event also premieres on Cartoon Network on May 28 and starts streaming on HBO Max beginning June 28!