A look back on Andrea Romano's career
So it came to my attention on July 31st from Kevin Conroy's tweet, that after thirty years of voice casting and directing, Andrea Romano will be retiring. She initially announced in December 2016 that she'd retire in four years. However due to being diagnosed with Optic Neuropathy which left her blind in one eye, she announced she'd retire in the week of July 31st. Her casting credits include shows like Snorks, Ducktales, Animaniacs, Batman:The Animated Series, Static Shock, The Boondocks, and many many more. Also her work spanned from 1984 to 2017, which means that she's voice casted for three generations. Three generations of kids were impacted by her casting choices. That to my knowledge is three generations This article will be a brief overview of her career and its impact on my childhood.
Andrea Romano's career began in earnest in 1984 when she worked for Hannah/Barbera. In the 80s she did casting for shows like Challenge Of The Gobot, The Smurfs, The Snorks, Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo, Pound Puppies, and The New Adventures Of Johnny Quest. And then you had the 90s with shows like Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, Batman:The Animated Series To me, with shows like Super Powers Team, Scooby Doo, Jetsons, Yogi's Treasure Hunt, or DuckTales, I'm left with impression that she went for familiar voice overs that people recognized as a draw to those shows. But what about shows like Smurfs, Pound Puppies, Tiny Toons, or Animaniacs that lacked the legacy of established voice actors at the time? That seemed to be where Romano seemed to shine as she picked actors who's voices became iconic for many Gen-Xers and Millennials. This was the case with iconic DC animated cartoons in the 90s like Batman:The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and Superman The animated series. This was also the case for Reboot, Bonkers, Chip N' Dale:Rescue Rangers, Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, Spongebob, and Avatar The Last Airbender, to name a few. This she showed a great eye for talent in voice acting. It also spoke her capabilities as a director. And of course she was recognized by the Academy Awards for her casting and directing.
I first became aware of Andrea Romano's existence in watching the behind the scenes and listening to the commentary of The Boondocks around 2007 or so. Then when it came to watching reruns of Batman The Animated Series, Avatar The Last Airbender, Animaniacs, and Teen Titans, I learned how many series she's casted for. It was shocking to me how much of my childhood memories she had a hand in crafting. And as I found out in writing this article, that was merely the tip of the iceberg.
Aside from Avatar, she was also responsible for casting in shows in the early 2000s like The Boondocks, The Batman, The Thundercats reboot, and The Zeta Project to name a few. It's a amazing to realize that Romano had worked for the big four:"Hanna/Barbara, Warner Bros., Disney, and Nickelodeon.
So in the wake of Romano's retirement I hope she enjoys her retirement, but I'd be lying if I said "I'm not sad." In the twenty six years I've been watching cartoons, Andrea Romano is responsible for casting arguably 80% of my childhood, even well into my adolescence. It's also coincidental that some of the cartoons she did casting for has influenced me as a writer of fiction like Teen Titans and Avatar The Last Airbender.
So with that in mind I'm sad to hear that she retired, but I still an grateful that she is partially responsible for many fond childhood memories.