They Walk, They Talk, They’re ALIVE!

The animated Pearls are finally here.  Twenty-nine of them, in fact.  They were made by a company called Ringtales, the same company that does all the animated Dilbert and New Yorker cartoons.

I think many of them came out pretty funny, particularly the croc ones (at least in my opinion).   And a couple of them are almost touching (strange, I know).

Also, one quick word on the voices.  I already know from reader feedback that no two people hear any of their voices the same way.  So I know everyone will say, “Whoa, that’s not how I hear Pig’s voice” or “That’s not how Rat sounds.”   But these were the closest voices I could find to how I hear them in my head.

So click on the image below to go to the animations.  And let me know what you think.  There will be more in the months to come.

125 thoughts on “They Walk, They Talk, They’re ALIVE!

  1. Lost a keyboard from spewing coffee and a pair of pants from pissing myself with laughter!

    “That’s a Moray…”

    Well done, sir! Well done, indeed!

  2. Actual voices take some adjustment, of course. I think the crocs and guard duck are great ! Outstanding overall.

  3. I, too, like the voices. You say they were the closest you could find: Did you work with Ringtales to hire/find the voice actors?

  4. It is interesting to hear the “Pearls” characters have actual voices. I always imagined Rat having a high pitched voice because of his size, and make his long sarcastic rants that much funnier.

    Thought the Crocs would be deeper and that Goat might of a hint of a European accent, now that seems to be switched around.

    Pig for me is spot on. That makes it all worth it.

  5. OMG, Stephan! I’m rolling on the floor here! These are soooo incredibly funny! Okay, I can’t help it — gotta say it –THEY’RE AWESOME!!! Keep on keepin’ on, Buddy!

  6. They are wonderfully funny.Rat is the only one who doesn’t sound like I think he should.Somehow he should sound more weaselly.If that’s word!!

  7. I think maybe multimedia just isn’t for me.

    I love the strips, and I *wanted* to love the animations, but they just don’t click with me the same way.

  8. That is so funny!!! I nearly died laughing at Rat hitting his cup up and down on the table! Don’t stop cartooning dude!!!

  9. Great, hilarious, dog’s bollocks job! Keep spoiling us, please! The voices are about what I had imagined, but after all it’s all about how you, mr. Pastis, have imagined them, huh? I think that the only “more awesome” thing would have been Pearls Before Swine wallpaper, to keep you busy when procrastinating!

  10. That really was awesome..thx..I had heard the crocs maybe a little more moronic in my head but the others were great..and must agree with T.Bryner above though..

  11. That was not the way I pictured pigs voice. Prbly not going to watch any others. Thx though.

  12. Very funny. As you said though, we all imagine different voices, so I am not disppointed, just not what I imagined (kinda shocked that I imagined voices-at least to a comic).

  13. SO glad to see “Gummy Bear Heaven” as one of the first. One of my all-time Pearls favorites!!

  14. I guess I just thought of the crocs sounding dumb, as opposed to some generic “ethnic”. Pig is way different than I imagined, however Zebra and Rat seem pretty on. I’ll check them out again when more are posted, but overall think i’ll stick to just the books.

  15. I love the animation! Guard Duck and the Crocs are my favorites (same with the comic strips too)! They were captured perfectly. My favorite clip was the gummy bear heaven. Will you be voicing yourself one day?

  16. That was 49 seconds of BAD. I prefer the comics.
    I thought of the crocs sounding dumb, as opposed to some generic ethnic. They really stink. I mean REALLY REALLY stink.

    I prefer the comics. I REALLY prefer the comics.

  17. I’m sorry . . . I just imagined their voices . . . I dunno, lighter. they’re more like a base or a baratone, and I was thinking more tenor. especailly for the crocs. (I was thinking a light voice) for pig, definitly not that light. (shrug) I can’t really complain. Still love rat. And I admit, I like guard duck’s voice.

  18. the moment I went on facebook and saw that peals was animated, my day was made. Awesome, truly awe inspiring!

  19. This is why I like books better than movies. I agree with the several fans who say they imagined the crocs sounding “dumb” rather than ethnic. Still funny, but that’s more a function of the writing and the drawing than the animation and voices. Keep it up!

  20. Pretty cool! I just watched them all. Can’t wait for more!

    One thing that I couldn’t help but think – the crocs sound like a cross between Speedy Gonzales and Jar Jar Binks. Not that it’s a bad thing.

  21. What happened to the ” free atlas thank cod all nighty” comic? It was there and now it’s gone!

  22. They scared my cat. I guess I shouldn’t have shoved my laptop in her face yelling, “HEY KITTY! LOOK AT THE WALKING, TALKING ANIMALS!”

    I’m putting ointment on my arm now.

  23. Hey! You hear voices in your head too? I hear voices in my head all the time. Do yours tell you to go to the supermarket and rearrange the jam like mine do?

  24. Oddly, the crocs (in the episode where they pretend to be giant ants in Zeeba’s basement) sound like Jar Jar Binks doing a bad Christopher Walken impersonation.

  25. Pretty good, dont like pigs voice much but I look forward to more Joe’s Roastery comics. Also the Tofu Cow would be fantasticly hilarious.

  26. I really love Pig’s voice.. it sounds so cute to me.. exactly what I thought it should be.
    Zebra is good too
    I thought of diffrent ones for Rat and goat, but I think they would work..
    I however, don’t like LGD’s voice.. I always thought it would be higher.. i dunno why. And the crocs… i felt should be slower.. dumber-if you will?

  27. Thought the crocs would be voiced deeper, and the guard duck more like the Aflac duck with Post Traumatic Syndrome.

    Love the animation tho. Will we hear Pastis talk? 🙂

  28. Like some of the others, I’ll probably stick to the comics. The voices just don’t sound like the ones in my head so the animation doesn’t ring true for me.

    I think it’s great though that you’re seeing Pearls branch out into various media. If you ever decided to make a full length movie, I hope you would audition new voices for the characters.

  29. LOVE the comic strip, LOVE the shorts for the most part, except one thing that I think ruined the Dilbert strips is happening again here. The stupid ringtailed lemur logo pops up WAAAY too fast. It destroys the comic timing as if the punchline to every joke is “LOOK, A FUNNY RINGTAILED LEMUR! AND HOW WITTY – IT’S FOR A COMPANY CALLED.. RINGTAIL! OH HAH HAH HA!” The problem with the Dilbert strips and with these too is that the logo at the end, and the high-pitched *DING* is they are so intrusive and in-your-face that they become part of the content. Even after seeing several of the strips, it’s impossible to ignore the “DING – LEMUR!” effect. The one with the self-cleaning oven almost gets it right as the oven slowly walks off camera, but then we learn that’s not the end of the strip that Rat still has more to say, and less than a second later, DING – LEMUR! The one where the guard duck craters the house, same deal. We hardly have time to look at the ending wide shot and marvel the crater before the LEMUR is shoved in our faces. Again, love the strip, love the animation, but the lemur must die. It would be AWESOME (by which I mean, yes, TRULY worth of inspiring awe) if we got to see guard duck or the crocs taking out the lemur in an upcoming animation, and then it never appearing again.

  30. the voices/accents are pretty much what I had imagined, except for Rat and for the crocs, which I thought would be more high pitched…

  31. I find that the timing that made the original strips funny is lost in the animated versions.

  32. I’m sorry.. doesn’t do it for me. The crocs are all wrong compared to what I hear them as, pig sounds like an effeminate five year old.. and I just feel like it’s all generic. :: shrugs ::

    Love the strip though.. I’ll keep reading them over and over.

  33. Thank you for not making Guard Duck sound like AFLAC Duck.

    Love the car alarm when the “loser-death-roll” croc rolls off-screen; it adds another dimension not available in print.

  34. goat and zebra pretty good pig and rat o.k. crocs could have been better gaurd duck is pretty good

  35. That was pretty cool, seeing the characters’ lips move the whole time, and hearing “their” voices. The crocs’ voices made me smile, they sounded stereotypical eastern European(?). Rat’s voice is surprisingly kinda se*y, and Pig sounds kinda like a kid. I thought Goat’s would be a little higher, and Zebra & Guard Duck were good! Keep ’em coming please, in both formats!

  36. These are really neat! The rat and pig ones did come out surprisingly touching. The zebra and crocks are almost perfect!

  37. These were great. I guess the voices in my head were different for nearly all the characters, but for the most part, these particular voices are growing on me. The only one that’s a bit grating to the ears is pigs voice, especially since it’s so different than I imagined. Overall though, a great job, and ultimately, this comic is the Pastis’ creative mind at work, so whatever strange voices these characters may have overlayed, it’s not my place to criticize. Good job and I look forward to many more.

  38. Hmmm. I really don’t care for Pig’s voice, he sounds too much like a Care Bear. The crocs are closest to what I imagined when they’re “ants” under Zebra’s house. I still definitely prefer the strip, but these are entertaining!

  39. overall, awesome and win.

    I will admit, I didn’t ‘hear’ the crocs as sounding East Asian, but other than that, well done. Even included the Paratroop strip, which was one of the best ever.

    “that’s a morey!”


  40. I think I like the voices in my head better. I think you once said Rat sounded like Steve Buscemi in your head and that’s how I’ve heard him ever since. I didn’t hear Goat sounding that old. And the Crocs voices sound like Jar Jar Binks. I hear them more with a Jamaican accent. Guard Duck’s voice is too deep for his size. I hear him more like Col Sherman T Potter from M*A*S*H. Pig’s voice is a lot higher than I hear it. A half octave lower would be right on. I think Zebra is the the only one that sounds right.

    Anywho – that’s my take.

  41. I’ve always heard Rat’s voice as Steve Buscemi … and Pig does sound a bit like Michael Jackson, but otherwise, I love seeing the comics animated.

    Tell us the truth, Stephan … are you the voice of the possessed sewing machine?

  42. Oh god…. Campaign Finance Reform. I almost died.

    I was entirely expecting the Crocs to be a lot more monotone. Mentally, I hear them sort of like kids at a school play reciting their practiced lines, or just reading the script.

  43. Voices sound about how they should, but I am disappointed at them being animated in Flash.
    I was kinda hoping for a full-length series. Like, on the tee-vee.

  44. They are absolutely gorgeous!!! My day was made, too the moment I discovered the animated Pearls! I absolutely love Hellooooooooo Zeeba neighba )))
    I don’t understand others saying they did not like the voices or the whole thing. I imagined some voices different too (Rat), but whatever we fans imagined, now we met the REAL strip chracters. They are Stephs, not ours ))

  45. And yes, I do not work for the second day. I watched all of them twice at work (crying laughing), and watched them home in the evening. Guess what I did the second morning at work.

  46. ‘fess up. You are doing Rat’s voice! Loved ’em. I got sucked into watching all of them and burned my dinner. You owe me a thin crust pizza.

  47. Not how I imagined their voices, but I kinda like it. Zebra is perfect, but Crocs sound too European.

  48. I watched the animations and loved them, though I wish some were longer, like the if the strips were in a series like in the Rat/Pig rain cloud one, put the 2 strips together in the animation, like this one did, I would love to the the whole Rat hotel series, or the more of Rat in the coffee shop. I look forward to seeing more of them.

  49. Rat is not what I expected at all. He kind of sounds like Garfield. (The voice for Garfield was perfect, I thought.) I always heard a snarkier rat–the rat here sounds kind of mellow. And Pig kind of sounds like Linus. But guard duck is spot on! He always “quacks” me up!

  50. Definitely very entertaining. I certainly agree that the crocs almost sounded more intelligent than their characterization should allow for. But Goat, Pig, and Guard Duck are spot on. Great idea, and I hope you keep on with it.

  51. All the voices sound spot-on to me! Pig and Zebra particularly sound the way I’d imagine. I love the animated Pearls and my husband and I are having a marathon viewing together!

  52. Dude,
    You are playing with fire here. Giving characters voices can conflict with viewer expectations. It’s like when Mary Richards got married.
    Not for nuthin, but you got the croc voices wrong. They need a little of the ol’ Fozzie Bear timbre. (If you want to annoy people, pronounce it correctly– tam`-buhr. You’re welcome

  53. been waiting for this for years! everyone sounds great, but pig is a bit younger than i thought.

  54. Well….the thing for me is that I had imagined rat to’ve had a higher voice. But who cares! I really enjoy these animations

  55. I’m posting this *before* reading the other comments. I will read them, though.

    Stephan has said in his treasury books that he thinks of the Croc’s accents as somehow Russian. That wasn’t even close to how I heard them in my head, based on the spelling he uses, but now that I hear them in the cartoons, I understand what he means. It works.

    The timid little boy voice works well for Pig, and the Dirty Harry one works very well for Guard Duck, even though I’d been “hearing” his voice as very clipped and formal before. I like the “kiss ma grits” truck stop waitress speech of the waitresses at the diner.

  56. I liked rat’s voice and pig’s voice, though I’ll agree that this isn’t at all how I imagined the crocs’ voices.

    I do think that these hew a bit too closely to the comic if anything- in a comic, the pause between panels is seamless and often important to the humor, but in a cartoon, the weird little pauses that line up with the panel breaks don’t work well.

  57. Pig’s voice sounds a little too young, like a little boy and that’s a little disconcerting for me since that’s not what I “hear” for Pig. But Rat’s voice sounds sarcastic enough. Zebra and the Crocs are spot-on! I like their skits best. More, More, More please!!

  58. These were better than I could have imagined! Thank you for making my day. I emailed the link to friends.

  59. I don’t like the voices for pig or the crocs :(. The crocs sound much stupider in my head, and I agree with the others on the timing not working as well when animated. Some of the voice actors sound bored. There is something drastically missing. Please no more Jar Jar binks sounding crocs! I’ll stick to the comics but hope the animated ones improve.

  60. This is like when movies went from silent to talkies. Some people had fits. Other people liked it. Look what prevailed. Change is both difficult to take, and exciting. Good job in moving along and trying new things. It must have been a hard road, caring for your fictional peeps and how they’d come across.

    I do have to agree with the multitude of comments here regarding the crocks’ accents. It seemed offensive to me even as written — as lots of people have posted, “generic ethnic” — and sounds worse. Why are your stupid characters “other”-sounding, when everyone else sounds “American”? You’re much smarter than that, Mr. Pastis.

  61. Haven’t posted here before, so I want to say that I love the strip and I like your blog. However, the voices in these animated strips are horrid. The Crocodiles who are fantastic in the strip are almost offensive in their “generic ethnic” voices they have, and the pig voice is so off-putting I muted a couple of the episodes because of it.

    Probably won’t listen to these again, and honestly I am trying to block out these voices now as they are ruining my enjoyment of the strip now too.

  62. Loved it! Most of the voices were spot on, except the crocs (accent correct, just needed to be a bit more gravelly) and I always imagined Guard Duck with a meeker voice to make him seem a bit more insane. Think Cloris Leachman. But overall very good!

  63. Dear Mr. Pastis,

    Please start working on a TV show based on Pearls Before Swine. FInd a team, find a studio, just get it on the airwaves ASAP.

  64. Pig is pretty good, but Rat has been miscast! It’s like the opposite of seeing for the first time that DJ whom you really and finding out they can’t be the face behind the voice you know.

  65. Love these, Stephan, but I gotta admit…the Crocs sound different in my head. When I read them, I get more of a Cajun accent in my head…Louisiana or thereabouts (just because I think of crocodiles in the bayou…nothing against Southerners!). I don’t like Pig’s voice…as someone else said, too effeminate. Rat’s is too deep. He would almost work with a more British accent, but maybe that’s not it, either.
    Anyway. My husband and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pearls Before Swine and laugh hysterically over the Crocs. They are our fave. Keep up the AWESOME work!

  66. “Pearls Before Swine: The Movie” You should sooo make it happen, Pastis…everybody would s@&# bricks!

  67. rat sure sounds a lot like pastis! love the cute pig voice and how he’s animated. we imagined the crocs with an accent from sooooomewhere in the usa, however, they sound foreign and we are fine with that because they are hilarious and charming. we love the pastis blog and these pbs animations almost more than the strip in print. we’re a little backwards i guess, we should have a croc accent.

  68. The link to access the animations has stopped working. I was able to watch all of them two days ago, but yesterday and today when I click on “Pearls Animations” link….it reads, “Page Not Found”

    Anybody else having this problem?

    Please advise.

  69. Great stuff! Are you going to make them podcasts like they do with Dilbert and New Yorker cartoons? I’d love to have them on my Touch to show people.

  70. I’m truly amazed by those who didn’t hear the voices like you did. IT’S NOT THEIR COMIC STRIP! Hello! My absolute favorite is the incredible puns in the comic strips. I’ve been accused of being punny and people want to throw large objects at me when I let one rip.

  71. I am sorry, I originally missed this post due to the fact that I was “caring for a cup of coffee.” LOL! I think the voices are spot-on…Wooo hooo!

  72. These are so great. I imagiined Rat with a..raspier voixe, I guess…and a little more high-pitched. And I imagined GD a little more formal sounding, but these made the voices work perfectly

  73. I have to say that MOST of the voices are fine, except for that of Pig. He sounds like Michael Jackson. Please, Stephan, stop this from happening. Pig should sound more like… well, a pig. Please give Ned Beatty a call.

  74. These were awesome! I always imagine Rat with a higher pitched voice, a sarcastic chipmunk of sorts. Everything else fits great! Love the work, it’s quite inspirational.

  75. Sadly no love with my hardware/software but that’s OK , I dont imagine voices with them. Hearing one would be like killing Schroedingers cat (or being denied the opportunity



  76. Crocs and Zebra, right outta my head. Rat, close enough. I’ll have to get used to Goat, Pig, and Guard Duck, but I’ll take your word for it. Magnanimous me.

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