Sweeney sees his character as "wildly optimistic with a great purity. He tends to be the anchor who gives the story its emotional grounding. I imagined Aladar as being like the senior in high school who organized everything and was a really great guy. He managed to stay cool and enthusiastic while being on every committee and organizing everything. He is very responsible. I loved coming to the Studio and getting to be him for four hours at a time. He was just this great person that you could really count on.
"I also looked forward to each session because I wanted to see what they had done with the animation of my character, adds Sweeney. It was very exciting to be a part of something so special and to be creating a character that will hopefully live forever. At first, I had to make some adjustments when I found out I was going to be playing an Iguanodon. I wanted to be a Triceratops or a dinosaur with good weaponry. In the end, I was glad to play this appealing and empathetic character. The Disney animation team builds these characters from the heart out. What makes them so memorable is that you know what they're thinking and can relate to them on some level.
According to the actor, The worst thing about the recording sessions is that you're out there by yourself and you're looking at the booth where all the technicians are with the directors and producers. You do the line a few times in a row and then there's this silence, which might last 20 seconds to a minute. As an actor, you have a tendency to get a bit paranoid and think 'who are they calling to replace me?' In reality they're just trying to pick which one of the takes they prefer and how they can tell you to do it better in the next wave.
"When you're playing a dinosaur, you get some strange direction from the booth, he adds. I remember Ralph Zondag saying one time, 'Remember D.B., you weigh three tons,' and you need to put that through your actor training. You have to come up with solutions to all kinds of strange things like that and figure out how to give the directors what they want.
"Doing a voice for a Disney animated film has been a great experience, says Sweeney. As an actor, it allows you to be bigger than you're allowed to be in a live-action film. And with a Disney film, you don't just see it once. You see them throughout different times in your life and they affect you differently depending on where you are in life. I think this film has a great chance of being one of those animated classics."
Born in New York, Sweeney has appeared on Broadway and in theatre productions around the country. Most recently, he had the role of Biff in the ACT Seattle production of Death of a Salesman. His film credits include Gardens of Stone, Memphis Belle, Fire in the Sky, The Cutting Edge, Roommates and Eight Men Out (as Shoeless Joe Jackson). On television he played Dish Boggett in the landmark miniseries Lonesome Dove and starred as Chance Harper in Strange Luck. His other series credits are C-16 FBI and Harsh Realm.
D.B. Sweeney Facts
|Birth Name||Daniel Bernard Sweeney|
|Birthday||November 14, 1961 (59)|
|Birthplace||Shoreham, New York, USA|
|The Cutting Edge|
|The Resurrection of Gavin Stone|