clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Apple’s animated series, Strange Planet, has a big voice acting challenge

Will including Danny Pudi in the cast be enough?

A banner that says “Apple TV Plus Strange Planet, Everything is absurd” surrounded by a bunch of little blue aliens Image: Apple TV Plus
Zosha Millman (she/her) manages TV coverage at Polygon as TV editor, but will happily write about movies, too. She’s been working as a journalist for more than 10 years.

Apple TV Plus has announced Strange Planet, a new show based on the hit alien-based comics of the same name by Nathan Pyle.

You know the extraterrestrials, even if you don’t know them: Little blue guys who speak with arch language and a goony sort of awe over whatever they encounter. Everyday things take on new names; teeth are “mouth stones,” a sunburn is “star damage.”

Through their adorable alien wonder, they manage to be what so many influencers cannot — relatable — as they explore the absurdity of the human condition.

Which is perhaps the biggest challenge facing Strange Planet’s 10 episodes, debuting on Apple TV Plus on August 9. The webcomic and the first two books (2020 saw the sequel Stranger Planet) were on the page, and readers could project whatever voices seemed the funniest, or the most charming. On screen — well, like any translation to TV, these aliens are suddenly getting a whole new dimension. Will they sound small and reedy? Precious and brittle? Will an animated series be able to adequately capture their verbose curiosity?

Pyle’s jokes are often funny (or as the aliens might say: humorous). As they mouthpush and display their digit loops (kiss and wedding rings, respectively), it’s easy to read their jokes with the perfect inflection. An adaptation with someone else’s voice in their place might feel jarring, the strangest leap yet for these alien fish out of the proverbial water.

At the very least, Strange Planet boasts a great collection of voice actors: The new Apple TV series has Tunde Adebimpe, Demi Adejuyigbe, Lori Tan Chinn, Community’s Danny Pudi, and Hannah Einbinder of Hacks. Apple TV’s press release didn’t say what adventures they’d be feeling their way through, but chances are it’ll be something like the arc of Strange Planet.

So maybe now’s the best time to read the book! Go figure out what you think the aliens should sound like. Hopefully you’re right.

Season 1 of Strange Planet debuts on Apple TV Plus on August 9 with three episodes.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon