Even if you don't recognize the name, there's no way you aren't familiar with the voice. Don LaFontaine was the man most synonymous with action movie trailers and the main reason so many of them stuck in our minds afterward. His booming baritone won him many fans and awards, and he wen't be replaced anytime soon, if ever. Let's look back on his career with some of the finest examples YouTube can offer. (If any don't work anymore, let me know and I'll upload them myself.)
Close to the time of his death, before his old smoking habits began doing him in, Don was averaging sixty voice-over spots per day. He was one of the most widely heard voices in modern history, for good reason. There's no other adjective to describe it: his voice was just...plain....cool.
Don's first trailer, for a movie called Gunfighters of Casa Grande, was unavailable, so one of his most well-known will have to suffice. In a world where superior sequels were rare and amazing computer effects were just dawning, only one man was capable of summarizing Arnold's greatest cinematic role.....
Don's voice would stick with the Terminator franchise from then on. He promoted Terminator 3 and the first season of the TV series.
Another Cameron film introduced by Don...but oddly, all he is used for is to brag about how much the movie costs. There was a lot of conflict behind the sets that wasn't much to brag about, leading some producers to alternate-title the film "The Abuse," or even "Life's Abyss and Then You Dive."
1992's Bat Sequel was hyped up by LaFontaine. Fact: when they lick en masse, the tongues of cats have resurrection powers.
|THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
This Simpsons Movie trailer was released in early 2007 and was one of Don's last major movie voice-over deals.
|DON SHILLS FOR SLOVAKIA
To call his career "varied" is to call a carrot orange or Amy Winehouse baked. Though action trailers were his claim to fame, Don voiced comedy trailers, drama trailers, video game trailers, television shows, and advertisements for just about everything including small countries.
|THE SUPER SMASH BROS. AD
This classic ad would be great on its own, but Don's "Something's gone wrong!" made it even better.
Don LaFontaine and Pikachu: finally together at last.
|BIRD'S EYE STEAMFRESH
Don could even make vegetables in a bag sound epic.
|HOLLYWOOD VIDEO AD
Eventually, Don's voice became so well-known that he began making media apperances as himself. The first ad to show Don onscreen was from Hollywood Video in 1997.
|FIVE GUYS IN A LIMO
This short film starred Don and fellow movie announcers Mark Elliot, John Leader, Nick Tate and Al Chalk in the same place, in the same fancy car. Note each one's gifted ability to say the word "Now."
|DON'S APPEARANCE AT THE SUPER BOWL
Well, it ran during then, anyway. One of Don's more famous latter-year jobs was the voice of Fox's "24" ads. This is another onscreen role...
|IN A WORLD OF NINTENDO
If you aren't completely convinced of Don's superiority yet, consider this: he was one of the biggest voice-over actors in the business, yet he sometimes took on requests to be the announcer on student projects -- for free. That kind of humility and respect for fans is hard to find in anyone.
This guy asked LaFontaine if he would voice-over his final project for advertising class, "The World of Nintendo." (You may recognize clips from other Nintendo ads in this, including LaFontaine's Smash Bros. ad.)
|"IN A WORLD OF PERSONAL SCHOOL PROJECTS,
YOU'D HAVE TO BE A DUMB CLUCK NOT TO APPRECIATE DANIEL'S
REPORT ON CHICKENS."
Another student project garnished by LaFontaine. The above quote beats "In a world where" by a thousand points in my book.
One of Don's last projects, and possibly the last where he appears on camera identified by name.
|THE VOICE: DON LAFONTAINE
Another one of the last things Don appeared in was this 5-minute biography on him. It's fitting enough to end things on.
Trailers, commercials and school chicken
reports will sound a lot emptier from now on without The Don. The
largest hole his absence leaves, however, was summed up by a
random YouTube commentor:
"Now how will we know what kind of world we live in??"
TO THE MAIN PAGE
OR, LISTEN TO A PODCAST STARRING DON