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Chen's Cartoon Dreams

The Early Show continues its "I Always Wanted To..." series, which allows the co-anchors a unique opportunity to do something they've always wanted to do. In the latest in the series, co-anchor Julie Chen gets a little more animated, as she explains here.



Growing up in the 1970s, there was nothing I loved more than the beach, birthday cake and Saturday morning cartoons.

"Tom and Jerry" was probably the first cartoon that I really felt a connection to. I may have enjoyed the show because I watched it with my grandmother, who did not speak English. We would watch "Tom and Jerry" together because there's no dialogue – enabling us to get the idea of the show.

I used to also love "Scooby Doo" and I was obsessed with the Smurfs.

In the last five or seven years, many celebrities have lent their voices to animated projects. I always thought I'd like to do the same, because it parallels what we do as broadcasters. Yet, it's so different, because it's an alter ego. It is a fantasy.

I went to the Nickelodeon animation studio, where they gave me my very own character on their hit show, " The Fairly OddParents."

In the show, Timmy Turner's every wish can be granted with the wave of wand.

Butch Hartman, the creator of "The Fairly OddParents," helped me bring my character to life.

In an episode, my character, the Starlet, is hired to distract King Kong. But before she can move, she needs her voice -- my voice.

"All I'm going to ask you is to be as big as you possibly can be, because you're acting with your voice," instructed Hartman. "You have four lines. Make them the greatest four lines of your life."

"I don't know what kind of girl you think I am, but I don't hang around with just any monkey," I quoted from the script.

A couple more takes and lines later, Hartman was pleased with the result and called it a wrap for my part on the show.

Recording a character's voice is just the first step in a lengthy animation process, which can take up to 10 months to complete. Although the episode I voiced won't air until early next year, the folks at Nickelodeon were able to give me a brief look at my Hollywood starlet.

And my complete dialogue consisted of:

"I don't know what kind of girl you think I am, but I don't hang around with just any monkey."

"But suddenly, that's not just any monkey!"

"Sure, I'll ape-sit your pal for you."

"So, what do you want to do, see a movie, have some dinner?"

"Hey, easy on the hips, I just paid for those!"

"Ahh, I don't do my own stunts!"

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