From the outset, the animators wanted to make the villian of "Oliver & Company" rather out of the ordinary. They needed to portray somebody who could be brutally threatening and yet not just a thug, sinister and yet very powerfully physical -- neither a sly Ratigan nor a brute McLeach, but possessing some characteristics of both.
The result: a solid, powerful man who is seen mostly in the shadows. He became much more intimidating when not seen in the light. His big, meaty hands show power, yet they are also dexterous and delicate. In fact, his hobby is building miniature models of his car. A good perspective on Sykes' persona can be derived from a glance at the screen career of Robert Loggia, Sykes' voice artist. A classic screen heavy with a gravelly and powerful voice, Loggia is intimidating ("Prizzi's Honor," "Scarface") yet adroit at the same time ("Big").
Film: "Oliver & Company" (1988)
Voice Artist: Robert Loggia
The evil poacher McLeach believes in "recycling" endangered animals into purses and wallets. "Home, home on the range, where the critters are tied up in chains. First I cut through their sides, then rip off their hides, and tomorrow I'll do it again ..." With his giant bushwhacker machine he tears up the countryside, catching whatever wildlife falls into his snares. The prize he covets most is the great golden eagle Marahute and her eggs. He'll use every trick he knows to catch and kill her -- even kidnapping a young boy in hopes of finding her secret hideaway.
George C. Scott, the Oscar®-winning star of "Patton," voiced the murderous McLeach. Key animator Duncan Marjoribanks specifically asked for the plum assignment. Like many artists he feels it's the villains -- not the heroes -- of a movie that give a film its bite. Film: "The Rescuers Down Under" (1990)
Voice Artist: George C. Scott