Come January 2017 President Barack Obama will have some spare time. Computer animators on-hand for his tour of DreamWorks studio in Los Angeles on Tuesday gave him a glimpse of perhaps an unconventional post-White House career, cartoon voice artist.
The DreamWorks team, which was also joined by actors Steve Martin and Jim Parsons, demonstrated for Obama how his voice could be added to animation. They took the president's words, "Happy Thanksgiving everybody, welcome to the White House," and imposed them on a purple cartoon alien named Oh.
"That'll impress the girls," Obama said, clearly amused. (Another person in the room, according the White House pool report, also offered to "animate the State of the Union," using the same technique.)
Long-time funny man Martin and Emmy-winning "The Big Bang Theory" star Parsons were working on "Home," a movie that also stars pop star Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez.
Martin, who said he caught a cold in advance on the president's visit, had a little bit of fun with Obama.
"The fact that I played banjo at the White House for the president of the United States was the biggest thrill of his life," Martin said, speaking of Obama. The president, according to the pool report, happened to agree.
Also on the DreamWorks tour, led by CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Obama was shown how Motion Capture, or MoCap, technology worked. This is the ability for live actors' movements to be used as reference points for animation instantaneously. "That was wonderful," Obama said.
Obama returns to Washington Tuesday evening and will pardon a turkey, either Popcorn and Caramel, on Wednesday. Besides the tour of DreamWorks, Obama was on the West Coast to headline fundraisers for Democrats. He attended events at the homes of pro-Israeli billionaire Haim Saban, Magic Johnson and "Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman.