It’s amazing how many famous actors have lent their voices to animated characters over the years. Voice over acting appeals to many celebrities who enjoy acting in a different way. Chances are you’ve watched some of these shows and movies and didn’t realize whose voice it was you were hearing.
Phil Hartman – Dennis the Menace
Most kids of the 1980s watched the Dennis the Menace cartoon series at some point. It followed the adventures of the troublemaker kid nicknamed Dennis the Menace. Like the old black and white live action series of the same name, was based on the comic strip by Hank Ketcham. Few realized that funny actor Phil Hartman voiced Mr. Wilson in the first season. Side note: Brennan Thicke, the oldest son of Alan Thicke who avoids the spotlight, portrayed the title character Dennis in the series.
Phil Hartman rose to fame in Saturday Night Live in the same year he provided the voice of Mr. Wilson in the first season of the cartoon. Perhaps that is why he didn’t return for the second season of Dennis the Menace. He went on to appear in films such as Houseguest and Jingle All the Way. Tragically, he was killed by his wife while he slept in 1998.
Mila Kunis – Family Guy
Meg Griffin is the teenage daughter on the Seth MacFarlane series Family Guy. She doesn’t look or act much of anything like the famous actress who portrays her. It’s Mila Kunis who provides the voice for Meg. Mila has enjoyed many starring roles in films such as Oz the Great and Powerful and Bad Moms.
Mila Kunis wasn’t always the voice of Meg. She was first portrayed by Seth’s sister Rachel MacFarlane in the show’s original plot. Then, for the rest of the first season of the show, the character was voiced by Lacey Chabert, the actress who rose to fame as the precocious youngest sister on Party of Five. Mila Kunis has been playing Meg most of the time since the show’s second season.
Michael Cera – The Berenstain Bears
The Berenstain Bears was a beloved children’s animal series that debuted in 2003 on PBS Kids. It had a child actor who would go on to be a celebrity among its cast members. Michael Cera was the voice of Brother Bear, the oldest child of Mama Bear and Papa Bear.
Brother Bear was one of the give main characters in the show that’s based on the popular series of children’s books. Episodes of The Berenstain Bears center around many of the plots from the books, too. After providing the voice to Brother Bear in the series, Michael Cera would go on to act in such movies as Juno and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
Fergie – Peanuts
Superstar Fergie, whose full name is Stacy Ann Ferguson, has been a hardworking performing since she was a child star. She was in elementary school when she first graced television screens on the Disney Channel show Kids Incorporated. She was also a child when she provided the iconic voice of Sally Brown, Charlie Brown’s little sister, in several specials from the Peanuts franchise.
Fergie was the voice of Sally Brown in the television special It’s a Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown and Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown. She also portrayed Sally in a season of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. Fergie’s not the only famous person to portray Sally. Jodie Sweetin, who is once again playing Stephanie Tanner in Fuller House, played Sally Brown in It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown along with Mindy Ann Martin.
John Ritter – Clifford
Clifford the Big Red Dog was a hit children’s television series produced from 2000 to 2003. John Ritter voiced the title character Clifford in every episode of the show. Best known for his iconic portrayal of Jack Tripper in Three’s Company, John Ritter also enjoyed a successful film career with films like Problem Child and Noises Off.
John Ritter may have been known as a comedic actor, but he also had a lot of depth and wide range as an actor. His portrayal of Clifford is different from other characters he has voiced, and the show stopped production after his tragic death in 2003. He died during surgery to repair an aortic dissection.
Cameron Diaz – Shrek
Princess Fiona from Shrek is a very different sort of princess. She was a beautiful princess who suffered from a unique curse: she was transformed into an ogress each night. She was determined to break the curse until she fell in love with an ogre named Shrek. Starting with the original Shrek film, Princess Fiona was voiced by a gorgeous Hollywood star.
Cameron Diaz provided the voice of Princess Fiona in Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and Shrek Forever After. Shrek himself is also portrayed by a well-known actor; Mike Myers of Austin Powers fame voiced Shrek in those four films. Cameron Diaz told The New York Times that she matured during her time voicing Princess Fiona, and she hopes to do it again.
George Clooney – Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a Wes Anderson film that really is a departure from the type of films the quirky director is known for making. The stop motion animated movie was based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book of the same name. The title character Mr. Fox is sometimes called Foxy, and he was voiced by George Clooney.
George Clooney provided the voice to Mr. Fox in this film that was so well-received that it received two Academy Award nominations. He has recently called for a boycott over the Brunei LGBT death penalty. George Clooney is becoming as well-known for his serious endeavors as an activist as he is for his starring roles as an actor.
Meryl Streep – Fantastic Mr. Fox
Who could hold her own as a voiceover actress against George Clooney’s charm and considerable talents? In Fantastic Mr. Fox, Felicity Fox, AKA Mrs. Fox, was portrayed by Meryl Streep. She calls her husband Foxy as an endearing nickname and adores him, yet she can be vicious when she realizes he has lied to her. She is courageous and a good mother.
Not surprisingly, Meryl Streep brings a special depth to the Felicity Fox character beyond the written words. Mrs. Fox is one of the few characters in the film who is female. Other celebrities who provided voices in the film include Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson.
Arsenio Hall – The Real Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters became a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s. The Real Ghostbusters was an animated TV show that was a sequel to the box office mega-hit 1984 film Ghostbusters. It ran from 1986 to 1991. Winston Zeddemore from The Real Ghostbusters was portrayed by an actor who would find fame as the host of his own late-night talk show in the 1990’s.
Arsenio Hall voiced Winston Zeddemore in The Real Ghostbusters in the first three seasons of the series. His career must have gotten too busy to allow him to continue to portray the character, and Buster Jones played the part in the show’s last four seasons. Arsenio Hall is now best known for The Arsenio Hall Show that was widely watched and referenced in the early 1990s.
Hugh Jackman – Happy Feet
Happy Feet is a movie that can best be sincerely described as adorable. The 2006 computer-animated musical film is funny and sweet. It was directed, co-written, and produced by George Miller. While many celebrities lend their voices to characters in Happy Feet, a lot of people don’t realize that Hugh Jackman is the voice behind the character Memphis.
Memphis is an apt name for a character whose song is “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley. He first appears on screen singing that classic Elvis tune. Nicole Kidman plays his wife Norma Jean in the film, and Elijah Wood portrays his son Mumble. Other celebrities in the movie include Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, and Steve Irwin.
Alec Baldwin – Rise of the Guardians
Rise of the Guardians is a 2012 3D computer-animated movie that was partly based on the book series The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce. Such whimsical characters in the film are famous figures from childhood such as the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, the Easter Bunny, and, of course, Santa Claus. The latter character is portrayed by an actor who first rose to fame in the 1980s.
Alec Baldwin is the voice of Santa Claus in Rise of the Guardians. His character Nicholas St. North (Santa Claus) is considered to be the Guardian of Wonder, and he is the leader of the guardians. Other famous actors who voice animated characters in the film include Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, and Jude Law.
Michael J. Fox – Stuart Little
Stuart Little is one of the most-recognized characters in classic children’s fiction. The 1999 family comedy movie was based on the novel Stuart Little by E.B. White. While much of the movie is live action, two characters are created using animatronic props, live animals, and CGI (computer generation images). Stuart Little is voiced by Michael J. Fox who is never seen in the film.
Michael J. Fox had already enjoyed a massively successful career on television as the star of Family Ties in the 1980s when he signed on to do Stuart Little. He had also starred in such beloved movies as Back to the Future and Doc Hollywood. Nathan Lane also voices the character of Snowbell and isn’t seen on screen.
Tina Fey – Ponyo
Ponyo was a much-anticipated animated film when it hit theaters in 2008. The charming, sweet animated feature film was considered a very loose adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale The Little Mermaid. It’s about a five-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a young goldfish princess named Ponyo. The character Lisa stands out in part because of the funny lady portraying her.
Tina Fey provides the voice of Lisa in Ponyo. Lisa is the mother of Sosuke, the five-year-old boy who has befriended the goldfish. She is a free spirit, and she engages Ponyo in discussion about her overprotective dad who hates humans, and in one memorable scene, she suggests they start with dessert since it’s a backwards sort of day.
Jerry Houser – Flintstones Sequels
The adult Bamm-Bamm Rubble in I Yabba-Dabba Do! and Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby was voiced by versatile voice actor Jerry Houser. Since his memorable debut as Oscy in Summer of ’42, Jerry Houser has enjoyed a career as one of the most prolific actors and voice-over artists in the history of show business.
In addition to portraying Bamm-Bamm, Jerry Houser also provided the voice for Spud in Goof Troop, Sandstorm in The Tranformers, and Sci-Fi in G.I. Joe. He also starred as Wally Logan, Marcia Brady’s husband, in several sequel series and movies to The Brady Bunch. Jerry Houser continues his dynamic career as a producer and actor, and he now teaches voice-over acting, too.
Brittany Murphy – King of the Hill
Luanne Platter is the niece by marriage of Hank Hill, the title character of the long-running animated sitcom. The absent-minded, emotional character appears in the very first episode of the series and is in many of the show’s episodes. She’s considered to be beautiful much like the actress who portrayed her.
Brittany Murphy voiced Luanne Platter in all her appearances on King of the Hill. She won an Annie Award for her portrayal of Luanne. The actress passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from anemia and pneumonia in 2009, a few months after the conclusion of King of the Hill.
Will Ferrell – Megamind
Megamind is a dynamic character from the film of the same name. He is an alien refugee from a galaxy that’s known as Glaupunk Quadrant. He is the last known member of his species since all the residents of his planet were thought to perish when his home planet was swallowed by a black hole. He is portrayed by one of the comedians who got his start on Saturday Night Live and who went on to have an extremely successful film career.
Will Ferrell voices Megamind in 2010 animated film that was released in both 2D and 3D. The inspiration for the character came from such sources as Superman and The Godfather. Will Ferrell is best known for his leading roles in films such as Elf and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Eddie Murphy – Shrek
Shrek is an animated film that’s success is owed in part to the many lovable characters that add such life to the story. The actors who bring them to life also played a huge part in how much audiences embraced those characters. The donkey character in Shrek who is simply called Donkey was voiced by a legendary movie star known for his irreverent comedies.
Eddie Murphy voiced Donkey in the four primary Shrek films: Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and Shrek Forever After. He also played the character in the TV special Shrek the Halls. Donkey has a complex relationship with Shrek throughout the film, although the two ultimately become the best of friends. Eddie Murphy was nominated for multiple Annie awards for his portrayal of Donkey.
Adam Sandler – Hotel Transylvania
Dracula is a storied character that has been portrayed by dozens of accomplished actors in a wide variety of projects over the years. In the 2012 big-budget animated film Hotel Transylvania, Dracula is depicted as the main protagonist who is better known as Drac. This more modern Count Dracula is portrayed by a famous funny man.
Adam Sandler voiced Dracula in Hotel Transylvania. His quirky rendition of Dracula only drinks synthetic blood since regular human blood has too much fat in it. He is funny like the actor who portrays him, and the character tends to make a fool of himself when he’s around the opposite sex. Sandler portrays the character in the sequels to the film, too, including the upcoming, tentatively titled Hotel Transylvania 4.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas – The Lion King
The Lion King has become a Disney classic, and the live-action adaptation of the animated film will be hitting theater screens in 2019. Much has been said about the celebrity cast of the new movie, but a lot of people don’t realize that the original film had celebrities among its cast members, too. For example, young Simba was voiced by a big child star of the 1990s.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas voiced Simba in The Lion King. Early in his career, Jonathan Taylor Thomas had played Greg Brady’s son in the 1990’s sequel series The Bradys. He went on to star as one of Tim Allen’s sons in Home Improvement, and he soon graced most issues of teen magazines throughout much of the 1990s. The down-to-earth child actor stayed out of the spotlight as an adult.
Meg Ryan – Anastasia
Anastasia was a regal, proud character in the 1997 animated film of the same name. The Anastasia film, which inspired by a fascinating true story, was critically acclaimed, and it received two Academy Award nominations. The actress who portrayed Anastasia became famous for her roles in romantic comedies, but she is also a serious dramatic actress who brings a lot to her voiceover work.
Meg Ryan voiced Anastasia in the movie directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. In the same film, the younger Anastasia is played by Kirsten Dunst. It’s said that the two have a physical resemblance to each other, so that wasn’t a stretch. Other celebrities who voice characters in the film include John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, and Angela Lansbury.
Mandy Moore – Tangled
Disney has been creating masterpieces with its new live-action adaptations of its classic princess cartoons. So, it stands to reason that it may soon try a live-action adaptation of Tangled, the story of Rapunzel. If Disney does adapt the animated feature, they may want to go with the original actress who voiced the character.
Mandy Moore portrayed Rapunzel in Tangled. You may remember Moore from her pop hits of the late 1990s and early 2000’.s She sang such songs as “Candy” and “I Wanna Be With You”. She starred in A Walk to Remember and The Princess Diaries, and she recently has starred in the hit show This Is Us.
John Travolta – Bolt
Bolt is an unforgettable, white-haired German shepherd dog that’s the title character in the movie of the same name. Bolt is a dog who stars in his own superpowers television show, and he suffers from the delusion that the superpowers his character has are real. The 2008 movie Bolt from Walt Disney Animation Studios starred John Travolta as the voice of the main character.
John Travolta is better known for his work in front of the screen, but his talents shine in his voiceover work in the film. He admitted that he turned down a lot of voice work in animated films in the past, yet he just really clicked with the character of Bolt when he read the script. The animators used John Travolta’s facial expressions as inspiration while animating the film.
Tim Curry – Ferngully
Although Robin Williams is very closely associated with his role as the oh-so-lovable and hilarious genie in Aladdin, many people don’t realize that the Oscar-winning actor also provided the voice to many other well-loved animated characters. Robin Williams voiced the quirky character Batty Koda in Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, an animated musical fantasy movie.
In Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Robin Williams didn’t take on the starring role, but rather lent his talents to the unusual bat characters named Batty. Batty is high-strung, confident, and a little unstable. He tells the fairies that he was experimented on by humans, but he isn’t immediately believed. Ferngully: The Last Rainforest also features the talents of Tim Curry, Christian Slater, and Samantha Mathis.
Russell Brand – Despicable Me
Despicable Me is the film that’s responsible for the yellow minions that you now see everywhere. The computer-animated Universal Pictures comedy film centers on an antihero named Gru, a super-villain who schemes to do all kinds of evil deeds. He is voiced by Steve Carell, but many people don’t realize that a celebrity also provides the voice of Dr. Nefario.
Dr. Nefario is, well, nefarious. His full name is Joseph Albert Nefario. Funny actor Russell Brand voices Dr. Nefario in Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. Russell Brand has been in such other films as Bedtime Stories and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He also had a cameo as himself in Katy Perry: Part of Me with his ex-wife Katy Perry.
Christopher Daniel Barnes – The Little Mermaid
The dashing Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid is Ariel’s dream. Once she sees and saves him, she reimagines her entire life to be a part of his world. The actor who voiced Prince Eric is familiar to many. He portrayed other beloved characters such as Greg Brady and Spider-Man.
Christopher Daniel Barnes voiced Prince Eric in Disney’s 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. At the time he was the teen star of the underrated but short-lived 1980’s sitcom Day by Day. In Day by Day, he is a member of The Brady Bunch in a dream sequence episode, and he would go on to star as Greg Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie.
Dave Coulier – Muppet Babies
Muppet Babies, which was formally named Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies, was a cartoon series that aired from 1984 to 1991 on CBS. The successful show featured the childhood versions of The Muppets as they live together and are cared for by a human nanny. One of the funny men from Full House voiced the character of Animal in Muppet Babies.
Dave Coulier voiced Animal in Muppet Babies throughout the show’s run. He started the part before he achieved fame with Full House, and he continued until the end of the show. Coulier also voiced a variety of other characters such as Baby Bunsen, Baby Janice, Camilla, and Baby Bean Bunny. He has starred in many other shows and films, and he most recently appeared in several episodes of Fuller House.
Billy Crystal – Monsters, Inc.
Mike Wazowski is one of the main characters in Monsters, Inc., and he is the protagonist of the prequel Monsters University. The character is the title character in Mike’s New Car. The light green, spherical monster has two horns on his head and only one eye. He is portrayed by one of the comedy icons of the 1990s.
Billy Crystal voiced Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc., Mike’s New Car, and Monster’s University. Billy Crystal is not exactly otherwise known for his voiceover work, but he was originally offered the role of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. After he saw the film, Billy Crystal said that turning down the role was the biggest mistake of his career. Pixar didn’t hold grudges and offered him the part of Mike.
Mel Brooks – Mr. Peabody & Sherman
As a spin-off film of sorts from the animated TV show The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on characters from the show’s Peabody’s Improbably History sketches. It is a science fiction comedy flick that’s computer animated. The character of Albert Einstein was voiced by a mega-successful filmmaker, actor, and comedian.
Mel Brooks is best known for his comedic films such as Blazing Saddles, The Producers, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. He is among the few stars to have an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award. He is also an accomplished voice actor, and he brings something special to his relatively small part as Albert Einstein in Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
Dakota Fanning – Coraline
Coraline Jones is an eleven-year-old little girl with blue hair. She’s a lovable, eccentric title character in the 2009 film Coraline. Coraline had a difficult time adjusting to her family’s move from Michigan to Ashland, Oregon. The voice of Caroline was provided by one of the biggest child stars of the Aughts.
Dakota Fanning provided the voice of Coraline. Dakota was known for her precocious nature, and she revealed that she related to Caroline in many ways as though they grew up together. This 3D stop-motion animated film has elements of dark fantasy, comedy, and horror in it. It’s based on the 2002 novel by Neil Gaiman that’s also called Coraline.
Morgan Freeman – The Lego Movie
Alongside Batman, Vitruvius is one of the two tritagonists in The Lego Movie. The unusual character is blinded and then killed in the course of the movie. He is decapitated with a penny! (Yes, this is a kids’ film.) Vitruvius plays an important role in the film, though, and he is portrayed by prolific star Morgan Freeman.
Morgan Freeman plays Vitruvius in a straightforward way, and it’s not his first time in the Batman world. He portrayed Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Morgan Freeman has also starred in such films as The Bucket List and Now You See Me. Josh Robert Thompson provided the voice of Vitruvius in The Lego Movie Videogame.
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