Part of the job actors face in a new role includes a lot of hair, makeup and costume preparation. When an actor decides to take on a role as the voice of an animated character, it means they don’t have to deal with any of that. They show up, sit in front of a microphone in a sound booth and read their lines. Three’s hair and makeup – and there typically isn’t even a full cast of characters in the room at the same time. Most actors prefer the spotlight, but there are some who have really made a successful career providing animated voiceovers. Here are 15 who are at the top of their games.
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The late Robin Williams provided the voice of Genie in the hit Disney movie, Aladdin. The movie was the 31st animated feature produced by Disney, and it was a groundbreaking movie for the company. It was the first time that studios actually paid to advertise the voice of one of their characters, and it was a success. Williams’ fame and success helped to draw a bigger audience to the film, and it helped to create its success. From that point on, almost all major animated films began finding famous faces to lend their famous voices to their characters.
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You and I know her as the hilarious talk show host who likes to give her audience members and fans lots of money, new cars and awesome trips. She’s like Oprah, but with a much funnier personality and much better dance moves. Ellen, in case you’ve never heard her talk about it, is the voice of Dory, the somewhat crazy fish in the hit film, Finding Nemo. She’s been angling for years for a second Finding Nemo because she had such a good time voicing Dory, and she’s currently working on her part in the second installment of the film.
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When it’s time to remember Mike Myer’s for his long career, it’s going to be hard to pick just one role in which he will be most remembered for. He’s Wayne, from Wayne’s World, and he’s Austin Powers, and he’s Shrek. How do you even beat that? Each role was hilarious, but none as heartwarming as his role as Shrek, the lovable ogre who wins the heart of Princess Fiona (whose voice belongs to Cameron Diaz). Myers changed his voice dramatically, gave himself an accent and went on to make Shrek a huge success.
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Family Guy is a show that features a family called the Griffins. It’s edgy, a bit controversial and it’s been cancelled twice by Fox. However, the network has brought the show back both times due to its sheer popularity and its loyal – and large – fan base. Seth MacFarlane is not the most famous actor in the world, but he’s definitely the busiest animated voiceover star in the world. He actually provides his voice to more than half the Griffin family and some of the other characters on the show. His deal with Fox is reportedly $100 million.
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He’s a favorite leading man in Hollywood. He’s been in movies such as Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, and he’s the voice of the main character in the animated movies, Toy Story. Toy Story is one of the most popular animated films of all time, and it’s due in part to Tom Hanks’ voice. He is the voice behind Woody, the lovable cowboy that belongs to Andy, the little boy with a room full of animated, talking toys. Hanks’ portrayal of Woody is so awesome that kids and adults alike have fallen in love with the character.
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Everyone loves him as the main character in the hit 90s comedy, Home Improvement. He also makes a great Santa Clause. But, that’s not all that Tim Allen does successfully. His voice stars opposite Tom Hanks’ voice in the Toy Story movies. Allen lends his voice to a superhero astronaut by the name of Buzz Lightyear. In the first movie, his character and Hanks’ character aren’t particularly good friends, but they learn to get along and work together as a team to save the day. Allen makes an awesome Buzz Lightyear; perfectly pompous and full of himself, but lovable at the same time.
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In real life, she has no problem leading the pack when it comes to great actresses and fan favorites. She’s got the same knack when she’s in front of the microphone, as well. Cameron Diaz is one of the most famous leading ladies of our generation, but she’s also a successful voiceover actress. She lends her voice to the hit character Princess Fiona in the Shrek series. Princes Fiona begins her role in the movie as a beautiful princess who falls for an ogre (Shrek) and eventually becomes an ogre herself. It’s a great role and Diaz has the perfect voice for the character.
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If anyone is going to make you laugh, it’s Chris Rock. And as Marty the Zebra in the hit Madagascar films, it’s no wonder people find him so funny. There’s just something about his voice that’s funny even if you can’t see his face or his expressions. Rock has a way of enunciating his words and speaking with a specific tone that makes everything hilarious – even when it wouldn’t be funny otherwise. Rock is a great actor in person, and he’s a great actor to lend his voice to other characters. He’s got an insane talent when it comes to providing a voiceover for an animated character.
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Believe it or not, everyone’s favorite silly girl from That 70s Show is also one of the voices in Seth MacFarlane’s hit animated series, Family Guy. She’s been playing the role for many years, though most people are surprised to learn it’s actually her voice on the show. She’s best known for her role in the sitcom, but she’s also known for being a leading lady in several films. Right now she’s in the spotlight primarily for her pregnancy and engagement to Ashton Kutcher, who was her first kiss and her first costar.
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You’ll recognize his face from many movies and television shows but before you recognize his face, you will recognize his voice. Hank Azaria has one of the most recognizable, unmistakable voices in the world. He’s the man behind several of the most popular characters on The Simpsons. No, he’s not Homer. However, he is the voice of Apu, Chief Wiggum and a few others. You’ll recognize his voice from his roles in this show even if you never watched it much, simply because they are all such memorable characters with such memorable roles.
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If there’s one show we all watched as kids, it was Scooby Doo. We loved it, we watched it and we all wished we could be awesome crime solving cartoons and have a dog as fun as Scoob. However, most of us didn’t grow up to drive the mystery machine. The late Casey Kasem is the man behind the voice of Shaggy, the always hungry, scaredy-cat owner of Scooby-Doo. He’s famous for always hiding when it came time to being brave, and for making fans laugh at his antics – it’s a show and a role that’s been around for decades now.
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Remember Alex the Lion from Madagascar? He’s one of the hilarious main “characters” in the animated feature, and he’s voiced by none other than Ben Stiller. Being the son of Jerry Stiller makes it seem only appropriate that Ben would grow up to become a hilarious actor with some of the greatest comedic roles of all time under his belt (Meet the Fockers, anyone?). His portrayal of Alex the Lion is hilarious, perfectly done and easy to imagine when watching the film. We vote for best voice casting on this one.
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Jack Black is known for his comedic acting, and lending his voice to the panda in Kung Fu Panda was no exception to that rule. The actor has plenty going for him when it’s time to play the hilarious animated character. He seems to provide his voice with the same amount of skill and talent that he provides to his live roles, which just makes him all the more appropriate for his career. Black has a way of getting into character when he’s just doing everyday things, yet it doesn’t seem to take much effort on his behalf to become anything his directors want.
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She’s a beautiful actress that’s done amazing things with her career. She started as a young girl playing roles in teeny bopper films such as The Princess Diaries and has grown up a lot. She’s famous for taking on roles that require a lot of preparation, skill and talent. She was wonderful in Les Miserables, and she’s continuing to show her strength as an actress by lending her voice to a bird in the Rio movies. She plays Jewel, a feisty little bird who loves adventure. Her voice is perfect for the bird, and she’s back with a sequel to the first Rio film.
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He’s got a reputation for not taking care of his kids and demanding paternity tests and then not taking care of them when he finds out he is the father. It happened when he accused former Spice Girl, Mel B., of lying about the parentage of her newborn daughter. Turns out, he is the father. Either way, he plays a donkey in movies. He’s the hilarious voice behind Donkey, the famous character from Shrek. His voice is perfect for Shrek’s sometimes irritating sidekick.
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