Animated movies are gaining more audiences nowadays. They are no longer for children only. The animated film companies are facing fierce competitions among one another. To increase the attractiveness of an animated movie, celebrity voice actors are often paid to lend voices to the major characters. This article lists my pick of the 10 best celebrity voice actors in animated movies.
Most of the time, I can tell who the celebrity is working his magic on the animated character. Sometimes I fail in recognizing who the owner of the voice is. The list includes both cases. There are two criteria to be my best ten. First, good voice acting. Second, the celebrities are famous in movies and / or TV.
The list is in chronological order based on the release year of the animated movies. Each presentation is the name of celebrity voice actor comes first, then, the character, the animated movie and the release year. All images come from Wikipedia unless specify.
1. Jeremy Irons – Scar – The Lion King (1994)
(Scar is the lion with black hair, image from Google Search)
Scar is the big villain in the Lion King. Jeremy Irons acted so well that the villain is extraordinary attractive. I find myself hating and loving Scar at the same time. Weird, isn’t it?
Jeremy Irons won the 1991 Oscar, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Reversal of Fortune. He played a role in many famous movies, such as the bad guy in Die Hard: With a Vengeance and the good guy in The Man in the Iron Mask.
2. Tom Hanks – Woody – Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010)
(Woody and Buzz Lightyear)
In Toy Story, Woody is jealous with Buzz Lightyear. His character at the beginning is not likable at all. It is lucky that Tom Hanks lent his voice to Woody. The crisis of Woody is over with a favorable landing.
Tom Hanks won the 1994 and 1995 Oscar, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump respectively. He also acted well in other movies such as Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile and Cast Away.
3. Tim Allen – Buzz Lightyear - Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010)
If you know Tim Allen’s voice, you will notice that the voice of Buzz Lightyear is specially made, giving limit clue on its owner. Buzz Lightyear is particularly lovable when he was in Spanish mode.
Tim Allen won 1995 Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-series, Comedy / Musical for Home Improvement. He also acts in movies such as Galaxy Quest and Jungle 2 Jungle.
4. Billy Crystal – Mike Wazowski — Monster Inc. (2001)
(Mike is the one-eyed monster)
Mike Wazowski is the smart and energetic one-eyed monster, lively acted by Billy Crystal. Monster, Inc. 2 will be released in 2012. I hope Billy Crystal will lend his voice to Mike Wazowski again.
The most famous movie of Billy Crystal is When Harry Met Sally, released in 1989. He was nominated in 1990 Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy / Musical.
5. Mike Myers – Shrek – Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007) and Shrek Forever After (2010)
(From left to right, Princess Fiona, Shrek and Donkey)
Shrek, an ogre, is voiced by Mike Myers. The voice grants Shrek an appropriate human touch, making this not good looking green creature very acceptable to the audience.
Mike Myers did not win in Oscar or Golden Globe, but he acted in a lot of movies, such as the three Austin Powers movies, Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2.
6. Eddie Murphy – Donkey — Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007) and Shrek Forever After (2010)
Due to Eddie Murphy’s vivid acting, Donkey is noisy in a funny way. It helps the audience feel the same way as Shrek tremendously.
I watched one movie of Eddie Murphy, The Haunted Mansion. He was nominated in 2007 Oscar, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Dreamgirls. .
7. Ben Stiller – Alex – Madagascar (2005) and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
(Alex is the lion)
Ben Stiller acted Alex well by offering a warm and friendliness tone without the usual lethality found in a lion. His voice made Alex sound funny, but not stupid.
Ben Stiller did not win Oscar or Golden Globe, but he plays in a role in many famous movies, such as the two Night at the Museum movies and playing Greg Focker in three movies.
8. Bruce Wills – RJ – Over the Hedge (2006)
(RJ is the raccoon)
It is a surprise to know that the voice of RJ belongs to Bruce Wills. However, his acting was well enough to make RJ sounds uniquely smart, a lovable combination of innocence and cunning
When we talk about Bruce Wills, the image of action hero will steal into our mind. Die Hard movies are his representative works. He won 1987 Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – Comedy/Musical for Moonlighting.
9. Dan Castellaneta – Homer + many others – The Simpsons Movie (2007)
(Homer at the middle)
Dan Castellaneta lent his voice to 20 different characters in The Simpsons Movie. The characters are Homer, Itchy, Barney, Grampa, Stage Manager, Krusty the Clown, Mayor Quimby, Mayor’s Aide, Multi-Eyed Squirrel, Panicky Man, Sideshow Mel, Mr. Teeny, EPA Official, Kissing Cop, Bear, Boy on Phone, NSA Worker, Officer, Santa’s Little Helper, Squeaky-Voiced Teen. Isn’t it amazing?
Dan Castellaneta acted in different TV series, sometimes in a movie such as The Pursuit of Happyness. He was nominated five times in Emmy Outstanding Voice-Over Performance and won in 1992, 1993, 2004 and 2009, all for The Simpsons.
10. Jack Black – Po – Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Jack Black really made Po sound cute, no matter Po is in a lazy or awesome mode. Jack Black will lend his voice to Po again in Kung Fu Panda 2.
Jack Black appeared in many movies, such as King Kong, The School of Rock, and the latest movie was Gulliver’s Travels. He was nominated in 2004 Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for The School of Rock.
Since I have not watched all the animated movies, it is very likely that I will miss some good celebrity voice actors. If your favorites are not in the list, you are welcome to leave a message so that I can check them out. Thank you.
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