CLOSE
getty images
getty images

These 22 People Voiced Over 200 Cartoon Characters

getty images
getty images

The best voice actors pull long hours, often playing multiple characters for multiple shows, films, commercials, and videogames in the course of a single day. The pros—as per the 2013 documentary I Know That Voice (available streaming on Netflix)—often say that each character’s vocal qualities create a unique “musicality” that applies only to that particular character. Vocal trainer Bob Bergen says, “If you can do Shakespeare as Porky Pig or Sylvester the Cat and stay in character, then you can probably handle the script for a movie.”

You might not recognize many of these real-life folks in public (a few do show up in front of the camera from time to time), but many of your favorite cartoon characters have been voiced by just a handful of talented voice actors for years. Here’s a partial list.

1. The Voice: Christine Cavanaugh

The Faces: Dexter on Dexter’s Laboratory; Chuckie Finster on Rugrats; Gosalyn Mallard on Darkwing Duck; Oblina on Aaahh!!! Real Monsters; Marty Sherman on The Critic; and she was the original Babe the pig.

2. The Voice: Elizabeth “E.G.” Daily

Getty Images

The Faces: Tommy Pickles on Rugrats; Louie of Huey, Dewey, and – on Quack Pack; Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls; Bamm-Bamm Flintstone on Cave Kids. She also took over as Babe in Babe: Pig in the City.

3. The Voice: Pamela Adlon

Getty Images

The Faces: Bobby Hill from King of the Hill, Vidia the fairy in the Tinkerbell film franchise, and Spinelli on Recess.

4. The Voice: Charles Adler

The Faces: Starscream in the Transformers films; I.R. Baboon on I Am Weasel; Cow and Chicken on Cow and Chicken; Felix the Cat (1995); Ickis on Aaahh!!! Real Monsters; Ed and Bev Bighead and George and Grandma Wolfe on Rocko’s Modern Life; Buster Bunny on Tiny Toon Adventures; and Paddington Bear (1989).

5. The Voice: Tom Kenney

Getty Images

The Faces: Spongebob Squarepants and his pet snail Gary; the Narrator and Mayor from The Powerpuff Girls; Mumbo from Teen Titans; Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh; Iron Man, Captain America, and Doctor Octopus from the Marvel Super Hero Squad franchise; Eduardo from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends; the Penguin on The Batman; Cupid from The Fairly Odd Parents; Dog from CatDog and Heffer Wolfe on Rocko’s Modern Life.

6. The Voice: Jeff Bennett

Disney Wikia

The Faces: Mr. Smee on Jake and the Neverland Pirates; Johnny Bravo; The Man with the Yellow Hat on Curious George; Kowalski from The Penguins of Madagascar and Petrie from several installments of the Land Before Time franchise.

7. The Voice: Jess Harnell

Getty Images

The Faces: Wakko Warner from Animaniacs; Tim the Bear of The Cleveland Show; Sewer Urchin on The Tick; Chilly the snowman from Doc McStuffins.

8. The Voice: Frank Welker

Getty Images

The Faces: Fred from Scooby Doo and later on, Scooby himself; Heckle and Jeckle from The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle; Droopy on The New Adventures of Tom and Jerry; Stripe in Gremlins; Mohawk in Gremlins 2; Catgut and Howler from The Pound Puppies; Dr. Claw and Brain on Inspector Gadget; Torch on G.I. Joe; a whole bunch of Transformers; Slimer and Dr. Raymond Stantz from The Real Ghostbusters; Hefty Smurf, Poet Smurf and Peewit from The Smurfs, then Azrael on the Smurfs movies; Joanna the Goanna from Rescuers Down Under; Kermit, Skeeter and Beaker on Muppet Babies; Abu, the Cave of Wonders, and Rajah from Disney’s Aladdin; Bo, Booker, and Sheldon from Garfield and Friends and Garfield on The Garfield Show; George on Curious George; Barney Rubble for several projects; Goddard the robot dog on Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and he’s made a strange array of animal noises on shows like Beavis and Butt-Head, South Park, and Johnny Bravo.

9. The Voice: Tress MacNeille

Wikimedia Commons

The Faces: Mom and Linda Van Schoonhoven on Futurama; Chip, Gadget and Zipper on Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers; Babs Bunny on Tiny Toon Adventures; Dot Warner and Hello Nurse on Animaniacs; Daisy Duck; Arnold’s Grandma on Hey Arnold!; Agnes Skinner, Dolph, Jimbo Jones, Lunchlady Doris, and the Crazy Cat Lady on The Simpsons.

10. The Voice: Jim Cummings

The Faces: Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too; Goofy’s nemesis neighbor, Pete; Captain Caveman on Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated; Ray from The Princess and the Frog; the Tazmanian Devil; Cat from CatDog; Fuzzy Lumpkins from The Powerpuff Girls; Kaa and Colonel Hathi in Jungle Book 2; Ed the Hyena from The Lion King; Darkwing Duck; Bonkers D. Bobcat from Bonkers; Zummi Gummi from Adventures of the Gummy Bears; Monterey Jack and Fat Cat from Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers.

11. The Voice: Casey Kasem

Getty Images

The Faces: Shaggy from Scooby-Doo; Robin in Super Friends; Teletraan I, Cliffjumper and Bluestreak in The Transformers.

12. The Voice: Seth Green

Getty Images

The Faces: Chris Griffin and Neil in Family Guy; A-Bomb in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.; Leonardo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Jeff “Joker” Moreau of the Mass Effect video game franchise.

13. The Voice: Billy West

Getty Images

The Faces: Philip J. Frye, Dr. Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg and Zapp Brannigan of Futurama; Buzz the Honey Nut Cheerios honey bee; the red M & M; Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, and Pepe Le Pew; Woody Woodpecker; both Ren and Stimpy of Ren & Stimpy; Zim of Invader Zim (pilot only); Slimer in Extreme Ghostbusters; Roger Klotz and Doug Funnie of Doug.

14. The Voice: Carlos Alazraqui

Getty Images

The Faces: Mr. Crocker on Fairly Odd Parents; Mr. Weed in Family Guy; Lazlo in Camp Lazlo!; Rocko and Spunky in Rocko’s Modern Life.

15. The Voice: Dan Castellaneta

Getty Images

The Faces: Homer Simpson, Krusty the Klown, Grandpa Simpson, Kodos, Barney Gumble, Groundskeeper Willie, Moleman, Mayor Quimby and the Rich Texan on The Simpsons; the Robot Devil on Futurama; Arnold’s Grandpa on Hey Arnold!; Earthworm Jim; Aladdin’s Genie, post Robin Williams.

16. The Voice: Nancy Cartwright

Getty Images

The Faces: Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, and Todd Flanders in The Simpsons; Rufus the naked mole rat in Kim Possible; Chuckie Finster in All Grown Up; Margo Sherman on The Critic; Pistol Pete from Goof Troop.

17. The Voice: Maurice LaMarche

Getty Images

The Faces: Mr. Freeze in Batman: Arkham Origins the video game; Morbo, Kif Kroker and Calculon in Futurama; Big Bob Pitaki on Hey Arnold!; Brain of Pinky and the Brain; Dizzy Devil on Tiny Toon Adventures; Chief Quimby on Inspector Gadget; Verminous Skumm and Duke Nukem on Captain Planet and the Planeteers; Pepe Le Pew, Yosemite Sam and the dorky detective himself, Inspector Gadget in various projects.

18. The Voice: John DiMaggio

Getty Images

The Faces: Bender from Futurama; Jake in Adventure Time; Niblet, Mutt and Tiny in Pound Puppies; the Joker in Batman: Under the Red Hood.

19. The Voice: Gary Owens

The Faces: Space Ghost; Powdered Toast Man from Ren & Stimpy; the announcer/narrator from Space Quest VI & IV, Garfield and Friends, and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.

20. The Voice: Tara Strong

Getty Images

The Faces: Timmy Turner and baby Poof on The Fairly Odd Parents; Harley Quinn in several recent Batman video games; Raven in Teen Titans; Terrence in Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends; Bubbles of The Powerpuff Girls; Dil Pickles from Rugrats; Ben Tennyson of Ben 10.

21. The Voice: Richard Horvitz

Getty Images

The Faces: Billy and his dad on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy; Zim of Invader Zim; Grey Matter from Ben 10; Daggett on The Angry Beavers; Alphas 5 and 7 from The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

22. The Voice: Hank Azaria

Getty Images

The Faces: Moe Szyslak, Comic Book Guy, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Cletus, Duffman, Chief Wiggum, Dr. Nick, Snake, Bumblebee Man, Kirk Van Houten, Lou, Professor Frink, Carl, Lenny, Disco Stu, and Superintendent Chalmers on The Simpsons; Harold Zoid on Futurama; Gargamel on the Smurfs movies; Venom on Spider-Man.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
The Jim Henson Company
arrow
entertainment
The Dark Crystal Is Coming Back to Theaters
The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company

In 1982, Jim Henson and Frank Oz dared to venture into somewhat gloomier territory with the release of The Dark Crystal. Though the film, which centers on two Gelflings (a sort of creepy elf-like creature) attempting to save their species and restore peace to the world, wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, it has developed a large cult following in the more than 35 years since its release—even among those kids it scared the hell out of back in the day. Now, as Netflix preps its prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, for release later this year, Nerdist reports that the original film will make its way back into theaters next month.

As part of Fathom Events’s ongoing effort to breathe big-screen life back into classic films with limited releases across the country, The Dark Crystal will be playing in more than 500 theaters nationwide on February 25 and February 28. In addition to the original film, the screenings will also feature a brand-new introduction courtesy of Lisa Henson, Jim’s daughter and current president/CEO of The Jim Henson Company, who will talk about the making of the film and how it fit within her father's creative legacy.

To find out whether The Dark Crystal will be coming back to a theater near you, log onto Fathom’s web page for the movie and type in your ZIP code; tickets are on sale now.

[h/t: Nerdist]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
arrow
entertainment
15 Things You Didn't Know About Betty White
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Happy birthday, Betty White! In honor of the ever-sassy star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls's 96th birthday, let's celebrate with a collection of fun facts about her life and legacy. 

1. HER NAME IS BETTY, NOT ELIZABETH

On January 17th, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, the future television icon was born Betty Marion White, the only child of homemaker Christine Tess (née Cachikis) and lighting company executive Horace Logan White. In her autobiography If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't), White explained her parents named her "Betty" specifically because they didn't like many of the nicknames derived from "Elizabeth." Forget your Beths, your Lizas, your Ellies. She's Betty.

2. SHE'S A GUINNESS WORLD RECORD HOLDER.

In the 2014 edition of the record-keeping tome, White was awarded the title of Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female) for her more than 70 years (and counting) in show business. The year before, Guinness gave out Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Male) to long-time British TV host Bruce Forsyth. As both began their careers in 1939, they'd be neck-and-neck for the title, were they not separated by gender.

3. HER FIRST TELEVISION APPEARANCE IS LOST TO HISTORY.

A photo of Betty White
Getty Images

Even White can't remember the name of the show she made her screen debut on in 1939. But in an interview with Guinness Book of World Records, she recounted the life-changing event, saying, "I danced on an experimental TV show, the first on the west coast, in downtown Los Angeles. I wore my high school graduation dress and our Beverly Hills High student body president, Harry Bennett, and I danced the 'Merry Widow Waltz.'" 

4. WHITE'S RISE TO STARDOM WAS DERAILED BY WORLD WAR II.

Before she took off on television, White was working in theater, on radio, and as a model. But with WWII, she shelved her ambitions and joined the American Women's Voluntary Services. Her days were devoted to delivering supplies via PX truck throughout the Hollywood Hills, but her nights were spent at rousing dances thrown to give grand send-offs to soldiers set to ship out. Of that era, she told Cleveland Magazine, "It was a strange time and out of balance with everything." 

5. HER FIRST SITCOM HIT WAS IN THE EARLY 1950S.

A photo of actress Betty White
Getty Images

Co-hosting the Al Jarvis show Hollywood on Television led to White producing her own vehicle, Life With Elizabeth. As a rare female producer, she developed the show alongside emerging writer-producer George Tibbles, who'd go on to work on such beloved shows as Dennis The Menace, Leave It To Beaver, and The Munsters. Though the show is not remembered much today, in 1951 it did earn White her first Emmy nomination of 21 (so far). Of these, she's won five times.

6. WHITE LOVES A PARADE.

From 1962 to 1971, White hosted NBC's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade alongside Bonanza's Lorne Greene. But that's not all. For 20 years (1956-1976), she was also a color commentator for NBC’s annual Tournament of Roses Parade. However, as her fame grew on CBS's The Mary Tyler Moore Show, NBC decided they should pull White (and all the rival promotion that came with her) from their parade. It was a decision that was heartbreaking for White, who told People, "On New Year's Day I just sat home feeling wretched, watching someone else do my parade."

7. SHE HAS BEEN MARRIED THREE TIMES.


Getty Images

White and her first husband, Dick Barker, were married and divorced in the same year, 1945. After four months on Barker's rural Ohio chicken farm, White fled back to Los Angeles and her career as an entertainer. Soon after, she met agent Lane Allen, who became her husband in 1947, and her ex-husband in 1949 after he pushed her to quit show biz. She wouldn’t marry again until 1963, after she fell for widower/father of three/game show host Allen Ludden.

8. HER MEET-CUTE WITH HUSBAND #3 HAPPENED ON PASSWORD.

Bubbly Betty was a regular on the game show circuit, but she met her match in 1961 when she was a celebrity guest on Password, hosted by Allen Ludden. Though White initially rebuffed Ludden's engagement ring (he wore it around his neck until she changed her mind), the pair stayed together until his death in 1981. Today, their stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame sit side-by-side.

9. WHITE ORIGINALLY AUDITIONED FOR THE ROLE OF BLANCHE ON THE GOLDEN GIRLS.

A photo of actress Betty White
Getty Images

Producers of the series thought of White for the role of the ensemble's promiscuous party girl because she'd long played the lusty Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Meanwhile, they eyed Rue McClanahan for the part of naive country bumpkin Rose Nylund because of her work as the sweet but dopey Vivian Harmon on Maude. Director Jay Sandrich was worried about typecasting, so he asked the two to switch roles in the audition. And just like that, The Golden Girls history was made.

10. IF SHE HADN'T BEEN AN ACTOR, SHE'D HAVE BEEN A ZOOKEEPER.

"Hands down," she confessed in a 2014 interview. This should come as little surprise to those aware of White's reputation as an avid animal lover and activist. Not only does she try to visit the local zoo of wherever she may travel, but also she's a supporter of the Farm Animal Reform Movement and Friends of Animals group, as well as a Los Angeles Zoo board member, who has donated "tens of thousands of dollars" over the past 40 years. In 2010, White founded a T-shirt line whose profits go to the Morris Animal Foundation.

11. SHE DIDN'T DO AS GOOD AS IT GETS BECAUSE OF AN ANIMAL CRUELTY SCENE.

A photo of actress Betty White
Getty Images

White was offered the part of Beverly Connelly, onscreen mother to Helen Hunt, in the Oscar-winning movie As Good as It Gets. But the devoted animal lover was horrified by the scene where Jack Nicholson's curmudgeonly anti-hero pitches a small dog down the trash chute of his apartment building. On The Joy Behar Show White explained, "All I could think of was all the people out there watching that movie … and if there's a dog in the building that's barking or they don't like—boom! They do it." She complained to director James L. Brooks in hopes of having the scene cut. Instead, he kept it and cast Shirley Knight in the role.

12. A FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN MADE WHITE THE OLDEST SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE HOST EVER.

In 2010, a Facebook group called Betty White To Host SNL … Please? gathered so many fans (nearly a million) and so much media attention that SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels was happy to make it happen. At 88 years old, White set a new record. Her episode, for which many of the show's female alums returned, also won rave reviews, and gave the show's highest ratings in 18 months. White won her fifth Emmy for this performance.

13. SHE IS THE OLDEST PERSON TO EARN AN EMMY NOMINATION.


Getty Images

In 2014, White earned her 21st Emmy nod—and her third in a row for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program—for the senior citizen-centric prank show Betty White's Off Their Rockers. She was 92. She also holds the record for the longest span between Emmy nominations, between her first (1951) and last (so far).  

14. SHE LOVES JUNK FOOD.

The key to aging gracefully has nothing to do with health food as far as White is concerned. In 2011, her Hot in Cleveland co-star Jane Leeves dished on White's snacking habits, "She eats Red Vines, hot dogs, French fries, and Diet Coke. If that's key, maybe she's preserved because of all the preservatives." Fellow co-star Wendie Malick concurred, "She eats red licorice, like, ridiculously a lot. She seems to exist on hot dogs and French fries." 

15. SHE WANTS ROBERT REDFORD.

A photo of actor Robert Redford
Getty Images

White once gave this cheeky confession: “My answer to anything under the sun, like ‘What have you not done in the business that you’ve always wanted to do?’ is ‘Robert Redford.'” Though she has more than 110 film and television credits on her filmography, White has never worked with the Out of Africa star, who is 14 years her junior.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios