Disney, Dreamworks or any one of your favourite animation studios, we’ve all been encapsulated in an animated classic at least once in our lives.
Animated movies have come a long way in the past decade. One thing that has stood strong is the presence of a lively, iconic voice that truly brings an animated character to life.
Whether you’re a pop culture connoisseur or you just occasionally dabble in what’s popping, I think we’re all capable of appreciating a great voice over. This post is going to take you through some of the most iconic animation voice overs there’s been, many of which you may already know.
Ever since its first release in 2001, Mike Myers has been the one behind the iconic Shrek voice. Starring in cult classics such as Austin Powers, he’s not only a talented voice over, but also a comedic actor.
Fun fact, Mike Myers also voiced the three blind mice in the same Shrek series. Another not-so-fun fact, the late Chris Farley was originally hired to be the voice of Shrek, but unfortunately passed away during recording of the dialogue.
However tragic it may be, it’s fair to say that Shrek’s voice was truly iconic because of Mike Myers’ performance in that studio.
Tara Strong is truly a virtuoso when it comes to her voice over career, you’d be surprised at the size of her portfolio, voicing various iconic characters.
Some of which include Timmy Turner from Fairly Odd Parents, Dill Pickles from Rugrats, Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls as well as various other voices. Legend isn’t even scratching the surface.
Chris Rock has had a hell of a career as an actor, being the iconic voice over for Everybody Hates Chris. As well as that, there’s one voice he really breathed life into and that was the voice of none other than Marty the Zebra, from the classic Madagascar film franchise.
You may know her from real life as a celebrity, or as an actress. What you may not know is that Mila Kunis used to voice Meg Griffin from the Family Guy series from 2001-2017.
I know I was shocked when I found that out, then again the voice did sound very familiar! She also went on to voice various side characters from Robot Chicken from 2005-2011, but by far her most iconic performance went into the original Meg character.
It takes a lot of energy, effort and well… excitement, to voice a character as vibrant and iconic as that of Spongebob squarepants. My number one question to Tom Kenny would be: “How do you nail that Spongebob laugh of yours?”, he hits it so perfectly.
That being said, Spongebob isn’t the only voice that Tom Kenny has been behind, he also has been involved as the voice over behind Gary, the French narrator and even the Jellyfish!
His experience is not only limited to Spongebob, but also towards side characters such as Yancy Fry (Futurama) from 1999-2002, Valhallen (Dexter’s Laboratory) from 1996-2003 and even the narrator from The Powerpuff Girls from 1998-2005.
Did you know that Bill Murray was the iconic voice behind the Garfield movie series? Now you do! He was also the voice of Baloo in the live action version of Disney’s Jungle Book.
Who’d have thought the star of Groundhog Day & Ghostbusters was the voice behind the iconic Garfield animated film series? Apparently it was his first proper voice over gig; talk about beginner’s luck.
One of the most iconic cartoon voices, the voice of Bart Simpson, as well as Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders and 8 other Springfield residents! Nominated for an Emmy in 2017 for “Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance”, that title, needless to say, is well deserved.
Get this, she’s been voicing for the Simpsons for over 30 years, now that’s dedication.
Another iconic, hilarious actor who peaked in the early 2000’s, has a hell of a voice.
The Dr Dolittle star, Eddie Murphy is the voice behind the iconic Donkey from the Shrek film series, as well as the voice who brought the character of dragon Mushu to life in Disney’s original cartoon rendition of Mulan.
Multiple Emmy Award winner Regina King, is much more than just a holywood big name. She’s also a talented voice actress who’s behind the iconic Huey and Riley Freeman voices from the classic Boondocks series.
She also voiced Dynamite, from Disney Pixar’s 2014 Movie “Planes: Fire & Rescue”.
Jack Black is more than just a comedy actor. When he’s not a hilarious Mexican wrestler, music teacher or depicting the descendants of Adam and Eve, he’s known for his A-grade performance of Kung Fu Panda’s Po.
He’s also the talented voice who brought the character of Super Mario Bros Bowser to life. A lively voice over, it’s hard to imagine a Jack Black-less Po Character.
Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith was the voice behind the iconic Gloria character from Dreamworks’ Madagascar. Taken over by her daughter, Willow Smith in the sequel, to then be taken back over for the next movie, fun fact!
She also starred in the 1997 dubbed version of the anime: Princess Mononoke. The more you know…
You may know him as the creator of Family Guy and may be aware that he voices Brian. But did you know that he also voices Quagmire, Peter, Stewie & Tom Tucker in the same series?
That’s not all, he also is the voice behind Roger and Stan Smith in the American Dad series, and even the Teddy bear from the Ted movie franchise. Talk about multi-tasking.
You may know her as a talk show host, but real Finding Nemo fans know that Ellen DeGeneres is the iconic voice behind the character of Dory, in both the Finding Nemo and Finding Dory movies.
Being literally her only animated voice over gig, it’s not bad at all.
The late Robin Williams
Gone way before his time, the legendary Robin Williams was a loved actor, both on screen and behind the microphone.
His portfolio includes the Genie’s voice from Aladdin (1992), Lovelace and Ramon from the Happy Feet franchise (2006-2011), Fender Pinwheeler from Robots (2005) and countless other voices including 1980’s Popeye (yes really!).
It’s fair to say that there are very few voice overs that can fill the boots of the late Robin Williams, may he rest in peace.
Iconic voice overs of the animation world
We love these voices for the soul they bring with them, the energy, the execution of character that allows us to bond with these fictional beings through a screen.
It’s not easy being unforgettable behind that microphone, but these voice actors made it seem effortless. Without these iconic voices, animated movies wouldn’t be anywhere near where they are today.