12 A-Listers Who Got Animated

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Who am I?

I have three theories as to why celebrities do animation voice-over work.

1) They have kids and want them to be able to watch something they’ve done on film where they’re not naked/blowing someone’s head off

2) They have a real appreciation for the medium and are truly a fan of the project they’re working on.

3) It’s a big fat check to show up and read lines into a microphone for eight hours.

Reason number three is known as the “Dreamworks philosophy” of celebrity voicing. But whatever their reasons, it’s hard to find an A-List actor or actress who hasn’t done voice work. Here are twelve examples of those who have, some actors (and the roles they played) may surprise you.

1) Christian Bale – Howl’s Moving Castle, Pocahontas

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Bale is the reason I wrote this list once I found him in Howl’s Moving Castle. I think he has a great voice for animation, but it absolutely does not match up to the prissy, pixie-like Howl, who would be better off being voiced by Zack Efron.

Bonus: How awesome is it that he was Pocahontas? I had no idea. No, he wasn’t John Smith. That was…Mel Gibson? Really?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57r9jjqzJJk

2) Angelina Jolie – Kung Fu Panda, Beowulf, Shark Tale

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Yes, I’m posting the video of Angelina in Beowulf with liquid gold dripping off her naked body. I figured you’d rather see that than her as a tiger or a fish. She sets the record for 2.5 out of 3 of her animated characters actually looking like her. Wonder why?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwm_cfRClmc

3) Brad Pitt – Sinbad, King of the Hill

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Sinbad was just an awful idea, can we leave it at that? Surprisingly enough, many A-listers have popped by King of the Hill at one point or another. If anyone can find me this clip which the copyright hoarding bastards at Fox have hidden away, I’ll give you a million dollars.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weo4S27ztpY

4) George Clooney – South Park

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By far the best voice acting on this list. Proving he has a sense of humor, Clooney voiced the barks and ruffs of Sparky, Stan’s gay dog in an episode of South Park. He hasn’t done any other animation, and the fact that he did this gives me a whole new level of respect for the man.

No video because Comedy Central blows.

5) Matt Damon – Titan A.E.

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Matt Damon hasn’t done many guest roles in animation, but he was the lead in Titan A.E., a surprisingly good movie about life after earth. It by no means needed Damon whatsoever, but I’m guessing showing up for a few hours work and fat check was worth it for him.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx-LtSGmHvg

6) Johnny Depp – Corpse Bride (Spongebob, though not yet), King of the Hill

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Another King of the Hill appearance I’ll pay a bounty for someone to find. I’m not sure if his scheduled Spongebob appearance has aired yet, but try to find that as well. And of course, his only real animated role was for his lord and master, Tim Burton in the Corpse Bride.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-akimwGclk

7) Tom Hanks – The Polar Express, Toy Story 1 & 2

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Tom Hanks has the best quality animated role of them all I’d say. Pixar is normally huge on celebrity voices unlike some other sellouts (*cough* Dreamworks), but in Toy Story, Hanks performed admirably as Woody the cowboy opposite Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear. And then there was the Polar Express which made my eyes crawl out of their sockets and hide.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjeqiUdZfQ4&feature=related

8 ) Meryl Streep – The Ant Bully, King of the Hill, The Simpsons

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Yes, another King of the Hill appearance, Go find it if you will. I’ve no idea what The Ant Bully is, but I do remember her Simpsons appearance as Reverend Lovejoy’s evil daughter who seduced Bart. No the Simpsons‘ clip below isn’t of that because Fox is a bunch of dicks and never lets more than eight seconds of any of their shows get posted on YouTube.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noaZBl8ybgM

9) Julia Roberts – Charlotte’s Web, The Ant Bully

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There’s that Ant Bully again. Roberts hasn’t done much animation, but her most notable appearance was probably as Charlotte the Spider in the “live-action” Charlotte’s Web remake. She was Tinkerbell in the live-action Hook, which almost counts, but doesn’t.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORMcpzpmLTU

10) Will Smith – Shark Tale

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To me Shark Tale sums up everything wrong with modern animation. No distinct plot to speak of, only a cavalcade of celebrity guest stars dressed up like fish. They didn’t want to waste their enlisted voice talent (DeNiro, Jolie, Aguilera, Smith) so they felt they needed to bash the audience over the head by making the fish look like the celebrities they were voiced by. WILL SMITH FISH HAS BIG EARS. ANGELINA JOLIE FISH HAS BIG LIPS. HA HA FUNNY. Sorry. I hate that movie.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlLMitni4GY

11) Reese Witherspoon – Monsters vs. Aliens, The Trumpet of the Swan

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The Trumpet of the Swan? Sure OK. More recently Reese voiced a giant version of herself in Monsters vs. Aliens which is Yahoo!’s 5th best animated movie of all time. Yeah huh. That movie made money so I’m sure she’s already reading lines for a sequel.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SfqWGmRffM

12) Bruce Willis – Over the Hedge, Rugrats Go Wild, Bruno the Kid

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Bruce Willis? I wouldn’t have expected that. He voiced Spike the Dog in the Rugrats movie, and I’m sure there’s a more detailed explanation for that out there somewhere, but more recently he was the devious raccoon RJ in the new Dreamworks celebrity voice orgy, Over the Hedge.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RfYAvCN-gY

A-Listers Who Haven’t Done Animation…Yet:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, and you can look up any more you care about.



  • Madison

    Clooney has a great sense of humor, but it seems Jerry Seinfeld is too cool for South Park. Supposedly, he was approached to “voice” a chicken – one of many chickens, actually – in an episode, similar to how Clooney “voiced” a dog. He refused.

  • Brilliant

    As a fan of animation, I must say that I am generally against “celebrity” voice actors.

    Just because some one is an actor DOES NOT make them a good voice actor.

    Almost any animated movie you see these days is cast entirely using “celebrity” voice “talent”, even though there are plenty of very talented professional voice actors out there.

    I think the main reason (although there certainly are exceptions) for this trend is that studios try to use the draw of star power to make up for the fact that they are making movies that are boring, lacking in creativity, and stupid. (I’m looking at you, Dreamworks).

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Yeah I agree, I think sometimes A-listers can fit with a project and add a lot to it (Tom Hanks in Toy Story for example) but most of the time it’s completely unnecessary.

  • Dorkus Malorkus

    Well, if we’re going to talk about George Clooney being Stan’s gay dog on South Park, we have to talk about Elizabeth Taylor being the voice of Maggie Simpson when she said her first word. That, and the seemingly thousands of famous people who have been voices on the Simpsons. Nowadays it seems like the famous people tend to play themselves, which gets a little tiring, but those early episodes with Dustin Hoffman and Michael Jackson were pretty awesome.

  • Madison

    @Dorkus Malorkus

    Family Guy has had some memorable voice actors, too, notably Adam Corrolla and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

  • xtheenderx

    Brad Pitt played Boomhauer’s brother in King of the Hill. His character was called Patch Boomhauer. here’s a link to the episode.

    http://hardcoretv.info/movie/749-King_of_the_Hill_801_Patch_Boomhauer.html

  • xtheenderx

    sorry for double post but here’s Johnny Depp as Hank’s yoga instructor and the link.

    http://hardcoretv.info/movie/766-King_of_the_Hill_820_Hank039s_Back.html

  • Madison

    @ xtheenderx

    Wow, nice finds. Who knew King of the Hill had so much celebrity pull?

  • xtheenderx

    Yeah!!! i’m a huge King of the Hill fan and I always like to see who they bring in for voices. Some other celebrities who’ve done voices for them are Matthew McConaughey, John Goodman, Renee Zellweger, Alan Rickman, and Brendan Fraser (2 times).

  • savagemouse

    Bruce Willis was also a voice in BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD DO AMERICA, can’t forget that one!

    Oh, and Clooney also had a voice role in the SOUTH PARK movie, this time as a human. Well, a doctor anyway.

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Wow xtheenderx, I think I owe you two million dollars.

  • xtheenderx

    I’ll take cash. Or make the check payable to…. lol jk one last clip find. Meryl Streep as one of the seductive cajun women along with Dixie Chicks, and Don Meredith.

    http://hardcoretv.info/movie/2539-King_of_the_Hill_406_A_Beer_Can_Named_Desire.html

    Johnny Depp’s appearance on Spongebob as “The Big One”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKLPOFtBkd4

  • Abe Frohman

    Clooney did do a cameo in the South Park movie. He played an ER doctor (heehee) who tried to save Kenny’s life. What’s interesting is Clooney got mocked in Team America as a member of the Film Actors Guild (F.A.G.) protesting against the war. Did George have a falling out with Trey Parker and Matt Stone?

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  • Madison

    @ Abe Frohman

    I don’t remember reading anything asbout a falling out. I think, quite simply, in the world of Matt and Trey, nobody is safe. He probably found it really funny.

  • Distephanno

    The thing about King of the Hill is that they never hype the guest stars, nor do the characters the celebrities voice have that much of an appeal… they could pretty much be voiced by anyone. Seems like a waste of money…

  • CNA

    We should just be thankful Bale’s voice talent days came about before he developed the batman voice.

    (I have always appreciated, though, that he was in two movies about Pocahontas.)

    My favorite voice work, hands down, is Jeremy Irons as Scar in The Lion King.

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  • MacGyver1138

    @Madison: What I read about Jerry Seinfeld’s possible part to be a Turkey (not a chicken) was that he wanted to, but was advised not to by a publicist because he only had 3 “gobbles,” and should get more. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what I read.

    Also, Clooney voiced a doctor in the South Park movie.

  • Madison

    @ MacGyver1138

    Interesting. That makes a bit more sense, I guess, because of all people, Seinfeld should see the humor in that.

    Yeah, Clooney was the doctor that replaced Kenny’s heart with a baked potato. Heh.

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  • kb

    On southpark’s website, they have all the episodes ever made up for view– totally free. You could post the link from there. Thanks.

  • Lauren

    Bale was in Pocahantas. He played Thomas, the young soldier with red hair.