5 celebrity voiceovers in animated movies that were really good

These days, it’s rare to see a major animated film that has professional voice actors in the cast rather than a top-notch Hollywood talent. The likes of Matt Mercer, Laura Bailey or Yuri Lowenthal may be celebrities in the world of video games and anime, but the audience is unlikely to hear them prominently in Disney or DreamWorks productions.


This trend has had its share of controversy over the years, particularly in the most egregious cases of stunt casting. Just look at the backlash for Chris Pratt portraying Mario next year Super Mario Bros movie. However, this does not mean that there is no place for famous screen actors in the cartoon. As proof of that, here are some noteworthy cases of celebrity voice actors giving outstanding performances in animated films.

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Jenny (Aladdin)

The role of the late great Robin Williams AladdinGenie of the Lamp is one of the first prime examples of celebrity appearances in an animated movie. And to this day, it remains one of the most iconic performances in the history of animated cinema. Williams infuses the Genie with such easy-going charisma that it is practically impossible not to find him likable. His quick pranks and endless pop culture references would likely come across as annoying with less performance in the role. But with Robin Williams, it worked out.

Genie is not only an exemplary display of Williams’ comedic talent, but also the film’s biggest showcase, the irresistibly catchy “Friend Like Me.” And, as if that weren’t enough, it even rings true to heartbeat—the scene in which Aladdin finally pulls Genie out of the lamp still strikes a chord with me to this day. Williams famously refused to reprise his role in episodic projects after Disney used his voice to market the film and its merchandise against his wishes. However, the Genie eventually gave one last boost in the 1996 live video sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves. With all his endless charm, it comes as no surprise that Genie remains an enduring Disney icon all these years after that.

Woody smiles from Toy Story

Pixar is no stranger to choosing live-action stars in its lead roles, from John Goodman and Billy Crystal in Monster Corporation. Jimmy Foxx in spirit. However, there is no better candidate for this list than the original Pixar hero – Sheriff Woody Toy Story Fame expressed by Tom Hanks. He is best known for his roles in films such as forrest gumpAnd the Saving Private RyanAnd the forsakenHanks’ performance brings Woody to life with an astonishing level of nuance. He is a self-confident leader and anxious mess, a jealous rival and a good-hearted friend.

But while Hanks is the highlight of the movie, special mention should be made of the rest of the star-studded cast. From Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear and Wallace Shawn as Rex to Joan Cusack as Jessie and Kelsey Grammer as Stinky Pete, every actor in the series is a perfect fit for their role. The Toy Story Movies are still considered some of Pixar’s best works, and with a cast like this, it’s not hard to see why.

Kung Fu Panda 2

There are a lot of DreamWorks characters that would have ended up on this list – Mike Myers’ Shrek, Will Ferrell’s Megamind, Jay Baruchel’s Hiccup from How to train your dragon, For example, but not limited. But in the end, the crown went to rock and roll comedy legend Jack Black for his performance as Poe, the protagonist in kung fu panda series. Like Dewey Finn from school of rock, the character Po plays to Black’s strengths as a performer. He’s a goofy idiot, melodramatic on the surface, but his outward personality hides his self-doubting insecurities and sincere warmth.

Poe is not only as amusing as one would expect from a showman like Black, but he’s also a character with deceptive layers. Subsequent films explore Po in more depth, allowing Black to demonstrate his surprisingly strong skills as a dramatic actor. When a performance manages to stand out even alongside the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, and J.K. Simmons, then you know you have something special. Thanks to Jack Black, Poe became equally likable and convincing. No wonder fans are so excited to hear about Bowser’s participation in the upcoming Mario movie.

LEGO Batman movie

Before he introduces his trademark baritone to the Netflix title character Bojack HorsemanWill Arnett appeared as the Caped Crusader himself in 2014 lego movie. At a time when the Dark Knight is ever darker on the big screen, Arnett’s spoof character has transformed into an arrogant man of man, not unlike his portrayal of Gob Bluth in stunted development. Arnett’s Batman movie proved to be so popular that it quickly had its spin-off, 2017 LEGO Batman movie. Having the lead role allows Arnett to really show off his squad, and capture the comedic and heartwarming sides of Batman’s most awesome. He’s no Kevin Conroy, but Arnett still deserves credit for his surprisingly good portrayal of Bruce Wayne while doing his silly voice all the time.

In a Spider-Verse group shot

Having a strong squad like Spider-Man inside the spider world Which is a rarity in any movie, let alone an animated movie with a cast full of live action stars. by Shamick Moore (anestheticCapturing the awkwardness of a serious teen from Miles Morales to Jake Johnsonnew girlAnd the jurassic worldTo revive the world’s exhausted Peter P. Parker’s life, all of the film’s protagonists kick their roles out of the park. Mahershala Ali (moon lightAnd the Luke Cagecharismatic, menacing, and tragic in equal measure as Prowler, while Liev SchreiberRay DonovanAnd the French Dispatch) makes a big entertainment movie as bad as Kingpin.

The supporting actors are equally excellent, from Brian Tyree Henry as Miles’ father to John Mulaney as Looney TunesSpider inspiration is important. And of course, there’s the incomparable Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir. Even minor characters like Aunt May, Mary Jane Watson, and the original Spider-Man have been voiced by the likes of Lily Tomlin, Zoë Kravitz, and Chris Pine. However, special mention must be made of Hailee Steinfeld (True gritAnd the bumblebee), which makes Spider-Gwen feel equally authentic as a confident, calm superhero and a nervous, vulnerable teenager. And consider her recent performance as Vi in Netflix’s mysteriousSteinfeld has proven to be a powerful performer in animation as much as she is in live action. but in the end, In the verse of the spider Filled with so many amazingly cast roles that it is impossible to single out just one.

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