I fucking love cartoons. Always have, always will. The world of voice acting (in cartoons and other media) is absolutely amazing. Did you know that the voice acting for cartoons and animation is done BEFORE the animation itself? That's crazy to think about. Some of the best acting done by any actor EVER has been voice acting. Okay, so that's an opinion, but screw you; this is my article.
Ever since I was a kid, I've done silly voices. As I got older, I started dabbling in voice impressions. I'm okay at them but where I excelled was creating my own unique character voices. If you didn't get where this was going, I've always wanted to get into voice acting but never did (never say never, right?). I've always had this crazy appreciation for it and always LOVED watching the credits of an animated film or TV show to see what actors played which characters.
A lot of people don't that some of the most beloved characters in cartoon history were played by the same people! So today, I'm going to talk about a few of the best voice actors out there (another opinion) and talk about the characters they played. Betcha there are a few you never realized were the same! LET'S GET CRACKING!
Tom is the voice of one of the most popular cartoons of all time, SpongeBob SquarePants.
In addition to voicing SpongeBob on the show, he also voices Gary, SpongeBob's beloved pet snail, and many other auxiliary characters (Patchy the Pirate, the French Narrator, customer #3, etc). I recently had the honor of attending a Q&A panel of Mr. Kenny's and it was nothing short of awesome. He spoke about what it is like in the voice acting industry, as well as having voiced some of the most beloved characters in cartoon history.
So who are some of the other characters he's voiced?
That's right! Do any of you guys even remember Cupid or Val Hallen?! He's voiced SO MANY MORE classic toons. Check out his IMDb page for a more comprehensive list.
He may not be as household a name as Tom Kenny (if Tom is even household), but this man is responsible for some of the most diverse voice work in the business. Jim actually did some of his earliest notable work for Disney, taking over the role of Winnie the Pooh from its previous two actors.
Since then, he's done some other vastly different roles. Here are just a few of them!
Yep! Homeboy took over the voice of Tigger from Paul Winchell AND Winnie the Pooh as well as Taz from Looney Tunes! He's done a lot of other Looney Tunes at various points, too. How many fans do we have of the Secret Squirrel reboot inside of 2 Stupid Dogs?!
This guy has been in more of your favorite cartoons than you realize. Once you know his work, you'll recognize his voice anywhere! It's almost pointless to list just one character he's known for when all of them are of equal notoriety!
Billy West almost single-handedly defined your typical 90's childhood. He's been the voice of Elmer Fudd since 1996, played Bugs Bunny in Space Jam (and various cartoons for a few more years), the Red M&M, and Ren & Stimpy (Ren starting in season 3)! Watching Billy work is amazing because he just snaps into these voices. What I think is super cool is that every voice Billy does sounds like Billy himself! Once you know his sound, you can always pick Billy West's work out of a crowd of cartoons.
That's all I have for you today. There are so many amazing voice actors out there doing some of the hardest work that any actor can do. I only chose to showcase these three great actors today because they made up the majority of my childhood television experience. And be sure to tune in next week, as I write another article about a random subject! Be sure check out my Twitter feed: CavemanTan for more cool stuff, like quizzes & polls as to what my next articles could be about! In the meantime, check out these videos of the above voice actors at work, plus a few more amazing voiceover artists!