10 Surprisingly Good Celebrity Voice Overs
Tom Hanks as Woody, Robin Williams as Genie, Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona. Some celebrities are instantly recognisable as soon as they jump on the mic. Others? You might need to pay attention when the credits start-a-rolling.
This week we’ve delving into the somewhat lesser known performances by some greater known people. Whilst there’s a couple of actors in the mix, I tried to throw in as many as I could that aren’t primarily known from screen or stage.
Taylor Swift as Audrey in The Lorax
Usually known for expressing her emotions on stage and alongside the twang of a six-string, this country star-turned pop queen instead found herself in the recording studio to voice the whimsical, tree-lover Audrey in The Lorax.
Whilst a totally new experience for Swift, she did share a vital trait with her character: a love of trees. Turns out the singer grew up on a Christmas tree farm!
Ringo Starr as the narrator in Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends
Yup, Ringo Starr of The Beatles fame (I don’t really need to say that do I?) was the very first narrator for the series from 1984-1986.
Producer, writer and director Britt Allcroft supposedly picked Ringo because she thought his voice would relate for children, denying that it had anything to do with his fame.
Ellen DeGeneres as Dory in Finding Nemo
This one’s pretty obvious but she still does a cracking job at making this little blue fish annoying, frustrating yet utterly endearing and loveable.
You can thank Ellen for the fact that most of us probably knew P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney before we even knew our own address.
Rihanna as Gratuity ‘Tip’ Tucci in Home
Yes, Rihanna was in Battleship before this but I will be deep in the ground before I acknowledge any movie about a board game.
Here she lends her voice to the teenage deuteragonist of the movie, Tip. Tip’s Mum Lucy is voiced by J-Lo by the way. These singers just can’t keep themselves away from animation, it seems!
Fergie as Sally Brown in Peanuts
Speaking of singers, before she was a Pea of the Black-Eyed variety, Ferg was the voice of Sally Brown in Peanuts.
I say before, this was actually back in the 1980’s whilst she was a child herself. Needless to say, this role is pretty damn far from her later ghetto-funk persona.
Oprah Winfrey as Eudora in The Princess and the Frog
You get a voice role! You get a voice role! Everybody here gets a voice role!
Just as soon as she got done forking out cars left and right, Harpo herself joined the vocal cast of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog where she played Princess Tiana’s mother, Eudora.
Reggie Yates as Rastamouse in Rastamouse
Known for his extensive work as a children’s television presenter or for his more grown-up, gritty documentaries, Reggie steps away from the camera for this one.
It was likely his distinctive, softly spoken, soothing tones from work as a radio DJ that netted him this rodent role.
Cara Delevingne as DJ Cara in Grand Theft Auto V
Whether legitimately or by more nefarious means, every time you enter a vehicle in GTA, you get to choose from a selection of in-game radio stations. Cara lends her voice to the Non-Stop Pop station as the bubbly DJ Cara.
This was my favourite station throughout my long playthrough, so I was treated to hours of Cara’s lines in between the likes of tunes from All Saints, Wham!, Mis-Teeq and Modjo.
Although she says “I’m Cara, the girl with the eyebrows.” from time to time, it still didn’t click for me until researching this list!
Snoop Dogg as Alabaster in King of the Hill
This is the most bizarre and hilarious one on this list by far. Snoop rolls up to Hank Hill’s place as the pimp Alabaster Jones, introducing himself as “the main Mack daddy of Oklahoma City.”
This is probably a bit of typecasting that doesn’t bother Snoop too much, don’t you think?
Michael Jackson as Leon Kompowsky in The Simpsons
When it comes to picking the best celebrity guest voice overs in animation, using The Simpsons feels a bit like cheating: everyone’s been in it!
That being said, Michael Jackson sticks out here because of the quality of the episode he appeared in and his sheer star power. MJ provided voice-over for Leon Kompowsky in the episode Stark Raving Dad from season 3, the one that gave birth to the song “Happy Birthday Lisa.”
Bit of trivia for you: MJ’s record label wouldn’t allow him to sing on the show, so the singing parts of the episode were actually done by impersonator Kipp Lennon. That’s gotta be an intimidating job, singing like MJ in front of MJ.
We’ve grubbed around for great celebrity voices in animation before, here’s 10 more that might surprise you! Know of any more great examples? Give us a shout @fudgeanimation or Facebook.com/fudgeanimation