Children Voicing Children YKTTW Discussion

Children Voicing Children
Voice acting roles where children voice actual children
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(permanent link) added: 2011-10-24 11:31:42 sponsor: Twentington edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2015-07-08 19:42:13)

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(Note: This is a split from "Cross-Dressing Voices".)

Sometimes in animation, a female voice actor will voice a young child character, possibly because it's not always easy to work with kids.

Other times, there just happens to be a good kid VA available for the job.


Anime and Manga
  • Grave of the Fireflies deserves special recognition for hiring an actual five-year-old actress to voice the protagonist's young sister.
  • The English dub cast of Nadia the Secret of Blue Water is notable for casting three actual kids in the lead roles, although one child actor has to do a sometimes-convincing, sometimes-overdone French accent.
  • The English dub cast of Beyblade is also voiced by kids who are more or less closer to the characters' ages.
  • Vision of Escaflowne.
    • Hitomi was voiced by a teen actress who was discovered through an extensive talent hunt aimed at finding a "real girl" to play her. Of course, when said girl is Maaya Sakamoto....
    • It is, however, played straight with Dilandau, who is voiced by Minami Takayama. Then again, Dilandau isn't exactly entirely male...
  • Nine to 14- then back to 9 up to 13-year-old Alphonse Elric from the English dub of Fullmetal Alchemist was voiced by 12-year-old Aaron Dismuke throughout the whole series. Played straight for the dub of Brotherhood, as puberty hit him pretty hard and he's being replaced by Maxey Whitehead (though he's apparently playing some role).
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • In a complete inversion of the usual situation, Trunks was originally introduced as a 17-years-old, played by actor Takeshi Kusao. The role was not recast when Trunks later appeared as an 8-years-old; instead, Kusao used a higher, raspier voice for the character until he grew up again. However, the English version (and pretty much every other dub) cast a female as the younger Trunks.
    • Vegeta was played by his male actor, Ryo Horikawa in his young appearances. Most dubs use a female actor for this role, but the Funimation English dub, like the Japanese Version, used his adult actor, Christopher Sabat as the young Vegeta.
    • Christopher Sabat also voiced the child form of Piccolo in Dragon Ball, while in most other versions including the original Japanese version cast a woman for this part.
  • In the Singaporean, and Brazilian dubs of One Piece, Luffy's voice was done by male voice actors Chuck Powers and Vagner Fagundes, respectively. The Italian dub cast Luigi Rosa for the first 255 episodes and first five movies, with Renato Novara eventually taking over. Before it switched to subbed episodes, the European Portuguese dub also used a male.
  • In Code Geass V.V. is voiced by Kazato Tomizawa, who was 10 years old when V.V. first appeared near the end of the first season. He's not really a child though.
  • Somewhat averted with Death the Kid from Soul Eater, who has two different VAs. In the drama CD, he was voiced by Takako Honda (a woman), while in the anime, he was voiced by Mamoru Miyano.
  • The 2008 Yatterman series marks the only time in the franchise's entire history (the live-action movie aside, for obvious reasons) that Gan/Yatterman-1 had a male actor (Hiroyuki Yoshino in this case); otherwise, he had a female actress.
  • For all things it did wrong, Nelvana's dub of Card Captor Sakura (Cardcaptors) at least did this trope quite well with some characters. The 10-years old main character Sakura was voiced by then 11-years old Carly McKillip, while 10-years old Syaoran was voiced by then 14-years old Rhys Huber. When the second movie was brought over by Media Blasters the trope was again played averted, with Syaoran voiced by voice actress Mona Marshall.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka De
    • The franchise has Kouki Miyata as 14-year-old Shimon Nagareyama, the youngest of the original Hachiyou. By contrast, Sefuru the Oni, who is deduced by Shimon to be around his own age, is voiced by a woman (Yuu Asakawa).
    • In theory, all Hachiyou are voiced by men, so depending on your view, a few more of them can count as aversions, such as Inori (15 years old, voiced by Naozumi Takahashi) or Eisen (17 years old, voiced by Soichiro Hoshi), though Shimon is still the most noticeable case. The NeoRomance line does a good job when it comes to finding voices for the hordes of Bishōnen...
  • In Wandering Son the middle schooler Nitori was voiced by a fourteen year old boy. The issue is his voice had already begun to deepen when it's a plot point that Nitori's voice is prepubescent until the very end of the anime.

  • Spirited Away
    • Chihiro was voiced by an actual young girl in the English dub, then-11-years-old Daveigh Chase.
    • Yubaba's baby was originally voiced by an actual little boy (who was also in the Japanese dub of March of the Penguins) but was replaced in the English dub by a female voice actor.
    • Both Chihiro and Haku are voiced by children of their respective genders in the original Japanese version.
  • In An American Tail, Fievel was always voiced by a little boy: Phillip Glasser in the first two movies and Thomas Dekker in the Direct-to-Video sequels when Phillip Glasser got too old.
  • In Monsters, Inc., toddler Boo was voiced by Mary Gibbs, the little daughter of Pixar employee Rob Gibbs. The crew followed Mary around with a microphone and assembled Boo's lines from the things she said while she played.
  • Other child characters in Pixar films, like Andy and Sid in Toy Story, Dot in A Bug's Life, Nemo in Finding Nemo, Dash (but not Violet) in The Incredibles, Russell and Ellie as a child in 'Up, and Bonnie in Toy Story 3'' were also voiced by kids.

Video Games
  • Sonic the Hedgehog games originally played this trope straight with eight year old Tails, who was voiced by the then-teen Corey Bringas in Adventure 1 and 2 and William Corkery in Heroes, Battle and Advance 3 after Bringas hit puberty. He's then been voiced by women from 2005 on.
  • In the original Lunar game for the Sega CD, Lunar: The Silver Star, 15-year-old protagonist Alex is actually voiced by a then preteen Ashley Parker Angel. For the first remake, Silver Star Story, Working Designs was considering on replacing Angel because he hit puberty, but they let him return anyway, feeling that this "new" Alex was a bit more "grown-up" than the original. This trope is played straight for the third remake, Silver Star Harmony, where Yuri Lowenthal plays Alex.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • In the first game and its sequel, fourteen-year-old Sora was voiced by then-14-year-old actor Haley Joel Osment. When the sequel was released five years later, Haley's voice had obviously changed. However, Sora also had aged enough between games to justify the lower pitch. All in all, a rare VA example of both actor and character experiencing a puberty voice change.
    • However, Re: Chain of Memories, which takes place right where the first game ends, Haley's still playing Sora. He, of course, sounds too deep.
  • Klonoa is voiced by Eric Stitt for the English dub of the Wii remake of Klonoa 1.
  • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, The Onion Knight, a Kid Hero who's explicitly the youngest of the heroes (which puts him at fifteen or younger) was voiced by the 19 years old at the time Aaron Spann.

Western Animation
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Aang is voiced by Zachery Tyler Eisen (b.1993). Another main character, Toph Bei Fong, is voiced by Jessie Flower, who turned twelve the very same year her character was introduced. Any other kids their age or younger are voiced by children of the same gender and approximate age, and most teenager are played by same gender voice actor that are usually at least a bit older (for instance Sokka is 15 and his VA was 18 when they started).
    • A new interview reveals that the series creators "really wanted" a real kid to play Aang, rather than Crossdressing Voices, and that as Eisen's voice has been deepening, the show's sound people have been artificially pitching it up, without the creators even noticing.
  • Hey Arnold!
    • Most child characters in were voiced by actual children, and most of the boys' voice actors were replaced many times over the series run; Arnold himself had four. (Gerald's voice actor is an exception. There's even an episode that explains why his voice changed, "Gerald's Tonsils".)
    • In addition to Arnold, Curly and Eugene were voiced by several actors; one of the Eugenes (Ben Diskin) went on to become an adult voice actor despite having to be replaced. However, a few of the actors for the boys were kept all the way through along with Gerald: Harold, played by a post-pubescent, as the character was 13; Stinky, whose voice did break, though it was simply ignored and not justified like Gerald's was; and Sid, who managed to evade puberty for the entire five-season run, until the last three episodes, produced years after the rest of the fifth season. He was replaced, appropriately enough, by his younger brother.
    • The first actor to play Arnold was given a new recurring role after his voice dropped, as the fifth-grade bully Wolfgang; the second Arnold made a one-shot appearance as his cohort, Ludwig.
  • Mac from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is voiced by Sean Marquette, who, surprisingly, was not replaced after he had gone through puberty, but instead had his voice digitally pitched up. Though it is still obvious if one compares episodes from Season 1 to episodes afterward. Marquette had also previously been on the Nicktoon Rocket Power.
This example is particularly interesting when one realizes that Mac's 13-years-old brother, Terrance, is voiced by a woman (Tara Strong) even though the character has a fairly deep voice.
  • In Goof Troop all the characters are voiced by actors from the same gender, except Max who is voiced by Dana Hill.
  • The Possible Twins, Jim and Tim, from Kim Possible, are both played by Shaun Fleming. He was 12 while recording season one, when the "tweebs" were 10. According to producers, Tim and Jim got a redesign and height boost in season four, either to justify Shaun's voice change or to justify a new actor. In the end, Disney went with a new actor, also a young boy: 13-year-old Spencer Fox, better known as Dash from Western Animation//The Incredibles. Of course, by season three, Fleming's voice had obviously broken, and no attempt was made to hide it. This had the bizarre result of the "tweebs" looking older but sounding younger than they had in the previous season.
  • Charlie, Lola and all the characters on Charlie and Lola are voiced by actual children. Although the children refer to adults, even asking them questions, no adult voices are ever heard.
  • In Hanna-Barbera's Little Rascals series, Shavar Ross and Scott Menville were young boys (age 10 or so) cast as Buckwheat and Spanky, respectively. The dwarf actress Patty Maloney, who had played furry male roles in the 1970s, was aptly cast as Darla Hood.
  • A lot of the more recent Nick Jr. animated titles seem to go along with ensuring that actual children portray child characters now. The Backyardigans and Go! Diego, Go! are two of the more notable examples. The weird part is, Uniqua in the former is voiced by a girl, but has a fairly deep voice for her gender and age.
  • All of the main kids in Recess were also voiced by like-gender children (apart from Spinelli, voiced by the 40-something Pamela Segal). Apart from TJ, who went through four actors during the show's course, the voices stayed the same throughout the show.
  • Nickelodeon's KaBlam!
    • The main kids in The Off-Beats segments were voiced by young children, most notably Mischa Barton as Betty-Anne Bongo. The later episodes had several of the kids' voices sounding a bit lower, including the females (who were voiced by girls). The only adult voice actor was series creator Mo Willems, who voiced September the dog and Grubby Groo.
    • Both Henry and June were done by teens, which is obvious due to their changing voices through the show's run.
    • Loopy and Larry of Life With Loopy were also done by teens.
  • In the DCAU, Teen Titans, The Batman, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, any Robin has only ever been voiced by a boy (in the case of DCAU Dick Grayson and Teen Titan Robin, an adult man; of course, Dick started as a college student in the DCAU and of unspecific-but-still-sufficient age in Teen Titans). Save a small bit, Tim Drake's laugh-to-crying as Joker Junior in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
  • Chowder
    • The title character is voiced by Nicky Jones (age 12).
    • Panini, Gorgonzola and Ceviché are also voiced by children.
  • Averted in Capeta. For the first arc (first 14 episodes), the title character was voiced by Naoto Adachi, who was 12 years old at the time.
  • Kindergartners in South Park are voiced by young kids, even when they curse.
  • In The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, the title character is voiced by Mark "Thurop" Van Orman. Originally, Flapjack was supposed to be voiced by Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens, but Reubens never appeared for an audition, so Van Orman took over.
  • All of the Peanuts characters were played by children through all of their animated specials.
    • In the first (A Charlie Brown Christmas), the actress playing Sally was so young she could not read the script and had to have her lines cued to her.
    • Played straight occasionally with Peppermint Patty, who had two young boys voice the character in some of the first specials that character appeared in.
    • Charlie Brown was also voiced by a girl, Erin Chase, in This Is America, Charlie Brown.
    • This was maintained in the Hebrew dub of the series and the specials.
  • Cleveland Jr. from Family Guy and The Cleveland Show was originally voiced by Mike Henry and later by Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • 12-year-old Finn from Adventure Time is voiced by Jeremy Shada, who was 13 when the voice recording first began. The show averts Comic-Book Time so Finn's voice deepens with his voice actor.
  • All the child characters on TaleSpin were played by actual children.
  • Gumball and Darwin from The Amazing World of Gumball are voiced by boys. Gumball's voice actor hit puberty around season 2, which caused him so sound much deeper (though he's 12 so it's not unrealistic), but they decided to replace him with someone younger.

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