Celebrity Voice Actor

"I hate when people go on TV and tell you how hard it is to do animation No, UPS is hard work. Ive done some animation Its the easiest job in the world. I go in a booth and I go, Whats the line? And the guy goes, Its time to go to the store. And I go, Its time to go to the store! And then they give me a million dollars."

For some reason, celebrities do a lot of voice acting in big budget animated movies. Maybe the producers figure more people will see movies with "big-name stars" in them. Maybe John Q. Public just loves his celebrities. The fact celebrities can enjoy acting work without having to deal with costumes, script memorization and other elements of live action film is another factor (although motion capture animation has many of those demands). Regardless, regular voice actors often get cast aside in favor of someone more famous when a big, important animated movie is made for public consumption.

Sometimes this results in the more Genre Savvy of viewers not only becoming aware of just who's voicing the characters, but mentally referring to the characters by the actors' names - especially if it's been a while since they've last seen the movie.

As it turns out, professional voice actors are not exactly pleased that their jobs are being poached by actors from other disciplines (especially Billy West and Tara Strong), which makes sense, as it implies that the performing skills are interchangeable. While professional voice actors are capable of utilizing a wide vocal or acting range to create a given character's personality, celebrities are usually cast for marketing purposes because audiences will recognize the popular actor.

It's important to note that this is not always a recipe for disaster. Some celebrities prove to be very talented at voice acting, and would likely be among the most prolific at the profession if they did it exclusively. Indeed, there are a fair number of performers who have managed strong careers in both fields and do not qualify for the pitfalls of this, although becoming equally famous in both is unusual. Some on-stage Hollywood actors - Mark Hamill and Eden Riegel, to name two - moved onto voice acting later in their careers.note 

That said, Billy West's scorn has been justified in some cases where celebrity voice actors haven't delivered the goods, such as Cameron Diaz's notoriously flat performance in Shrek; or in cases where an actor is wildly miscast, such as Billy Bob Thornton in the dub of Princess Mononoke. That's where the reason for this being a separate trope becomes apparent.

Often turn out to be examples of ink suit actors. See also Pop-Star Composer for the musical equivalent.


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     English (Animation) 

    English (Pinball) 

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    Japanese (Anime) 

    Japanese (Foreign dubs) 

    Japanese (Video Games) 

    Spanish (Mexico and Latin America) 
  • In the Mexican Spanish dub of Ojamajo Doremi, the titular heroine Doremi is voiced by the Mexican soap opera actress Vanessa Acosta, something unusual for an anime dub in Mexico.
    • It was because Acosta also was into dub acting as well by the time she dubbed Doremi. Years before Ojamajo Doremi was on TV, she was the dub actress for Melissa Joan Hart in Clarissa Explains It All (she stayed until the final season of the series) and in the first season of Sabrina the Teenage Witch before dedicating completely to soap operas.
  • In a similar case, Mexican singer Kalimba Marichal had a previous career as a voice actor when he was a kid: He voiced Simba as a cub in The Lion King's dub, Kitaro in the 90's version of GeGeGe no Kitaro, young Keiichi Morisato in Ah! My Goddess' OVAs and Masaru in AKIRA.
  • Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez has worked in many dubs in his career: He dubbed Jim Carrey in the Mexican Spanish dub of Yes-Man, Donkey in Shrek, Mushu in Mulan, Lucky in the two first Dr. Dolittle films, Johann Krauss in Hellboy 2 (this one as Playing Against Type) and dubbing himself, for obvious reasons, in the dub of Rob.
  • The late actress Irma Lozano was the dub voice of Jeannie in I Dream of Jeannie and Carol Post in the Mister Ed Mexican dub.
  • Demian Bichir not only is a well-known actor both in Mexico and in the U.S. but also well-known for doing voice acting in his native Mexico: He dubbed Aladdin, Prince Eric, Tulio and others

    Tagalog (Philippines) 
  • The Tagalog dub of BECK had a band member named Jet Pangan voice one of the main characters.
  • In the new Tagalog dub of Voltes V, Megumi is voiced by Sandara Park. Yes, the one you know today as Dara from the K Pop group 2NE1.
  • The Tagalog dub of Bleach had the late actor Marky Cielo voice Ichigo.