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Children Voicing Children

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Often in animation, a female voice actress 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. However when the child actor starts getting a bit older then this results in the character they voice getting replaced by a different child actor. This mostly happens with male child actors that voice young male children. This is more common in films, as voice recording for a film generally takes much less time than for a TV series.

Contrast Dawson Casting, where older actors play younger characters.


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Examples:

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    Anime 
  • Ichigo Hoshimiya, heroine of Aikatsu!, started the series at 13 years old and is voiced by Sumire Morohoshi, who was also 13 years old when the series premiered.
    • Most of the seiyuus for the idols in the anime were also teenagers when it premiered. For many of them, it was their first role in an anime.
  • In Barakamon, all the child characters are voiced by actual children. This isn't the case in the English dub, where they're voiced by adults.
  • In the original Japanese version of Barefoot Gen Gen, his little brother Shinji, and Ryuta were voiced by actual young boys, whereas in the English dub they were all voiced by women.
  • The English dub cast of Bakuten Shoot Beyblade is voiced by kids who are close to the characters' ages. For many, it was one of their first voice acting jobs.
  • Capeta: For the first arc (first 14 episodes), the title character was voiced by Naoto Adachi, who was 12 years old at the time.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • Nelvana's Cardcaptors dub of the show 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 first Rhys Huber and then Jordan Kilik, who were either in their preteens or early teens at the time of recording. When the second movie was brought over by Geneon this was not the case, with Syaoran voiced by voice actress Mona Marshall.
    • The Latin-American Spanish dub had the then-teenaged Uraz Huerta playing Syaoran in both the TV series and the second movie. For the record, Huerta's voice sounded *quite* deeper in the movie.
  • 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. The character is not really a child, though, but an adult man whose physical growth was stunted when he got his Geass as a child.
  • For Cowboy Bebop, Sunrise repeated the approach taken in Escaflowne, casting 15-year-old Aoi Tada as Ed (and having her sing for the soundtrack).
  • The lead in Fireworks is voiced by a young teenage boy in the English dub, rather than an adult man like in the Japanese version.
  • 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. By Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, puberty hit him pretty hard, so Alphonse was recast as Maxey Whitehead (Dismuke made a reappearance as Alphonse's father in his teen years).
  • The Jewelpet movie Sweets Dance Princess has the 7-year-old Princess Mana voiced by Mana Ashida, who was also 7 at the time.
  • Maya the Bee:
    • The German version has an actual female child voicing the title character in all incarnations which is still in use for the CGI animated series by Studio 100 and animated films.
    • Willy is voiced by a child in the Dutch dub.
  • Some of the child characters are voiced by actual children in the English dub of Mega Man: Upon a Star.
  • 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 of Strawberry Marshmallow cast young girls around the characters' age. The results are adorable.
  • Some of the child characters in Haibane Renmei are voiced by actual children in the English dub.
  • Vick from Vicky the Viking is voiced by a boy in the German dub.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne:
    • 16-year-old 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...
    • In the first English dub, 15-year-old Dilandau Albatou was voiced by 13/14-year-old Andrew Francis.
  • Most of the children in Sweetness & Lightning are voiced by actual kids, such as Rina Endou (11 years old as of August 2016) as Tsumugi.
  • 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, however it's a plot point that Nitori's voice is prepubescent until the very end of the anime.
  • Ao in Eureka Seven AO was a middle schooler voiced by a fourteen-year-old boy in the Japanese version.
  • Digimon Adventure: the Latin American dub cast child actors for Tai and Gomamon (Miguel Angel Leal, who was later replaced by Gerry Meza), Matt and Agumon (Uraz Huerta), and T.K. and Biyomon (Lupita Leal).
  • In the Filipino dub of the Yo-Kai Watch anime, Nate and Katie were voiced by child actors Miggs Cuaderno and Jillian Ward, who were aged 11 and 10 respectively at the time the dub premiered.
  • Any anime movie distributed by GKIDS and Eleven Arts often has dubbing companies (primarily NYAV Post, who is known for doing this in most if not all of their productions) cast children as child characters. Notable examples include A Silent Voice, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms, Mirai of the Future, Okko's Inn and Penguin Highway.
  • Pretty Series:
    • Ayane Sakura was only 19 when she began voicing teenage character Riine in Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live.
    • Mirai's voice actress in Kiratto Pri☆Chan, Koko Hayashi, is 16 years old. In addition, one episode features animated personas of YouTube stars Kan and Aki, who are voiced by the actual elementary school-aged girls themselves.
  • Kisa, Hiro, Megumi, and most of the younger versions of the main characters in the first Fruits Basket anime were voiced by young kids in the English dub. They were all grown up by the time of the second anime, so it is averted there (though Kate Bristol returned to reprise Kisa while gracefully passing Young Yuki's role to Amanda Lee).
  • Ash Ketchum's original VA in the Latin American dub of Pokémon. Gabriel Ramos, was 13 years old when he started voicing him. The voice shift due to undergoing puberty is pretty noticeable during the first seasons.
  • In Pokémon: The Power of Us, the young character Largo is voiced by then 14-year-old Mana Ashida.
  • Any Studio Ghibli film that has children (which is pretty much all of them, barring some exceptions) is bound to have them voiced by actual children.
    • Grave of the Fireflies has Setsuko, who is a five-year-old girl, voiced by Ayano Shiraishi... who was five back then. Her lines had to be recorded before her scenes were animated, and because the animators were not used to having to do this, they tried to avoid angles from where her mouth could be seen.
    • In Spirited Away, the main character Chihiro/Sen is voiced by young actress Rumi Hiiragi, while in the English dub, she's voiced by child actress and Lilo & Stitch star Daveigh Chase.
    • In My Neighbor Totoro, the two lead sisters weren't voiced by children in the original Japanese version and the Streamline dub, but Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning provide their voices in Disney's dub.
    • In the Disney dub of Kiki's Delivery Service, Kiki is voiced by then 16-year-old Kirsten Dunst.
    • In Howl's Moving Castle, the young boy Markl is voiced by then-child actor Ryunosuke Kamiki, and in the dub is voiced by a young Josh Hutcherson.
    • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, probably one of the most notable examples, had Yuria Nara as Ponyo and Hiroki Doi as Sosuke - both ten years old at the time. The dub had Noah Cyrus (aged 9) and Frankie Jonas (also aged 9) as Ponyo and Sosuke respectively.
    • The dub for My Neighbors the Yamadas has Daryl Sabara as Noboru and Liliana Mumy as Nonoko.
    • From Up on Poppy Hill had an interesting case in which Riku, a child character, had to be recast midway through the dub due to his original voice actor (a young Alex Wolff, to be precise) going through puberty. He was replaced by future The Good Dinosaur star Raymond Ochoa, but Alex's performance is still kept in the film until a certain point.
    • Only Yesterday had ten year old Alison Fernandez as the young version of Taeko in the dub, along with various other child voice actors including Ava Acres, Madeleine Rose Yen, Jaden Betts and Gianella Thielmann - however the two exceptions in this film are the two adults being played by Stephanie Sheh and Hope Levy.
  • While most of the voices of the kids in the English dub of Hamtaro would be considered Dawson Casting, Penelope's owner Kylie was voiced by an actual girl her age.
  • Ayaka Ohashi was 19 when she voiced Lance, a child fairy, in Doki Doki Pretty Cure.
  • Similar to their live action works, NHK's Edutainment anime will use child actors for any child protagonists:
    • Haruka Fukuhara, who was ten when the show began, played Main in Cookin' Idol Ai! Mai! Main!.
    • Kitchen Sentai Cookrun uses child actors to the play the titular heroes. However, in the first season, Cumin was played by a 7-year-old child despite the character in question being a preschooler.
  • The Tamagotchi dub has many of the characters voiced by children (many of whom appear to share the same voice), including Mametchi, Memetchi, Chamametchi, Lovelitchi and Terurin.
  • In Dororo (2019): Rio Suzuki was fourteen when she voiced Dororo, who looks to be in his preteens.
  • The English dub of Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry cast the young Reilly Harrison for the apparently-7-year-old Emily, and the rarity of this is mentioned in the audio commentary. Luci Christian, an adult who commonly voices children, did sub in for a scene or two, though.

    Asian Animation 
  • While not much is known about Simple Samosa's voice actors due to the end credits refusing to list them, going off of a joke in the episode "Simple Hitchki" where Samosa's group meet their voice actors, the child characters Dhokla and Vada are voiced by children (in the original Hindi dub, at least).

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Book of Life, the Detention Kids, alongside the kid versions of Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin, are all voiced by child actors.
  • The Boxtrolls has Eggs and Winnie voiced by two pre-teen kids Isaac Hempstead Wright and Elle Fanning.
  • Blanky from The Brave Little Toaster is voiced by then eight-year-old Timothy E. Day.
  • Cats Don't Dance:
    • The Enfante Terrible Darla Dimple's two voice actors (speaking and singing) were both in their early teens at the time of the movie's release.
    • Pudge was also voiced by a preteen boy.
  • Disney Animated Canon and spin-offs:
    • In perhaps one of the oldest examples, the title character of Pinocchio was voiced by 12-year-old Dickie Jones.
    • In Bambi, Donnie Dunagan, Cammie King and Peter Behn voiced Bambi, Faline and Thumper as children. All three were born in 1934 and the film was released in 1942. Young Flower too is voiced by a child but he went missing at the age of eight.
    • Kathryn Beaumont provided the voices of Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan. She was respectively 13 and 14 at the time of each film's release. In the latter film, Peter Pan himself was voiced by 16-year-old Bobby Driscoll, just a few years older than the character's physical age, and John, Michael and all the Lost Boys except Cubby were also voiced by young boys.
    • The Sword in the Stone: No less than three different child actors played Arthur while the movie was in production: Richard and Robert Reitherman, animator/director Wolfgang Reitherman's sons, and Rickie Sorensen. Rickie is also a case of Dawson Casting, as he was 17 at the time.
    • Roo from the Winnie-the-Pooh franchise is usually voiced by a young boy. Exceptions include Crossdressing Voices Dori Whitaker in Tigger Too and Sara Sheen in Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin is usually voiced by a young boy too.
    • In The Jungle Book, both Mowgli and Hathi Jr. were voiced by young boys. Mowgli was voiced by 12-year-old Bruce Reitherman, who was also the first voice of Christopher Robin and the brother of Richard and Robert Reitherman, who had voiced the young Arthur in The Sword in the Stone.
    • For The Aristocats, Marie, Toulouse, and Berlioz were all voiced by actual children (Liz "Louise" English, Gary Dublin, and Dean Clark respectively). The same goes for all foreign dubs of the movie including the Japanese version. However in recent years, Marie alongside Toulouse and Berlioz are occasionally voiced by a grown women in Japan and France.
    • Skippy, Sis, Tagalong, and Toby from Robin Hood are voiced by actual children.
    • Penny in The Rescuers is voiced by a young girl - the then-eight-year-old Michelle Stacy.
    • The younger versions of the titular characters in The Fox and the Hound were voiced by Keith Coogan and Corey Feldman, the latter of whom would later be known for his role in Gremlins.
    • Scottish mouse girl Olivia Flaversham in The Great Mouse Detective was voiced by an actual Scottish 8-year-old girl, Susanne Pollatschek.
    • 12-year-old Joey Lawrence provided the voice for the titular Oliver in Oliver & Company.
    • Chip in Beauty and the Beast was voiced by the then 8-year-old Bradley Pierce.
    • In The Lion King, the cub versions of Simba and Nala were voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Nikita Calame, who were 12 and 13 at the time of release respectively. Simba's singing voice was also provided by Jason Weaver, who was a young teen at the time.
    • Six-year-old Lilo Pelekai in Lilo & Stitch was voiced by Daveigh Chase, who was almost 12 by the time of the film's release. Chase reprised the role in the franchise's first TV series and its pilot and finale films, where Lilo ages from seven to almost ten years of age in-universe, and Chase's voice does deepen a bit late into the second season.
      • Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, set between the original film and Stitch! The Movie, has seven-year-old Lilo voiced by Dakota Fanning instead. Fanning was eleven years old at the time of that film's release.
      • All the other kids in the Western continuity were also voiced by kids during its run. Mertle Edmonds, in particular, was voiced by Miranda Paige Walls (born April 2, 1992) for the first film and one of the video games, and then by Liliana Mumy (two years and a fortnight younger than Walls) in the rest of the franchise. Averted in the East Asian Spin-Off shows, as all the kids in the English versions of those shows are voiced by adults with experience in anime dubbing.
    • Jeremy Suarez voiced Koda in both Brother Bear and its sequel. He was 13 at the time of the first one's release and 16 at the time of the second one's. His voice had deepened quite a bit by then.
    • The preteen versions of Anna and Elsa from Frozen are voiced by children, even when singing. This is true of most foreign dubs of the film as well.
    • Moana is the first Disney "princess" film to feature a teenage princess voiced by an actress younger than the actual character, with 15-year-old Auli'i Cravalho voicing 16-year-old Moana.
  • Don Bluth:
    • 10-year-old Judith Barsi as the orphan Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Ducky in The Land Before Time.
    • Like Ducky above, The Land Before Time had Littlefoot and Cera voiced by children: then 12-year-old Gabriel Damon and then 8-year-old Candy Hutson.
    • 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 the first film, Tanya was also voiced by a child, Amy Green
    • In Rock-A-Doodle, Edmond was portrayed by a nine-year-old in the live-action part. He was voiced by the same nine-year-old as an animated cat.
    • The child characters in The Secret of NIMH were voiced by actual children.
    • 7/12-year-old Michael Nunes, 7-year-old Tawny Sunshine Glover, and 8-year-old Kendall Cunningham voiced Li’l Bee, Gnatty, and Baby Bug in Thumbelina (1994).
  • While Robin in The LEGO Batman Movie is voiced by a grown man, the Mexican Spanish dub actually cast a real teenager, Emilio Treviño, who was 17 at the time of the film's release.
  • Child characters in Pixar films:
    • John Morris voiced Andy throughout the 15-year span of the first 3 Toy Story movies, effectively growing up with him. Sid was also voiced by 12-year-old Erik von Detten, and Bonnie from Toy Story 3 was voiced by 9-year-old Emily Hahn.
    • Dot in A Bug's Life, voiced by 9-year-old Hayden Panettiere.
    • In Monsters, Inc., toddler Boo was voiced by Mary Gibbs (pictured above), the little daughter of Pixar employee Rob Gibbs. The crew had to follow Mary around with a microphone and assembled Boo's lines from the things she said while she played, as Mary was unable to sit still during recording.
    • Nemo in Finding Nemo, voiced by 9-year-old Alexander Gould. He was replaced by the 11-year-old Hayden Rolence for the 2016 sequel, as Gould would've been too old to reprise his role (they did give him a brief cameo role to make up for it). Squirt, Pearl, Sheldon, Tad, and Darla were also voiced by children.
    • Dash in The Incredibles was voiced by 11-year-old Spencer Fox. Similarly to Nemo, the sequel has Fox replaced by the similarly-aged Huck Milner, since Fox was too old to reprise the role.
    • Russell (9-year-old Jordan Nagai) and Ellie as a child in Up.
    • Rejected recordings of Mary Gibbs from Monsters Inc were re-used for some scenes featuring Riley as a toddler in Inside Out, while an unknown child actress recorded some lines where she had spoken dialogue.
    • The Good Dinosaur: Arlo, the 11-year-old dinosaur, was voiced by the 2001-born Raymond Ochoa. His voice deepened not long after he finished recording his lines. The human child Spot was voiced by the even younger Jack Bright.
    • In Coco, Miguel was voiced by 12-year-old Anthony Gonzalez.
  • In The Point, then 10-year old Mike Lookinland voiced Oblio.
  • Emily Prime in World of Tomorrow was voiced by an actual four-year-old, who was recorded having actual unscripted reactions to toys and pictures.
  • Agnes in Despicable Me 1 and 2 was originally voiced by Elsie Fisher, who was 6 when the first film came out and 9 when the sequel came out. Despicable Me 3 replaced Fisher with the 7-year-old Nev Scharrel. This also applies to the Japanese dub, where child actress Mana Ashida, who was five at the time, provided Agnes' voice.
  • SCOOB! features the younger versions of Mystery Inc. (except Scooby) being voiced by children.
  • In The Swan Princess, Prince Derek and Odette's younger selves were voiced by the ten-year-old Adam Wylie and the nine-year old Adrian Zahiri.
  • The animal children that the titular character teaches in Horton Hears a Who! were all voiced by kids. Most notably, Katie was voiced by 8-year-old Joey King in one of her earliest acting roles.
  • Kimi's classmates in Rugrats in Paris were played by children who had won a contest.
  • In the 2000 animated films and TV series based on German children's book series The Little Polar Bear (lars der eisbär), all of the child characters (such as Robby and Lars) were voiced by young children in the original German version. Foreign dubs had some of the child characters voiced by women.
  • In Wolfwalkers, Honor Kneafsey (Robyn Goodfellowe) was twelve and Eva Whittaker (Mebh Óg MacTíre) was eight during recording. While Kneafsey had previous roles, Whittaker never acted before.
  • The 2003 direct-to-video sequel to Charlotte's Web titled Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure brought in actual young boys to voice a group of lambs who ostracize Cardigan from the flock and continute mocking him. The most notable is Cardigan the lamb who was voiced by Harrison Chad, best known as the original voice of Boots the Monkey from the Nick Jr. series Dora the Explorer from 2000 till 2007 note .
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    Music 
  • The voice provider for the Vocaloid voice bank Oliver was a 13-year-old boy, and the voice provider for Kaai Yuki was a grade school-aged girl.

    Video Games 
  • In Bravely Default, Victoria F. Stein is a mage with the appearance of a child. Fittingly, she's voiced in Japanese by Kanon Tani, who was an actual child at the time of recording. On the other hand, the English dub avoids this by having her English voice provided by Carrie Savage.
  • In The Cluefinders games, actual children voice all the characters. Which makes it a little jarring in The Incredible Toy Store Adventure when they're suddenly voiced by completely different people, as the previous voice actors no longer sounded like children who were ten and eleven.
  • 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 19-years-old Aaron Spann. He also had previously voiced Joshua in The World Ends with You, who's fifteen at least in appearance.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts, fourteen-year-old Sora was voiced by 14-year-old actor Haley Joel Osment. When Kingdom Hearts II 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, while Re: Chain of Memories takes place right where the first game ends, it came out after Kingdom Hearts II but Haley still voices Sora in this game, and thus sounds too deep.
    • 14-year-old Kairi's voice actress Hayden Panettiere was almost 13 at the time of Kingdom Hearts's release, and 16 when she voiced her as a 15-year-old in Kingdom Hearts II. The former is a rare example of a child actor being even younger then they character they're voicing.
    • Physically 14/15 year-old Xion appropriately voiced by a then 15-year-old Alyson Stoner In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. Stoner returned to voice her in her other appearances as well as replacing Hayden as Kairi in Kingdom Hearts III
  • League of Legends: When Nunu & Willump got their Visual and Gameplay Update in 2018, Nunu is voiced by child actor Lucas Jaye who was 11 when he recorded for Nunu.
  • 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, the series publisher, considered replacing Angel because he hit puberty, but ended up calling him back in anyway, feeling that this "new" Alex was a bit more "grown-up" than the original.
  • The first Mega Man Legends game had Mega Man Volnutt voiced by the 14-year-old Corey Sevier, but in the second game the voice was given to Susan Roman.
  • In the Disney PC game Nightmare Ned, 10-year-old Ned Needlemeyer was voiced by then 10-year-old Courtland Mead, known for other Disney roles such as Gus Griswold from the show Recess.
  • In Ni no Kuni, the 13-year-old Kid Hero Oliver is voiced by the 10-year-old Adam Wilson.
  • Laura in Silent Hill 2 was voiced by the eight-year-old Jacquelyn Breckenridge. She wasn't told about the dark nature of the game she was voicing for, of course.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog games originally played this trope straight with eight-year-old Tails, who was voiced by the then-teen Corey Bringas in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Shuffle and his brother Connor in Sonic Adventure 2. William Corkery voiced Tails in Sonic Heroes, Sonic Battle and Sonic Advance 3. He's then been voiced by women from 2005's Shadow the Hedgehog on.
    • This was also present in Japan, when Tails was voiced by then-8-year old Kazuki Hayashi in Sonic Adventure, was replaced by Atsuki Murata in Shuffle and Adventure 2, before Ryo Hirohashi became the current Japanese voice of Tails from Heroes onwards.
    • In addition to Tails in Heroes, William Corkery's sister Emily Corkery provided the voice for six-year-old Charmy Bee. He has since been voiced by adult female voice actors from Shadow the Hedgehog on; this has always been the case for him in Japan.
  • In many Living Books CD-ROM games, kid characters were voiced by actual children.
  • The Adventures of Willy Beamish: Willy Beamish was voice by Michael Zibelman, and it's his only acting credit.
  • 10-year-old Atreus from God of War (PS4) is voiced by the 13-year-old Sunny Suljic.
  • 9-year-old Daniel Diaz from Life Is Strange 2 is voiced by Roman George, who was in his early teens at the time.
  • YK 500 android Alice, depicted with the appearance and personality of a nine-year old in Detroit: Become Human, is portrayed by Audrey Boustani who was around the same age as her character.

    Web Animation 
  • Theta from Red vs. Blue, while an A.I., has the personality of a child. He is voiced by J.D. Burns, the young son of series creator Burnie Burns.

    Multi-Media/Other 
  • Mashiro Kurata is the unique casting exception in BanG Dream!, a multimedia franchise with a cast of teenage high school girls voiced and performed in real-life live rock concerts by women in their 20's and 30's. Her actress Amane Shindou was 15 years old when the character was first introduced in the mobile game BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! in 2019.


 
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Betty Parker Voicing Ike

Unlike the older kids, all the toddlers in South Park are voiced by young children. Here, Trey Parker coaches his daughter Betty on saying Ike's line.

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