Have you ever been sat down glued to your favourite cartoon as a kid, hearing the vibrant voices of its characters that make them feel almost real? Voice acting is a diverse and changing industry and it’s not enough to just have a “good voice”- you have to offer some versatility the same way a screen actor would have to show their visual emotional range. From video games, cartoons, animated films and television advertisements these actors have had long running careers in the voice-over industry that spans over several decades. Read below for our top 10 voice actors to find out some of the names behind the voices: you might just be surprised and a little inspired…
Perhaps one of voice overs best kept secrets, Baker has voice acting credits to rival the greats despite being only 44 (arguably one of the youngest prolific voice actors in the industry); and he is steadily adding to his résumé. Typically working within the field of video gaming, Baker has shown a confident approach to the leading action man role in combat, fighting based games. However the role that brough critical acclaim and international attention was his role as Joel, the protagonist of zombie horror survival game The Last of Us, which incorporated the use of motion capturing in its development process, in order to fully capture the psychological core of the main characters. With this role, Baker epitomises the lone wolf persona, simultaneously offering emotional depth unseen in games before then. Baker’s Joel became a standout character and a landmark in the storytelling aspect of modern gaming.
Armed with a powerfully intimidating voice fit for kings and gods, Cummings is another staple in the voice acting community having played countless roles over the years. Alongside the legendary Mel Blanc, Cummings is the only other actor to portray the iconic Tasmanian Devil; a character known to communicate in growls and snarls instead of actual speech tells us that sometimes being a voice actor is being able to access those primal, animalistic sounds. Although another anthropomorphic cartoon character, Jim Cummings has portrayed the lovable Winnie the Pooh (and his energetic friend Tigger), demonstrating his skill at harnessing the cadence of his voice to suit the softly spoken Pooh (The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh-1988).
Long-time fans of the iconic animated series The Simpsons will know the man responsible for breathing into life our lovable, drunken patriarch Homer Simpson is none other than Dan Castellaneta. I would confidently say that Castellaneta’s Homer is one of the hardest voices to perform, as he achieved a voice quality into the Duff loving family man that few can replicate. Other fan favourites Castellaneta voices include Homer’s elderly father Abe “Grampa” Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Homer’s perpetually inebriated cohort Barney Gumble, and hundreds of others spanning over his 690-episode credited appearances in this show.
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