You know that familiar moment when you’re watching an animated movie, and you swear you recognize the voice of the main character? You rush to search IMDB because you can’t possibly go another minute without knowing who the heck is voicing that bird, dog, robot, shark, etc. To your surprise, it’s an A-lister. Here is a list of unexpected stars who have voiced cartoon characters.
Smith voiced Oscar in the 2004 film Shark Tale. Here he is with his co-star Angelina Jolie on a giant promotional blow-up shark at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
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Kunis has been voicing Meg Griffin on Family Guy since season 2 of the 18-season show. Meg was originally voiced by Lacey Chabert, of Mean Girls/Gretchen Wieners fame.
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Timberlake voices Branch in Trolls (2016). He also voiced Artie in Shrek the Third (2007) and Boo Boo in the Yogi Bear (2010) movie. Trolls World Tour will come out in 2020, with Timberlake reprising his role.
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Any 3-year-old can tell you this, but Bell voices Princess Anna in the Frozen franchise. Bell plays the character in Frozen (2013) and in Frozen II (2019). She has done close to two dozen other voice work projects (a lot of it connected to Frozen). She’s voiced characters for more mature audiences as Uninterested Girl and Pam the Pillow in Big Mouth (2017). She also plays Priscilla the sloth (her absolute favorite animal IRL) in Zootopia (2016).
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Streep is, without a single doubt, one of the most respected actresses in her industry. She’s done it all, including voicing Mrs. Fox in The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Queen in The Ant Bully (2006), Blue Mecha in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), and Jessica Lovejoy in The Simpsons (1994).
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Menzel has actually been doing voice work since 1998, when she voiced Circe in the Disney series Hercules. Most notably, she now voices Elsa, Anna’s sister, in Frozen (2013) and Frozen II (2019).
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Clooney played the lead role (a fox) in The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). In this film, Clooney and Meryl Streep actually played a married couple—true Hollywood royalty.
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McGregor has done a lot of serious acting work, but he’s also voiced several cartoon characters, including the Royal Homing Pigeon, Valient, in Valient (2005), Rodney Copperbottom in Robots (2005), Chris in Jackboots on Whitehall (2010), and Lumière in Beauty and the Beast (2017).
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Brand has done quite a bit of work in the past decade. One of those projects includes voicing Dr. Nefario in Despicable Me (2010) and Despicable Me 2 (2013).
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Gibson voices John Smith in Pocahontas in 1995. Never imagined this guy as the love interest of one of your favorite Disney heroines, did you?
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Jolie is behind Master Tigress in Kung Fu Panda (2008) and Lola in Shark Tale (2004).
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Baldwin played the titular role in The Boss Baby (2017), and voiced characters in Rise of the Guardians (2012) and The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004).
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The Lion King is a classic one to re-watch as an adult. Did you recognize Ferris Bueller as grown-up Simba?
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Most of Ferrera’s voice work has been in the How to Train Your Dragon movies as Astrid. She first voiced the character in 2010 and was also in the 2019 short How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming.
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Chloë Grace Moretz
Moretz voiced Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (2019), Princess Kaguya in The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2014), Emily Kaldwin in Dishonored (2012), Belka in Space Dogs (2010), and more.
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The Broad City co-creator and actress voices the untraditional princess Bean in Disenchantment (2018-2019). She’s also Emily in BoJack Horseman (2014-2019).
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Hamill might be most well known as Luke Skywalker, a role that’s followed him for much of his life. But he’s also the voice of the Joker in Batman: the Animated Series.
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When she was a child actor—before the Black Eyed Peas—Fergie was the voice of Sally Brown, Charlie Brown’s little sister, in some 1980s Peanuts specials. Here she is with her son, Axl, at Camp Snoopy in 2016.
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The actress has done voice work in Pete the Cat (2018) as Bonnie Burrow and Beckie Burrow as well as a few other roles. But her most impressive role might be as herself in BoJack Horseman (2016-2018).
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Cage is behind Noir Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018), Zoc in Ant Bully (2006), Grug in The Croods (2013), and more. His talents, in fact, do extend beyond stealing the Declaration of Independence.
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When you’re not looking, Oprah shows up in a Disney film. She voiced Eudora, Tiana’s mother, in 2009’s The Princess and the Frog.
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Johansson has been getting her dramatic acting chops on recently in Noah Baumbach’s The Marriage Story. But in 2004, she voiced Princess Mindy in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.
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Jackman has voiced Wolverine in X-Men: The Official Game (2006), X-Men: Origins: Wolverine (2009), and was Memphis in Happy Feet (2006), among other roles.
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Samuel L. Jackson
Jackson might be most known by Avengers fans as Nick Fury. But anyone who went to see The Incredibles in 2004 knows that he was also the voice behind Mr. Incredible’s superhero pal Frozone.
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In 2009, Fanning helped bring Neil Gaiman’s creation, Coraline, to life in the movie of the same name. Yes, that is the creepy girl with the button eyes.
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Michael J. Fox
Fox first voiced the role of E.B. White’s beloved mouse in 1999. Here is in 2002 with “Stuart” at the premiere of Stuart Little 2.
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In 2018, Metcalf got Oscar attention for her turn in Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird, and of course she’s been known for years from her role in Roseanne. But she’s also Andy’s mom in the Toy Story franchise. Mind. Blown.
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Maybe adult you watches him in Diehard, but child you watched Willis (in his cartoon form) as Spike the Dog in Rugrats Go Wild in 2003.
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Watson voiced Princess Pea in The Tale of Despereaux (2008), nine years before she would play Disney princess Belle in the live action Beauty and the Beast.
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During her Hannah Montana days, Cyrus voiced Penny in 2008’s Bolt. Penny is the human pal to a dog who believes he has real superhero powers—a true Disney story if ever there was one.
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