Voice actors are the unsung heroes of the entertainment industry, using their talents to bring to life characters that are loved by millions of people around the world. While many people may not realize the amount of work and skill that goes into creating a convincing and memorable voice performance, the truth is that voice actors are some of the most talented and versatile performers in the industry. From their ability to bring characters to life with just their voices to their mastery of a wide range of accents and dialects, we’ll dive into the many reasons why the best voice actors are truly some of the most talented performers in the world.
It’s not lost that majority of prominent voice actors find themselves in comedy cartoons, which according to one study, these cartoons could improve someone’s health! Nearly three quarters of respondents indicated that occasionally forgetting you’re an adult and tapping into a more immature mindset — be it watching old cartoons, pulling pranks on friends, or playing classic board games — was important for their health.
Despite the apparent increase to improved health, some say that while these shows are memorable and extremely popular around the world, a new study argues some are also sending kids the wrong messages about pain. A team of psychologists say popular kids’ cartoons like “Peppa Pig,” “Toy Story,” and “Frozen” are too violent and give children an unrealistic view of pain.
Aside from those concerns, it remains fact that voice actors are legends in entertainment. So who voices your favorite characters of all time? StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best voice actors of all time. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Voice Actors, According to Film Experts
1. Mel Blanc
Known as the “Man of a Thousand Voices,” Blanc was the voice behind many iconic cartoon characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Tweety Bird. Movie Web recounts his career here, “For over 60 years, Mel Blanc’s voice was heard by the world either on radio, or in the massively popular series of animated shorts, The Looney Tunes. Right up until his death in 1989, Mel was happily voicing nearly every single major Looney Tunes character (except for Elmer Fudd, up until the original voice actor Arthur Q. Bryan died, after which Blanc took over the role) and became the all-too rare example of a voice actor being famously recognized for his work. Never before had his kind of vocal range been seen in animated pictures, and arguably never has been since.”
Dani Voice Overs followed suit with, “he deservedly earned his nickname, after lending his voice to almost 400 different characters and participating in 3,000 cartoon episodes. He is better known for his work at Warner Bros during the ‘Golden Age of American Animation’. In the 40s and 50s, he dubbed 90% of Warner’s animated characters.”
“The greatest voice actor of all-time is unquestionably the late Mel Blanc, known as the ‘Man of a Thousand Voices’. He of course, voiced all of those beloved characters in the Looney Toons cartoon series and was known to have developed over 400 distinct voices that he could call upon to deliver with precision every time. Find an old interview on YouTube and prepare to smile,” says The Courier Press.
2. James Earl Jones
Jones is famous for his deep, commanding voice and has provided the voices for many iconic characters, including Darth Vader in the Star Wars films and Mufasa in The Lion King.
“James Earl Jones’s deep bass tone has made him one of the most recognized voices in the film industry. His authoritative gravelly voice brought life to the iconic Star Wars character, Darth Vader,” writes Voice123. “Often praised for his resounding basso profondo, Jones is the voice behind legendary film and TV phrases. In fact, they are some of the most memorable words ever uttered in the history of voice over.”
Screen Rant says, “Known for his acting prowess, phenomenal presence, and a voice deeper than the ocean, James Earl Jones is one of the most prolific actors of the modern era. There are few actors of the guy’s caliber, having quite the decorated career with appearances in film, TV, and stage productions.”
James Earl Jones.. The man with the Golden Voice, Legendary. pic.twitter.com/PjoXDx4iKj
— AndyJnr ° Umaru (@AndyjnrUmaru) April 25, 2023
“James Earl Jones, who turns 90 on Jan. 17, has one of the most famous voices of all time — not just as Darth Vader and Mufasa, but as the voice of CNN and hundreds of other programs. But the distinguished actor and narrator almost didn’t find his voice at all,” adds Variety.
3. Frank Welker
Welker is a prolific voice actor who has provided the voices for hundreds of characters in movies, TV shows, and video games. Some of his most famous roles include Fred Jones in Scooby-Doo and Megatron in the Transformers series.
The Guardian adds, ” Frank Welker is a voice artist, perhaps the king of voices. He’s the cat Azrael in the new Smurfs adventure, and all six penguins in Mr Popper’s Penguins. He’s been the voices of Soundwave and Megatron on the Transformers films. He’s been both Fred and Scooby in Scooby-Doo. He’s been . . . just about everyone in everything in his time. Unlike the pouting divas of the acting world, he doesn’t insist on his own interpretative greatness: he can deliver exactly the effect the director wants in the recording studio – in not too many takes.”
Cartoon Brew wants his legacy put in cement in LA, “He’s voiced over 800 productions, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Emmys, appeared in 14 Oscar-winning films, and voiced over a dozen characters who’ve had balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not to mention his iconic 53-year run as the voice of Fred Jones in the Scooby-Doo franchise. But the one thing that has proved elusive for Welker is a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
“Frank Welker is perhaps the most prolific voice actor currently in the business. He first broke into acting in the 1960s with stand-up comedy and impressions, and in 1969, he made his first appearance in cinema with the film The Trouble with Girls,” says Collider and then goes on to say, “Since then, Welker has gone on to voice nearly nine hundred characters across television, film, and video games. Alongside ensuring that everyone has at least one role they can recognize him by, this makes him the third highest-grossing actor in the world.”
4. Tara Strong
Strong is known for her ability to voice a wide range of characters, from young children to older women. She has provided the voices for many beloved characters, including Bubbles in “The Powerpuff Girls” and Twilight Sparkle in “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”.
Collider says, “Along with her laid-back personality and how much fun she has poked fun at herself and fellow voice actors, Strong’s success is thanks to how diverse her vocal range is. She can play loud and crazy characters as easily as quiet and stoic ones, and always breathes a bit of life into each to make them stand out among similar archetypes.”
“Tara Strong is a true talent, who has voiced many iconic characters and lent her talents to a wide variety of media properties. Her portfolio of characters ranges from films to TV shows to video games. Her voice is one that gamers might be able to instantly recognize, or will be pleasantly surprised to fund upon reading the credits,” adds Game Rant.
Post Magazine reports about how she when she was awarded by a prolific group, “The Society of Voice Arts & Sciences (sovas.org) has announced that voice actor Tara Strong will be the recipient of this year’s Voice Arts Legacy Award for Arts and Entertainment. The award recognizes Strong’s four-decade career in animation and video games, which includes providing voice performances for the animated series The New Batman Adventures, Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go!, Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly OddParents, Xiaolin Showdown and Ben 10.”
5. Tom Kenny
Kenny is best known for his work as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants, but he has also provided the voices for many other characters, including the Ice King in “Adventure Time” and the Mayor in “The Powerpuff Girls”.
According to Collider, he could do both comedy and drama: “Kenny is most recognized for his comedic roles but is more than capable of dipping into drama when needed. Even when he plays small parts, he puts his heart and soul into every word, which brings the characters to life in a way few voice actors can.”
“One of the most famous voice actors working today is Tom Kenny, whose work has helped to shape some of the most iconic characters in children’s cartoons. Kenny is perhaps most famous as the titular sponge in SpongeBob SquarePants. In addition to his fame as the lovable sponge, Kenny’s most iconic roles have brought a smile to faces of both young and old, but some have found more success than others,” writes CBR.
“Tom Kenny has been delighting children for decades as America’s favorite undersea fry cook, SpongeBob SquarePants. It’s an iconic character that has become a pop culture institution, but many fans may not know that Kenny himself is a beloved voice actor beyond his pineapple under the sea. The East Syracuse native has provided voices for well over 500 films, television shows, and video games; from major protagonists to wacky sidekicks to merely additional voices, Kenny has done it all,” says Slash Film.
You might also be interested in:
- Best Cartoon Series of All Time
- Best Female Actresses of All Time
- Best Movies on Disney+
- Best Disney Movies of 2023
- Movie Web
- Dani Voice Overs
- The Courier Press
- Screen Rant
- The Guardian
- Cartoon Brew
- Game Rant
- Slash Film
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.