Top 10 Surprising Facts About The Voices Behind Famous Cartoon Characters

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When you watch a cartoon or play a video game, chances are you don’t really spare a thought for the person providing the voice. However, if you do decide to look into their backgrounds, sometimes you’ll stumble across things that are genuinely surprising. For example, did you know that …

10. Patrick Starfish Is Voiced By A Giant

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We don’t expect voice actors to look exactly like the characters they voice, but you’d expect at least some sort of similarity right? Well, Bill Fagerbakke, despite voicing the lovable ball of lard that is Patrick Starfish, is actually pretty damn terrifying in real life. By which we mean, the guy stands like a clear foot over every other person in the room, and is built like a brick wall. Of course that’s not to say Bill isn’t a nice guy; it’s just that, if you met him in real life and he asked for your wallet, you’d give it to him. And then you’d buy another wallet, fill that up with money and credit cards, track him down, and give that one to him as well.


(Patrick’s voice is 2 minutes in)

9. Lilo From Lilo And Stitch Is Samara From The Ring

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There’s no other way to really say this, so here goes. Lilo, that adorable little Hawaiian girl from that Disney film full of aliens was totally voiced by the same creepy terror child famous for climbing out of the TV in The Ring.

Now we’re sure that Daveigh Chase is a lovely person, and that she was great in the role of Lilo. But come on, Disney. You must have realized that people would grow up and wonder who voiced their favorite characters, so why would you hire the same girl who haunted their dreams for weeks to voice a character they probably have in stuffed toy form somewhere in their house?

8. Gretchen From Recess Is Mel Gibson’s Daughter From What Women Want

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Remember the film What Women Want? The one where Mel Gibson conveniently proves that what women actually want is his penis. Remember his daughter in that film? Yeah, that’s Ashley Johnson, who also voiced Gretchen Grundler from the Recess cartoon series.

She’s also voiced characters so far removed from Gretchen that IMDB probably accidentally sweeps her page for vandalism all the time. For example, as well as voicing Gretchen, the studious, bespectacled bookworm, she also voiced Terra, the Earth-moving super-heroine, from Teen Titans. Also, she was Mel Gibson’s daughter! That’s a sentence you can never type too many times.

7. The Voice Of Every Teenage Badass Is The Son Of The Guy Who Wrote The Smurfs

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Scott Menville has voiced nearly every teenage super-hero to appear on TV in the last decade. He’s voiced Robin, Bucky Barnes, Quicksilver, Metamorpho, Nightwing and a whole bunch of other awesome characters, like a bunch of soldiers from the Metal Gear series of games.

However, despite voicing at least half a dozen super-heroes, Scott isn’t the son of a wolf-taming radioactive experiment gone wrong. He’s the son of Chuck Menville, AKA the guy who wrote The Smurfs, Tiny Toon Adventures and Hong Kong Phooey. So the next time you’re watching a TV with Nightwing in it, just remember that the guy voicing him might be related to the same guy who brought us Smurfette.

6. A Whole Bunch Of Black Superheroes Have The Exact Same Voice

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Khary Payton is the voice of around half of the black super-powered individuals we’ve seen in pop-culture in the last decade. He’s Cyborg from Teen Titans, Kaldur’ahm from Young Justice, Emmett Graves from Starhawk and Luke Cage from Marvel Ultimate Alliance. He’s also Zack from the Dead or Alive series of games. For the uniformed, Zack is one of the most popular characters in the series, mainly because he’s the one who arranges for all the female characters to come to an island and play volleyball in skimpy outfits. In case you didn’t figure it out immediately, yes; DOA is a Japanese game.

So not only does Khary voice some of the coolest characters in pop-culture, but he also voices a character who literally spends an entire game staring at the asses of beautiful women. The reason Cyborg always screams “Booyah!” in Teen Titans suddenly makes sense. It’s not a character trait; it’s just Khary realising how awesome his life is. *Insert obligatory comment about all black characters sounding the same.

5. Klaus From American Dad Is Every Theron Guard In Gears Of War And Every Clone Soldier In Star Wars

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Klaus, the seductive-in-his-own-mind goldfish from American Dad, is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, a pretty famous and prolific voice actor. In addition to the fish, Baker has voiced characters in over 300 different titles, including the terrifying, raspy-voiced Theron guards from the Gears of War game series.

But here’s the thing; he’s also the voice of nearly every unnamed extra in Spongebob. Which means when you’re watching that show, there’s a good chance that the same voice you hear ordering Krabby Patties, or complaining about said Krabby Patty, is the same one you hear telling you to “suffer” and “burn” in a game that revolves around cutting apart your foes with a chainsaw attached to a machine-gun. Damn, Spongebob is hardcore. Oh, and he’s also like every single person in the Star Wars animated series and Gravemind from Halo 3, in case you were curious about how much we can ruin (or improve, depending on how you look at things) Spongebob for you.

4. Bryan Cranston Is A Huge Kid

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Chances are you either know Bryan Crantson from one of two roles: Hal from Malcom in the Middle or Walter White in Breaking Bad. However, along with being an accomplished actor, Cranston is also a very well-respected voice actor.

By respected, we mean that he’s basically used his distinctive voice to get paid for roles half of the people reading this would do for free. He’s played with toys on the set of Robot Chicken with Seth Green, he’s been Commissioner Gordon in Batman: Year One, he’s rubbed elbows with Seth MacFarlane on the set of American Dad, been in episodes of cult show Archer, voiced Buzz Aldrin in a documentary about the Moon, and he’s been like 3 different Power Rangers villains, to top it all off.

Basically, Cranston is a huge kid, and has used his fame to do exactly what we’d do: to meet the people who make his favorite cartoons.

3. Son Goku Is Voiced By An Elderly Japanese Lady

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Although Dragon Ball Z has changed quite a few times over the years, one thing has remained constant: Son Goku, the main character, is always a total badass. Goku can split planets in half by jumping too hard, and has the ability to shoot energy out of his hands powered by nothing but screams.

However, all of that badass-ness is completely negated when you realize that, in the original Japanese show, Son Goku, a guy who has kicked more ass than an abusive donkey farm owner, was (and still is) voiced by a frail old Japanese lady called Masako Nozawa.

2. Street Fighter’s Ken Is Behind Almost Every Awesome Thing Ever

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Reuben Langdon is the voice behind Ken Masters, the blonde-haired rival of Street Fighter legend Ryu. However, he’s also the motion capture expert and stunt adviser behind virtually everything awesome you’ve ever seen on TV or in a video game.

He’s done stunt work on the new Tomb Raider game, the Scott Pilgrim film, Avatar, several seasons of the Power Rangers, Spider-Man 2, and even had advisory work on the cult cop show, Martial Law. So the next time you play Street Fighter and see Ken brag about his martial arts skill and experience, you only need to glance at his IMDB page to know he’s telling the truth.

1. Mr. Krabs Is The Corrupt Guard From The Shawshank Redemption

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As we begin with Spongebob, so must we end with him. Mr. Krabs, Spongebob’s lovable cheapskate of a boss, is famous within the show for being a conniving and corrupt individual, more than willing to screw someone over if it benefits him in anyway.

Which makes sense, because his voice actor, Clancy Brown, did exactly the same thing 20 years earlier, when he was a guard at Shawshank Prison. So yeah, the next time you watch Spongebob, just consider that Mr. Krabs is voiced by the same guy who beat a rapist half to death while on duty.


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7 Comments

  1. Bill O'Dell on

    How about the idea that Clancy Brown has played a couple of even meaner characters like the Kurgan in “The Highlander” or the drill sergeant in “Starship Troopers”?

    • He’s also the guy in Bad Boys (the with Penn, not Smith) who got his face blown up by the stereo bomb.

  2. A few bonus ones:

    Vin Diesel voiced the Iron Giant
    Fergie (from the Black Eyed Peas) voiced Charlie Brown’s sister Sally in the Peanuts cartoon
    Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel Air voiced Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons
    Flea, the bassist for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers voiced Donnie from the The Wild Thornberries

  3. Artie the Strongest Man in the World from Adventures of Pete and Pete voices Cotton Hill and Kahn on King of the Hill. (Toby Huss)

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