The 10 Best Celebrity Voiceovers in Animated Films
Kung Fu Panda 2 is chock full of famous voices (Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan), which makes you wonder: Why? Why are celebrity voices an (apparent) essential of the genre? Truth is, recognizable voices are comforting, and animated movies are all about shelling the pacifying capabilities of cinema. Here are our 10 famous voices in animated classics, ranked for your clicking comfort.
10. Jerry Orbach as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast
The Law and Order vet exhumed his musical brio as Lumiere, the enchanting candelabra who made Belle's transition into bestiality queen a safe, well-lit one. Orbach's Fantasticks cred is an essential part of the ensemble that qualified Beauty and the Beast for Best Picture consideration.
9. Peggy Lee as Darling, Peg, Si and Am in Lady and the Tramp
Disney's long-gone world of hand-drawn prettiness culminated (for me) with Lady and the Tramp, the 1955 romance between two of the most sophisticated canines ever to hit the big screen. Though Barbara Luddy played the lovely Lady, jazz great Peggy Lee provided the voices for Lhasa Apso Peg, human owner "Darling," and the Siamese cats Si and Am. The Siamese cats are so cheeky and -- for Disney -- fierce that their slinky savoir-faire remains unforgettable.
8. Bob Newhart as Bernard in The Rescuers
Drollery! Disney needs more drollery! As the worrying husband mouse in Disney's The Rescuers, Newhart added low-key charm to the role of Bernard, whose wife Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) delivered a glamor and poise that served as a sweet counterpart to her husband's buttoned-down mind.
7. Eddie Murphy as Donkey in Shrek
Shrek has its detractors (and I'm one of them), but there's no denying Eddie Murphy's vigor as the punchy, braying Donkey is memorably impressive. His role as Mushu in Mulan is almost more deserving, but the towering dynasty that is the Shrek franchise cannot be denied a spot on this tally.
6. Holly Hunter as Helen Parr in The Incredibles
All members of the Parr family deserve recognition for their vocal gymnastics, but Holly Hunter is simply the perfect casting choice for Helen, the harried matriarch of the Parr clan. Her elastic powers are fitting of a suburban mother, and Hunter's hurried patois is a fine emblem of movie's familial, frantic pace.
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