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Top 10 British Voice Actor Performances

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by JJ Heaton It’s animated awesomeness with a well-rounded accent. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 British Voice Actor Performances in Film. For this list, we’re celebrating the best and most memorable voice performances from some of the UK’s finest actors. We’re focussing on feature-length and short films today, but watch this space for a TV top 10 soon. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 British Voice Actor Performances


It’s animated awesomeness with a well-rounded accent. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 British Voice Actor Performances in Film.

For this list, we’re celebrating the best and most memorable voice performances from some of the UK’s finest actors. We’re focussing on feature-length and short films today, but watch this space for a TV top 10 soon.

#10: Helen Mirren as Dean Hardscrabble
“Monsters University” (2013)

Mirren is no stranger to voice work, having lent her talents to characters in “The Snow Queen”, “The Prince of Egypt” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. But her best work comes in this “Monsters Inc” prequel, as the embittered dean of the eponymous Monsters University. Mirren’s top of the class with a tough-as-nails character and a dry sense of humour, for a performance that stands out even in Pixar’s wonderfully imaginative, animated world.

#9: Minnie Driver as Jane Porter
“Tarzan” (1999)

The cast for Disney’s “Tarzan” boasts several British actors, including Brian Blessed as Clayton, but Minnie Driver’s is the pivotal performance, playing one half of an unconventional romance. Driver brings a charmingly goofy British quality to Jane, making her a bright and emotionally intelligent character, but someone who’s also clearly confused by her jungle surroundings. Tarzan’s a man of few words, but she’s vital in developing their relationship, which unfolds with a classic Phil Collins soundtrack.

#8: Patrick Stewart as Lord Yupa
“Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (2005)

Patrick Stewart’s voice performances range from family friendly films like “The Emoji Movie” to more risque roles like Avery Bullock in “American Dad!”. But his work on the English dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s anime epic, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”, ranks highest of all. Stewart’s commanding voice is a perfect match as the mentor to the titular heroine Nausicaä, making this a dub that’s really worth seeking out. In fact, this voice role was a little easier than most, considering the character’s ridiculous moustache.

#7: Kelly Macdonald as Merida
“Brave” (2012)

With the likes of Billy Connolly and Robbie Coltrane in the supporting cast, “Brave” certainly isn’t lacking for authentic Scottish charm. But “Trainspotting” star Kelly Macdonald is the real key to this movie, bringing to life the adventurous and fiercely independent lead, Merida. Imbuing the role with an adolescent fire and proto-feminist ideals, Macdonald helps Merida to break away from the classic Disney Princesses, creating an animated heroine for the contemporary world - and turning archery into an essential hobby for a whole new generation.

#6: James McAvoy as Arthur
“Arthur Christmas” (2011)

McAvoy starred in two animated films in 2011, the other being “Gnomeo & Juliet”, but this Christmas adventure was a cut above. As the naive and optimistic youngest son of Santa Claus, McAvoy fills the role of Arthur with a childlike sense of joy and passion for the holiday, making his quest to deliver a forgotten present that much more personal for him. Ably supported by a cast full of British talent, including Hugh Laurie and Jim Broadbent, McAvoy leads a seasonal spectacular.

#5: Jennifer Saunders as The Fairy Godmother
“Shrek 2” (2004)

Playing the unexpected villain in the first “Shrek” sequel, Jennifer Saunders is cleary having a ball. The “Absolutely Fabulous” star sparkles as the malicious Fairy Godmother, making the role her own, and nailing that now-famous performance of “Holding Out for a Hero” - Bonnie Tyler, eat your heart out. Switching between seething fury and patronising sweetness, and balancing her character’s unhealthy fondness for food, Saunders is perhaps the finest adversary in the entire “Shrek” series.

#4: Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

A legendary star of stage and screen, Lansbury may have interacted with animated Disney characters way back in 1971, for “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, but it took until 1991 for her to become one herself. As the kind and motherly anthropomorphic teapot, Lansbury brings a warm presence to a Disney classic, as well as her considerable Broadway chops. Her performance of the film’s title song helps to define its most iconic scene, and cements Lansbury’s legacy as a truly multi-talented performer. She’s a show-stopper, and then some!

#3: Liam Neeson as Good Cop/Bad Cop
“The Lego Movie” (2014)

This Northern-Irish actor is best known for serious roles, but he lightens up for this laugh-a-minute cameo. Portraying both sides of a split-personality police officer, Neeson delivers a performance that is equal parts threatening, hilarious, and even quite tragic. He playfully parodies his own stereotype, upping his gruff and angry side made famous by films like “Taken”, before finding a very funny flipside. Emmet’s bemused, and a tiny bit terrified.

#2: Peter Sallis as Wallace
The “Wallace and Gromit” Series (1989-)

When you think ‘British animated icon’, it’s impossible to look past this cheese-loving inventor (and his faithful dog). Peter Sallis started voicing Wallace back when the character’s first adventure, “A Grand Day Out”, was still just a hopeful project for then-film student Nick Park. But Sallis saw Wallace rise to stardom throughout the ‘90s and noughties, voicing him for four shorts, a feature film and various side projects. The actor sadly passed away in 2017, but his work with Wallace will always be remembered for its ‘cracking’ comic timing.

#1: Jeremy Irons as Scar
“The Lion King” (1994)

Playing one of animation’s most iconic villains, it’s all but impossible to hear this guy’s voice and not think of this treacherous lion. A leading movie in Disney’s ‘renaissance’, “The Lion King” also features a funny and flustered turn by Rowan Atkinson as Zazu. But we had to back the baddie, with Irons proving a scary scene-stealer as the delectably evil Scar. Combining cruel and clever quips with a genuinely deadly streak, and a wickedly dry sense of humour, this remains one of Irons’ best ever roles. It’s no wonder the Pride Lands were petrified.
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