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Top 10 Actors You Didn’t Know Were in Anime Films

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Amanda Abate
Written by Amanda Abate They’ve dominated Hollywood and dabbled in dubbing. You know their names, but do you know their voices? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks of the Top 10 Actors You Didn’t Know Were in Anime Films. For this list, we’re presenting ten stars you’ve never realised voiced your favourite heroes and villains.
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Top 10 Actors You Didn’t Know Were in Anime Films

They’ve dominated Hollywood and dabbled in dubbing. You know their names, but do you know their voices? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks of the Top 10 Actors You Didn’t Know Were in Anime Films.

For this list, we’re presenting ten stars you’ve never realised voiced your favourite heroes and villains.

#10: Kiefer Sutherland as Ross Sylibus

“Armitage III: Poly-Matrix” (1996)
While the actor popular for his portrayal of Jack Bauer on Fox’s 24 is not a stranger to voice acting, his first and, so far, only voicing role in an anime was as Armitage III: Poly-Matrix’s Ross Sylibus. Kiefer Sutherland’s dry voice suitably lends itself to the stoic deuteragonist, whose initial by-the-book nature and harboured hatred for androids after the murder of his previous partner are challenged when his new partner is revealed to be a “Third” – an illegal humanoid.

#9: Gillian Anderson as Moro

“Princess Mononoke” (1997)
X-Files star, Gillian Anderson, is an avid fan of Studio Ghibli’s works and has been approached more than once to provide her voice. Protective of the forest, and thusly, unforgiving of the humans threatening it, this intelligent and determined character’s soft spot lies only in San, a sacrificed human girl she raised instead of eating. Moro served as the actress’ first voice-acting role with the studio and sees her go from Dana Scully, an FBI investigator sceptical of the paranormal to a wolf goddess, a paranormal entity.

#8: Tim Curry as the Cat King

“The Cat Returns” (2002)
Notorious for his villainous roles, Tim Curry perfectly takes on the purrsona of the selfish-natured royal. To thank the teenaged Haru Yoshioka who had saved one of his son’s – Prince Lune’s –nine lives, the Cat King arranges a marriage between the two, which leads her to a journey of self-discovery and allows her to gain the confidence she was lacking. Almost unrecognizable, Curry’s throatily threatening voice as the Cat King re-invented the feline as the craziest character Studio Ghibli has had to offer.

#7: Christian Bale as Howl

“Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004)
This actor’s raspy growls, reminiscent of a certain winged vigilante, can be plainly heard in at least two scenes as Howl’s Moving Castle’s metamorphic male lead. Receiving the title role of Howl, the sensual Christian Bale brought the tenacity and anguish of his Batman to effectively convey the dashing but extremely self-centered and vain young wizard, whose pursuing of 19-year-old milliner Sophie Hatter leads to a curse by the jealous Witch of the Waste that transforms her into a 90-year-old senior.

#6: Uma Thurman as Kushana

“Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (1984)
Uma Thurman fits the “bill” as the voice behind the brutal but afraid Kushana, Princess of Torumekia. Like “The Bride”, this strong female character is hell-bent on revenge, seeking to destroy the Sea of Corruption after having lost her arms and two legs to the giant insects referred to as Omhu. While she can be seen as the film’s antagonist, her predicaments, as well as her motives, garner sympathy and understanding. Another household name recruited for the 2005 dubbing of Nausicaä of the Valley Of The Wind was Patrick Stewart, who voiced Master Yupa – master swordsman and mentor of the titular heroine.

#5: Mark Hamill as Colonel Muska

“Castle in the Sky” (1986)
Mark Hamill joins the dark side as Colonel Muska, a sophisticated but sinister government agent, who wishes to find the legendary lost city of Laputa and use its powers for himself in order to rule the world. Willing to stoop to kidnapping and threats, as well as using and later betraying his own allies to accomplish his goals, the Star Wars actor’s channelled Muska is creepy and ruthless and has the audience awaiting his much deserved comeuppance.

#4: Bryan Cranston as Fei-Long

“Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie” (1994)
Like his early acting career, the Breaking Bad star has taken part in diverse, and mainly supporting, roles as a voice actor – dubbing monsters of the week on Power Rangers and the main pilot from the four episode series, Macross Plus. Bryan Cranston was credited under the alias, Phil Williams, when he voiced Hong Kong action star Fei-Long, a character in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, who challenges Ryu to a match while taking a break from filming.

#3: James Avery as Fang

“Fist of the North Star: The Movie” (1986)
James Avery, best known for his portrayal of “Uncle Phil” on the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was also a prolific voice actor, having lent his voice to Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In the English version of Fist of the North Star: The Movie, he plays Fang, a giant steel-bodied one-man army. Although Raoh ultimately kills the warlord, Fang’s brief scenes, in which he defends his territory, are the bloodiest in the film and made all the more enjoyable by the vocal talent behind the carnage.

#2: Orson Welles as Unicron

“The Transformers: The Movie” (1986)
Described by Orson Welles himself as a planet, who menaces a certain “Something-or-other”, Unicron was his final role before his death from a heart attack. In fact, a synthesizer was required to salvage this prolific actor, director, writer, and producer’s recordings due to his voice being so weak. Having been promised a new body, as well as new minions, in exchange for the destruction of the Matrix of Leadership, the giant strips the villainous robot once known as Megatron of his free will. This new Decepticon, referred to as “Galvatron”, also receives a new voice, Leonard Nimoy’s.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:

Michael Keaton as Porco Rosso
“Porco Rosso” (1992)

Patrick Stewart as James Lloyd Steam
“Steamboy” (2004)

Willem Dafoe as Kumo Cob
“Tales from Earthsea” (2006)

#1: Tom Holland as Shō

“Arrietty” (2010)
Tom Holland was a different kind of friendly neighbourhood hero in the British dub of his first feature film, Arrietty. Upon discovering the “borrowers”, Arrietty and her parents, the sickly and pessimistic young Shō develops a friendship with the girl, which inspires a will within him to live on after witnessing her bravery and perseverance in rescuing her mother from the clutches of Haru. Having prior stage and cinema experience, the then 15-year-old actor’s performance captured the innocence of youth in its depth and range.

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