Top 10 Unique Cartoon Character Voices in Movies



Top 10 Unique Cartoon Character Voices in Movies

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
These are the most unique cartoon character voices in film!
For this list, we're looking at animated vocal performances that stood out through their cadence, tone, and/or actor's unique qualities. We'll only be considering cartoon characters that first appeared in film this time around, because TV toons deserve a list of their own. We've included Ben Burtt as WALL-E, Jeremy Irons as Scar, Holly Hunter as Elastigirl / Helen Parr, Eartha Kitt as Yzma and more! “Who is your favorite?

Top 10 Unique Cartoon Character Voices in Film

These one-of-a-kind vocal performances made unforgettable impacts on film history. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for Top 10 Unique Cartoon Character Voices in Film.

For this list, we're looking at animated vocal performances that stood out through their cadence, tone, and/or actor’s unique qualities. We’ll only be considering cartoon characters that first appeared in film this time around, because TV toons deserve a list of their own.

#10: Ben Burtt as WALL-E
“WALL-E” (2008)

Between the skyscrapers of garbage and lack of humans, Wall-E’s world seems pretty depressing. But the titular robot’s voice breaks through the grim tone. Although Wall-E is a robot of few words, his vocal reactions convey a wide range of emotions. And despite having a robotic voice, he has a higher pitch that makes him sound almost childlike. These vocal qualities were brought together by the talented Ben Burtt. His performance was energetic enough to keep audiences invested without dialogue and became vulnerable during each emotional beat. By the end of the movie, Wall-E feels less like a machine and more like a human being.

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

The lion version of “Hamlet” featured Scar as the jealous and murderous brother of a king. Everything Scar says sounds sinister, snide, or sarcastic. His voice is so full of venom that we feel instantly uneasy whenever he’s alone with his nephew Simba. Scar’s resentment and disgust were brought to us by the magnificent Jeremy Irons. He not only nailed the tone, but also brought the full force of his trademark British drawl to the role. This enabled Irons to draw out single words and wield them like daggers against his enemies. Thanks to his detailed voice work, Scar steals both the throne and countless scenes.

#8: Holly Hunter as Elastigirl / Helen Parr
“The Incredibles” franchise (2004-)

Elastigirl is a heroine who uses her flexible powers to fight villains while supporting a family. She takes on every obstacle with courage and a unique voice. Actress Holly Hunter’s natural Georgia accent adds a distinct Southern cadence to the heroine’s words. Hunter’s tendency to speak out of the right side of her mouth is not only heard but also reflected in the animation. Her vocal traits and incredibly nuanced performance turned Elastigirl into a breakout character when the first “Incredibles” came out. Hunter’s glorious return as the lead of the sequel further cemented her status as one of the most memorable heroines in cinema.

#7: Eartha Kitt as Yzma
“The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000)

Eartha Kitt was born to play the diabolical Yzma. Her unique vocal range was perfect for capturing the eccentric villainesses’ moods. Every time Yzma plotted Emperor Kuzco’s downfall, Kitt’s raspy tones added a sinister layer to her misdeeds. However, when Yzma failed to execute her heinous schemes, her voice became high and squeaky. Kitt can switch between the two qualities so quickly that it’s hard to tell if we should be shaking with laughter or terror in each scene. After slaying the role in the movie, she voiced Yzma in other projects and earned multiple Annie Award nominations for her brilliant voice work.

#6: Eleanor Audley as Maleficent
“Sleeping Beauty” (1959)

Evil has never sounded so regal. The magnificent Eleanor Audley provided the voice for Maleficent, a cruel fairy who tormented the innocent princess Aurora. Her words ooze with confidence and superiority. Although Maleficent often speaks with mocking tones, she still sounds polite while insulting everyone around her. Audley’s commanding performance dominates every scene she appears in. It might even be more recognizable than the voice of the actual protagonist. Despite originating the role in the 1950s, Maleficent still continues to be a beloved villain today. Audley’s layered performance set a high standard for villainesses in animation that has arguably yet to be topped.

#5: Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket
“Pinocchio” (1940)

If we had to pick a voice to represent our conscience, Jiminy Cricket would win every time. In Pinocchio, he tries to lead the puppet onto the right path. Performer Cliff Edwards packaged Jiminy’s guidance inside of high and gentle tones. As sweet as his voice was, it became firm when Pinocchio made a bad decision. The most notable aspect of Edward’s performance was his singing voice. Jiminy’s rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star” won an Oscar while its instrumental version became Disney’s unofficial theme song. Between the popularity of the tune and character, Edwards’ voice earned a soothing place in animated history.

#4: Robin Williams as Genie
“Aladdin” (1992)

Disney literally got more than what they bargained for with Robin Williams’ Genie. After taking a pay cut for the role, Williams brought his full comedy stylings to the big blue guy. Genie’s voice was booming, expressive, and energetic. His explanations and exclamations came out at a mile a minute. And while Williams used his actual voice, he was constantly doing impressions throughout the film. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rodney Dangerfield, and Jack Nicholson are just a few of the imitated voices you’ll hear from Genie. Williams’ magical performance earned him a Special Achievement Award at the Golden Globes. Disney couldn’t have wished for better casting.

#3: Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny
“Looney Tunes” franchise (1930-)

The prolific Mel Blanc was called the man of 1000 voices. His role as Bugs Bunny manages to stand out among his chorus of characters. Bugs is a wisecracking rabbit that lives to outwit his enemies. His witty comments are spoken in what Blanc called a mixture of a Brooklyn and Bronx accent. This combo made Bugs sound snappy and full of street smarts. Blanc could also drop the character’s voice to a frantic low or raise it to a lofty high. He even bit into real carrots for Bugs Bunny’s signature catchphrase. His devotion ensured that the wily rabbit became a unique Looney Tune.

#2: William ‘Billy’ Costello as Popeye
“Popeye the Sailor” franchise (1933-)

When you create a character tough enough to punch a locomotive to pieces and pull the earth together by eating spinach, audiences will expect to hear a strong voice. Actor William “Billy” Costello delivered in every way with his Popeye performance. In addition to being deep, his voice is so gravely that it sounds like he gargles with boulders. Underneath Popeye’s gruff exterior, he has a distinct speech pattern, vocabulary, and laugh. The sailor has kept all these vocal qualities since Costello originated the role in the 1930s. The actor’s tough template ensured that whoever voiced Popeye would be instantly recognizable as a pop culture icon.

Before we hear out our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Patrick Warburton as Kronk
“The Emperor's New Groove” (2000)

Ellen DeGeneres as Dory
“Finding Nemo” franchise (2003-)

Amy Poehler as Joy
“Inside Out” (2015)

#1: Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse
Various (1977-2009)

Mickey Mouse’s voice is simply iconic. His high pitch makes him sound eternally youthful and friendly. If Mickey needs to get serious, the slight tremble in his voice becomes a quake of conviction that inspires everyone around him. Whether he’s fighting for his family or battling heartless baddies, there’s always warmth in his tones. Several actors may have worn the Mickey mantle, but Wayne Allwine’s tenure as the mouse is the most legendary. After Allwine’s first appearance in 1977, he voiced Mickey for 32 years. Although he passed away in 2009, his Mickey voice will be remembered as the one many of us grew up with.

I agreed with this list even Number 1.