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VOICE OVER: Samantha Clinch WRITTEN BY: Beca Dalimonte
These actors sound NOTHING like their animated characters. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the greatest showcases of range in animated shows from some of the best voice actors in the business. Our countdown includes "The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," "Big Mouth," and more!

#10: Dee Bradley Baker as Perry the Platypus
“Phineas and Ferb” (2007-15; 2024-)


Sometimes you don’t need a lot of dialogue to get your point across. In Dee Bradley Baker’s case, you may not even need words at all. This versatile voice actor is best known for his work as monsters and animals, including Phineas and Ferb’s pet platypus, Perry. It’s safe to say this aquatic mammal’s signature chatter is a far cry from Baker’s typical speaking voice, and yet he still makes it look easy. Further proving his range, the actor also provides the voices of Aang’s animal companions, Momo and Appa, in “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” This not only includes the pair’s pitch perfect animal noises, but their all too short-lived turn as speaking samurai in “Nightmares and Daydreams” as well.

#9: Kevin Michael Richardson as Cleveland Brown Jr.
“The Cleveland Show” (2009-13)


If you need a deep, booming voice for your cartoon show, typically Kevin Michael Richardson is the man for the job. He’s frequently been heard playing bad guys, like Gantu in “Lilo & Stitch,” or Shredder in the 2012 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series. But it may come as a surprise that Richardson is also the voice of the sensitive, rule-following son of Cleveland Brown on “The Cleveland Show.” The performance unsurprisingly often requires Richardson to do vocal warm-ups before recording, requiring a much higher pitch than his natural speaking voice. Seth MacFarlane clearly appreciated his unique range, as he'd also cast the actor in the similarly challenging role of Billy in "American Dad!"

#8: Nick Kroll as Lola
“Big Mouth” (2017-)


To play a convincing teenage girl as an adult man is no small feat, and yet Nick Kroll does so effortlessly on “Big Mouth.” Before the animated series’ conception, Kroll was best known for his work on the sketch comedy series, “Kroll Show,” where he regularly stretched the limits of his acting and vocal talents. Although he didn’t know it yet, it was there that he began developing the voice of Lola, in the form of PubLIZity’s Liz G. Over the years, the voice has transcended its original, purely comedic, origins, with Kroll proving his ability to take Lola to serious, emotional depths - both through dialogue and in song!

#7: Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny
Various


Known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” the breadth of Mel Blanc’s acting abilities should come as no surprise. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be recognized for his unique talents! Blanc is best known for his work with the “Looney Tunes,” where he played Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Pepé Le Pew and Tweety Bird, among others. Although all of these characters help to exemplify what made him such a powerhouse performer, Bugs was arguably his most famous role. It may come as a surprise to you that the voice is somewhat of an impression. The famous rabbit’s speech patterns are actually based to a degree on “It Happened One Night" character Oscar Shapely – right down to calling people "Doc."

#6: Pamela Adlon as Bobby Hill
“King of the Hill” (1997-2010)


Even if you’ve never seen a single episode of “King of the Hill,” you’ve likely encountered Bobby. The young son of the show’s protagonist, Hank Hill, Bobby has lived on in memes long after the show’s untimely cancellation. The character often challenges his father’s preconceived notions of what’s right and wrong, making up for his lack of book smarts with a whole lot of heart. Behind the scenes, he’s voiced by New York actress, writer, and director, Pamela Adlon. Her believable performance as the teenage Texan, which is obviously a total departure from her usual sound, has rightfully earned her an Emmy.

#5: Tom Kenny as Eduardo
“Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends” (2004-09)


Another voice actor who got his start in stand-up and sketch comedy, Tom Kenny’s comedic acting prowess knows no bounds - behind a mic or in front of a camera. Today, he is best known for his role as SpongeBob SquarePants on the show of the same name, but he’s never been afraid to take on characters on the complete opposite side of the vocal spectrum. One such example is Eduardo from “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” Kenny uses a gruff, heavily accented, voice to bring the monster to life, striking a perfect balance between the character’s intended role as protector and his ironically cowardly personality. In a particularly impressive feat, he’s even able to maintain the character’s cadence throughout his many fearful screams.

#4: Seth MacFarlane as Stewie Griffin
“Family Guy” (1999-2003; 2005-)


There’s something inherently funny about a toddler who speaks fluent British English, particularly when he’s surrounded by a family of quintessential Americans. It’s likely why Stewie became one of “Family Guy”s most popular characters, presenting at award shows, starring in advertisements, and even cameoing in live-action series. Voice actor Seth MacFarlane has played no small part in this runaway success, even when you ignore his multitude of other roles in the show’s production. To hear the character talking to Brian, for whom MacFarlane uses his own natural voice, is sort of surreal. He may not always nail the British pronunciation of certain words, but the consistency of Stewie’s well-crafted persona throughout the seasons is impressive.

#3: Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson
“The Simpsons” (1989-)


Much like Stewie, the Simpsons’ only son, Bart, found success far beyond the confines of his animated series - adorning t-shirts, selling Butterfingers, and even landing the cover of Rolling Stone. Unfortunately, his actress, Nancy Cartwright, didn’t get to share in his success as much as she should have, as Fox initially forbade her from giving interviews. They didn’t want people to focus on their favorite ten year old boy actually being an adult woman. Nowadays, Cartwright also performs as Bart’s peers, Ralph, Todd, and Nelson, among others. Bart (and these other characters) sound distinct — from each other and from the actress’ typical speaking voice. Needless to say, she can often fly under the radar while out publicly! Cartwright never ceases to impress.

#2: Tara Strong as Terrence
“Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends” (2004-09)


You likely know Tara Strong as Twilight Sparkle in “My Little Pony,” or as Bubbles in “The Powerpuff Girls.” Or maybe you associate her most strongly with the neglected Timmy Turner in “The Fairly OddParents.” We could go on, but we’d be here all day. With so many iconic characters to choose from, we wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t know that she voiced Terrence, Mac’s older brother in “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” One of the show’s few purely antagonistic characters, Terrence has a far harsher sound than we’re accustomed to hearing from Strong. It’s indistinguishable from the voice of an actual teenage boy, and instantly conveys his abrasive personality within just one line of dialogue.

#1: John Roberts as Linda Belcher
“Bob's Burgers” (2011-)


If you’ve ever done an impression of your own mother, you have that in common with John Roberts. The only difference is that he made a career out of it. Although the voice of Linda Belcher sounds nothing like Roberts’ typical speaking voice, it apparently sounds like his mom, who the actor channels for the role. The impression is clearly done with a lot of love, making Linda intensely likable, various quirks, vices, and all. Most impressively, Roberts also frequently sings, and does so quite well, while performing as the Belcher matriarch.

Did any of these voice actors surprise you with their range? Let us know in the comments!

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