Last year, I actually got a lot of attention on another website for pointing out some of the incredibly head spinning credits when putting faces to animated characters. For the 8 that made the list, I actually submitted over 20 examples. On this page, I would like to revisit some of the ones that got on the ‘cutting room floor’ as it were. So here goes my (unofficial) sequel of 6 More Actors You Won’t Believe Voiced Famous Cartoon Characters….
#6 C-3P0 was an Immortal Elf:
Lets face it, Anthony Daniels is only known for one thing in life. Anthony Daniels strapped on a metal suit and became the lovably irritable British Butler of protocol droids C-3P0. The character was originally designed in George Lucas’ head as being ‘sort of a used car salesman.’ Basically, George thought of goldenrod as being kind of like a flying slimy pest… that.. Ok.. He re did the character as Watto in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. But a brothers gotta work right? So…
He was also ….
Friggin’ Legolas in the 1978 Ralph Bashki animated production of Lord of the Rings. Wrap your mind around that one for a moment especially after having seen Orlando Bloom cement the character in your brain in the Peter Jackson version. Keep in mind that 1978 was the same year Daniels did one of the first of many reprisals of C3P0 in the Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s a shame that he was not similarly remembered for any future Lord of the Rings projects.
#5 The Flash’s Secret Identity is Lex Luthor?
There is no doubt that Michael Rosenbaum is an extremely talented actor. There is one day a slim hope that Rosenbaum may be remembered as something more that just his brilliant performance of Lex Luthor over ten seasons of Smallville. In our opinion, Rosenbaum is the definition of Luthor in a way that Gene Hackman could just never be. But…
The Flash. In Cartoon Network’s animated series Justice League (2001 -2006), Rosenbaum took on the reins of everyone’s favorite Scarlet Speedster Wally West. The interesting thing about Rosenbaum dual heroic / villainous roles is virtually no one caught on at the time. It was the exact same voice. It was the exact same round head. Granted, one of the heads was animated. Think about that the next time you believe you can see right through glasses into Superman.
#4 Data was a South Park celebrity
Brent Spiner is only really ever going to be known as Data. For years, Spiner’s portrayal of a reverse Spock character trying to understand human emotions was a defining aspect of Star Trek: The Next Generation on television. There is little that Spiner will ever do to erase that image. Brent has done other good work. Namely, Spiner was outstanding as a slightly goofy as well as addled Area 51 scientist in Independence Day. Surprisingly….
Very capable of doing a dead on Conan O’Brien impersonation. It was this talent that landed Spiner in 1999’s South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Now, it was South Park in the 90’s so celebrities were not to hip to lending their own voices for savage impersonations of themselves. However, other celebrities were more than willing to step in with savage impersonations. Brent Spiner had such an impersonation and was more than willing to use it.
#3 A Rocky Horror Picture Show legend is a cuddly Disney Dad.
We are actually not discussing the masterful work that Tim Curry has done in voice-over work over the years. Quite frankly, that could take up an entire article of love in and of itself. The discussion point here would be one Richard O’Brien. O’Brien was actually one of the original writers of Rocky Horror Picture Show. In the 1975 film, O’Brien played Riff Raff. Riff Raff was kind of a zombie-esque creepy butler. In the movie, O’Brien had long scraggly hair and murderous intent. This image makes it kind of funny that…
He was also…..
The Dad on Phineas and Ferb. Search your feelings, Luke, you know it to be true. On the magical scientifically little comedy airing on the Disney Channel Phineas and Ferb, O’Brien lends his voice to Phineas and Ferb’s British father scientist. On par with Tim Curry as the dad in The Wild Thornberrys, O’Brien has also taken his talents honed in interplanetary crossdressing to bring us a well loved animated father figure. We only wish that Phineas and Ferb had made a bit more light of this connection when they were doing that Dracula/Frankenstein themed episode.
#2 Mel Brooks bit player to animated Super-Hero in a few easy steps…
Robert Ridgely had a career that spanned decades. This can be argued, but to me, Ridgely will always be remembered as the Hangman in Blazing Saddles. Ridgely would later reprise the role for Brooks in Robin Hood: Men In Tights (tight tights!!). The lispy character’s signature line was “No noose is good noose!!” When you look at Ridgely in those performances, you see a portly genial man who would have been wonderful as your office parties’ Santa Claus. This makes it more than a little jarring that….
He was also…
Thundarr the freakin’ Barbarian!! Ironically, most of Ridgely’s career was marked by his natural deep baritone voice. The heroic Thundarr (who was seemingly oblivious to how turned on a distinctively non-Mermaid Princess Ariel) was actually a more natural match for Ridgely’s voice than the Hangman character. Thundarr was a showcase of odd voice matchmaking though. Henry Corden growled his way incomprehensibly through the incredibly nuanced role of Ookla the Mok. This means that absolutely no one would catch the fact that Corden was the new voice of Fred Flintstone in the 1980s. All of those Fruity Pebbles commercials you loved growing up? They were brought to you courtesy of Ookla The Mok.
#1 A Rapper Was Reptar.
This begs the question of what mind blowing factoid would be on par with Uncle Phil doing Shredder in the first article? What could jar you into a forwarding and sharing Facebook frenzy? Dear reader, there is only really one in this regard. In 1998’s The Rugrats Movie, none other than rapping legend Busta Rhymes was the voice of the dinosaur Reptar in the Reptar Wagon. So, all along Godzilla cross pollinated with Superman was actually the alter ego of the same guy who gave you Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See was secretly a city trashing dinosaur.. Thingy. That is all.