Of the various types of performances a person can give, I rank voice acting as one of the greatest. The ability for someone to convey so much, with so little is astounding, and enviable. That and it drives me crazy when I recognize a voice and can’t place it. After writing my first top 5 list of voice actors, my first top 5 article, I realized how many people I left out and decided on a round two. And even as I write this, I can think of more I’m snubbing again. Anywho, I give you part 2:
5. Rob Paulsen
If you grew up watching cartoons, you know Rob Paulsen. He’s voiced everything Mighty Max himself to Arthur on the Tick. While he did a few voices on Tiny Toon Adventures, he’s best known as Yakko Warner and Pinky on Animaniacs. Adding to his already stellar career, he was not one, but two Ninja Turtles, voicing Raphael on the original series and Donatello in the Nickelodeon iteration. Plus, he has an awesome podcast if your interested in voice acting or toons.
4. Tara Strong
Tara Strong is another voice that you’ve likely heard, but never realized. I grew up listening to her on shows like Super Mario Bros 3 and Beetlejuice, but never knew. It wasn’t until her role on The New Adventures of Batman when I took notice. She was Baby Dil on Rugrats, Bubbles in the Powerpuff Girls, Raven in Teen Titans, and many more. She’s even done some video game work playing Rikku in Final Fantasy X and taken over Harley Quinn in Batman: Arkham City. I heard an interview with her on Fatman on Batman where she demonstrated her wide range and how quickly she can access it. Amazing.
3. Billy West
To me, this man has truly mastered his craft. When I learned that Fry, Farnsworth, Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan were all the same person on Futurama, I was shocked. Each character is so different that it’s difficult to tell. Adding to that, he was both Ren and Stimpy, and Doug and Roger, and the red M&M in the commercials. When a person can play multiple characters on a show and it’s indistinguishable, that is true talent.
2. Tony Jay
Tony Jay had such a identifiable voice that there was no mistaking him. Low and somber with a bit of gravity, his voice work was astounding. Plus, he sound like an anachronism, walking right out of the middle ages to do voice overs. Jay typical plays a mentor type, like Virgil in Might Max, or an antagonist, like Shere Khan in Talespin. Sadly, Jay died in 2006. Many will remember his as Megabyte on ReBoot, but I’ll remember him as the Elder God in Soul Reaver.
1. Peter Cullen
Optimus freaking Prime. If there’s one role a person has ever embodied, it’s that. Cullen’s career started in the 60’s on the Jetsons, continuing to today. Voltron, Dungeons and Dragons, Pirates of Dark Water, and Rainbow Brite are just a few of the shows he’s worked on. Aside from Transformers, I remember Cullen as the announcer for Toonami. When Optimus Prime ordered you to watch the newest anime, you can bet your ass I complied. Cullen is still going strong, voicing Optimus in all the live action movies. In what’s becoming a well known fact, he’s also the house voice of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.
What did you think? Who did I leave off this time? Comment below!
Holy crap that’s a lot of tags.