Voice actors: the unsung heroes of our childhood. People all over the world know the characters they help to create, but very few people know the faces behind the voices. Today, we want to give some of the great cartoon voices their due. Plus, we love watching them work, talk, or just goof around.
A Duck and a Chicken Sing Opera
You may recognize the voice, if not the face. The duck is Donald Duck, played here by his original voice actor Clarence "Ducky" Nash. The chicken is Donald's fellow thespian Clara Cluck, as voiced by Florence Gill.
This piece of footage is a clip from 'The Reluctant Dragon,' a Disney film showing how Disney animation is made.
Goofy and Donald Sing 'Home On The Range'
Mickey, Donald and Goofy have all been around for a long time, so they've each had a few actors voicing them. Bill Farmer is the third actor to voice Goofy regularly and Tony Anselmo is the second voice of Donald Duck.
Mark Hamill Delivers Batman's Eulogy
Mark Hamill may be associated with Luke Skywalker for all eternity, but he's equally known and loved as the voice of the Joker in 'Batman: The Animated Series' and the video games 'Arkham Asylum' and 'Arkham City.' Even at Star Wars Celebration, where you'd figure it would be all Skywalker all the time, people still want to hear him as the Joker. The eulogy he's performing is from the 'Batman: Animated Series' episode "The Man Who Killed Batman."
Tara Strong Reads "The Raven" as Raven
Tara Strong is best known for voicing cute characters like Bubbles of 'The Powerpuff Girls' and Twilight Sparkle of 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,' but we love her throaty, deadpan rendition of Teen Titan member Raven. Here she is performing a particularly appropriate Edgar Allan Poe piece.
Optimus Prime Consoles Eeyore
The range that some voice actors have can make for some unusual one person conversations. Heroic Autobot leader Optimus Prime and gloomy donkey Eeyore don't have much in common, except voice actor Peter Cullen. Cullen was recently replaced as Eeyore, resulting in this unlikely exchange.
Maurice LaMarche as Orson Welles
Maurice LaMarche does a dead-on Orson Welles and can recite the outtakes from a commercial Welles recorded from memory. The writing staff from 'Animaniacs' used this as the basis for the Pinky and the Brain episode "Yes, Always."
Rob Paulsen Sings Nations of the World
Rob Paulsen is both the Pinky to Maurice LaMarche's Brain and the voice of Yakko Warner and can sing the entire Nations of the World song (also known as "Yakko's World") from memory. Here he's performing for an interviewer and a small crowd across the street from the massive San Diego Comic-Con.
Tom Kenny Sings a Christmas Song
Voice actors are often required to sing as their characters and many of them are excellent singers. Tom Kenny has played everyone from the Mayor on 'The Powerpuff Girls' to the Ice King on 'Adventure Time,' but he's probably best known as the voice of Spongebob Squarepants. He's a great performer, and who can resist a holiday song called "Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas)?"
Billy West and John DiMaggio Just Being Themselves
Along with tons of other characters on various shows, Billy West and John DiMaggio voiced Fry and Bender on "Futurama.' They play off of each other really well, as you can see in the above clip. It starts out with "Happy Happy Joy Joy" (because West was the voice of Stimpy, and later Ren), then veers off into some very different territory.
Frank Welker is a Monkey. Again.
We're sure you all saw this behind-the-scenes footage already when you unlocked it in the Curious George video game. But just in case you didn't collect enough bananas to see it, here's the legendary Frank Welker recording various monkey noises for the game.
Welker is no stranger to monkeys, having voiced Abu from 'Aladdin' and the monkey from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,' along with countless cats, dogs (he's Santa's Little Helper on 'The Simpsons'), robots, monsters and just about every other type of character you can think of.