These Animated Shows Have the Best Voice Acting

Some of Hollywood’s most exceptional and talented performers have also provided memorable voice work to beloved cartoons and animated shows, while there’s also a whole separate field of excellent voice actors who mainly work in that medium and do not get the recognition they deserve. Either way, it takes a great actor to knock it out of the park when it comes to portraying characters on such programs, as they are forced to rely solely on their vocal gifts and capabilities and not just the physical aspect of the craft. Such challenges and roles truly demonstrate the strength of voice performers, as evident in the successful and renowned shows they are a pivotal component of.

Comedy genius Seth MacFarlane is famous for not only creating and writing the mega-hit adult animated series Family Guy, but he also brilliantly portrays three of the long-running sitcom’s main characters, showcasing his exceptionally fun vocal gifts. Mike Judge is no stranger to creating and acting in his popular projects as well, having voiced the lead characters in Beavis & Butt-Head and as Hank Hill in the feel-good show King of the Hill. Many enduring and celebrated programs feature impressive voice casts and great voice acting, and these animated shows have some of the best (in no particular order).

8 Futurama

Touting a dynamite voice cast including John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, and Billy West, the fan favorite animated sci-fi sitcom Futurama follows the many misadventures of certified slacker and pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry, who becomes cryogenically preserved in 1999 only to be thawed out in the year 2999. West knocks it out of the park on the hilarious show, voicing not only main character Fry but also Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, Dr. John A Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan (among others).

The renowned voice actor and impressionist is brilliant in his delivery of each character’s lines and persona, and West deliberately modeled Fry’s voice after his own in order to make it difficult for someone else to replicate. The other talented actors really make their counterparts their own (especially Sagal, transforming her iconic Married With Children tone into something even more interesting as Leela) and serve up a delightful dose of humor and charm.

7 King of the Hill

From the minds of the creative Mike Judge and Greg Daniels comes the critically-acclaimed animated sitcom King of the Hill, an endearing comedy that centers on blue-collar Texas family the Hills as they experience the mundane aspects of life with patriarch Hank trying to keep the kooky clan in line. Not only did Judge co-create the show, but he also provided his vocal talents to portray Hank, joining stars like Kathy Najimy, Brittany Murphy and Pamela Segall Adlon on the long-running program.

Related: King of the Hill Revival in the Works as Creators Launch New Animation Company

Judge is famous for taking on roles in his popular creations, also having done so in the MTV cult classic Beavis and Butt-Head. All the fun and dynamic performers on King of the Hill help give the sitcom a relatable, wholesome feel, with the actors adopting a laid-back southern drawl in their deliveries of their amusing characters (or, in the case of Boomhauer, borderline unintelligble gibberish that’s also hilarious). Adlon specifically is perfect as son Bobby Hill, winning an Emmy for her work.

6 Central park

The Apple TV + musical adult animated sitcom Central park focuses on the Tillermans, an unconventional family who both live and work in the titular New York City hot spot and must battle against a greedy hotel heiress who wants to eliminate the park and put in condos. The show is stacked with vibrant and charismatic voice actors, with A-list stars like Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Josh Gad, and Leslie Odom Jr. bringing colorful flair to their characters. It’s no surprise that H. Jon Benjamin’s character Whitney Whitebottom is hilarious, as Benjamin is arguably the most recognizable voice in voice acting right now, playing the titular patriarch in Bob’s Burgersthe title character of Archerand doing great voice work in the gone-but-not-forgotten classic Home Movies.

Not only do the performers bring a unique zest to their counterparts, but they also knock it out of the park when they sing the fun musical numbers on the sitcom. Central park has earned widespread critical praise since its 2020 debut, with praise going towards its exceptional ensemble cast, memorable songs and its uplifting message. Kristen Bell made the wise decision to step down from the show, choosing to no longer play a bi-racial character, and has been replaced with The Umbrella Academy actor Emmy Raver-Lampman, though they’re both excellent.

5 Family Guy

Comedy superstar Seth MacFarlane created the long-running, fan favorite adult animated sitcom Family Guy, which follows the zany antics of Peter and Lois Griffin and their two teenage kids, with their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian and evil genius infant Stewie causing even more hilarious chaos. MacFarlane voices three of the program’s main characters (Peter, Brian, and Stewie), doing so because he believed it would be easier to simply do it himself than to have another actor attempt it.

Related: These Are Some Of The Animated Shows For Adults

Each of the characters have distinct personalities and styleswith MacFarlane basing Stewie’s voice on English actor Rex Harrison, Peter’s from a security guard he once heard in Rhode Island and Brian’s on his own regular speaking voice. Family Guy also features the talents of Mila Kunis, Seth Green, and Alex Borstein as the rest of the Griffin gang.

4 Cowboy Bebop

Hailed as one of the greatest animated television shows of all time, the critically lauded Japanese neo-noir sci-fi anime Cowboy Bebop takes place in 2071 and depicts the thrilling and dangerous exploits of a crew of bounty-hunters working from the spaceship Bebop. While the original Japanese voice acting is often great, the English dub is surprisingly impeccable, utilizing a cast of seasoned voice actors including Steve Blum, Beau Billingslea, and Melissa Fahn, with many regarding the performances as one of the best anime dubs to date.

The main characters on the series are all unique and distinct in their personalities and mannerisms, with Blum’s Spike Spiegel frequently demonstrating a cavalier attitude with a history of violence. Blum’s voice acting work is iconic in anime (playing Roger Smith in The Big OMugen in Samurai Champlooand countless others like Naruto and Ultraman), but also outside of it, like as Sub-Zero in the Mortal Kobat video games and Garazeb Orrellos in Star Wars Rebels. The lead bounty hunters of Cowboy Bebop are all phenomenal though and wonderfully different, and the English voice actors really manage to capture the essence of the characters. Cowboy Bebop has been credited with helping introduce anime to Western culture and is viewed as a gateway series for Japanese animation.

3 The Simpsons

Making its impressive debut in 1989, the animated sitcom The Simpsons is an amusing satirical depiction of American life that centers on the Simpson family, following the household and yellow residents of the oddball Springfield and showcasing their lively adventures. The fictional family consists of the immature and lazy Homer, grounded Marge and their misfit children Lisa, Bart, and Maggie, with renowned voice actors like Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, and Nancy Cartwright bringing their quirky counterparts to life on the hit show.

Castellaneta not only voices patriarch Homer but also entertaining characters like Krusty the Clown, Grampa Simpson, and Mayor Quimby, with the performer taking on multiple roles so that new actors would not be needed.The Simpsons has been the recipient of 34 Primetime Emmy Awards and 34 Annie Awards, and is the longest-running American sitcom of all time.

2 BoJack Horseman

With a delightful cast of voice performers like Will Arnett, Alison Brie, and Aaron Paul (not to mention character actress Margo Martindale), the Netflix adult-animated dramedy BoJack Horseman centers on the eponymous anthropomorphic horse, a washed up ’90s television star has-been who plots his epic return to fame via a juicy autobiography. The alcoholic and perpetually self-loathing BoJack is voiced by Arnett, who has received immense praise for his ability to portray the character with a perfect blend of comedy and emotion.

For his compelling performance on the series, Arnett has received numerous accolades including a Critics’ Choice Television Award and Annie Award. One of the best Netflix originals, BoJack Horseman also features an assortment of eccentric supporting characters like Mr. Peanutbutter, a cheerful labrador voiced by Paul F. Tompkins and the human slacker genius Todd Chavez, amusingly portrayed by Aaron Paul.

1 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy

The successful Cartoon Network animated television series The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy chronicles the hilarious exploits the vastly different titular leads get into after the pair are given the grumpy Grim Reaper, who is forced to become a lifelong companion to the kids after losing a wager. Richard Steven Horvitz and Gray DeLisle voice the dim-witted Billy and cynical Mandy, with Greg Eagles portraying the short-tempered, Jamaican-accented Grim Reaper.

The characters are all commanding and memorable in their performances, with each actor adding their own fun flair that helped make the show a huge hit for the network. The conflicting personalities of Billy and Mandy and Grim’s love-hate relationship with the scheming duo is front-and-center in the actors’ exceptional delivery, and it’s no surprise that during its run the series was a fan favorite among viewers.

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