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We’ve already covered the top ten trailblazing animated series, but it’s time to take a look at some of the voices behind the cartoons we all know and love. Voice acting is truly an art and the people who do it might not be immediately recognizable in the wild – that is until they talk. This list comprises the most talented and prolific voice modern voice actors. They come from all genres and all walks of life, but none of limited to any set role. Some have created clichés and stereotypes and some are so difficult to pick out that you’d be surprised to find that they’ve contributed to so many shows and games that you love. Here are the top ten voice modern day voice actors.

10. Tress MacNeille – You’ve heard her in: Futurama, The Simpsons, Various Disney Shows (seriously like all of them).

She tops our list as a true trendsetter. Tress has basically set the standard for crotchety old bags despite her youthful appearance. If you’ve ever heard a cat lady, or angry old broad, chances are you were listening to Tress play to her strength. But she’s been acting since the eighties and has been in the about everything from the first My Little Pony series to Darkwing Duck. Her voice is now iconic and it’s rare not to hear a character written for her or a sound alike. She can sound sweet as pie if she need to though, as she proves with Mom from Futurama.

Tressmacneilletrees

photo source: Wikipedia.org, screencap

9. Steven Blum –  Anime buffs know him plus you have heard him in video games.
His name might not strike you right away but anime buffs definitely know him. He’s been Goku and he’s been the legendary Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop, and he’s also been Wolverine. When he’s not busy voicing some of the most iconic and badass characters of all time, he’s doing video games. Lots and lots of video games. This guy is to video games what Stephen King is to the horror novel.

 

Steve Blumspikespiegel

Photo Source: wikipedia.org

8. Tara Strong – Most famous for voicing Twilight Sparkle

Following in Tress MacNeille’s footsteps is the lovely Tara Strong who is probably most famous for voicing Twilight Sparkle in the new My Little Pony series. Like the other actors on this list, she’s nothing short of prolific, but she makes it for simultaneously acting in some of the bawdiest, raunchiest definitely not for children shows, like Drawn Together and shows like MLP that are almost too sweet to watch. She takes full advantage of the perks of a voice actor by pursuing whichever projects strike her fancy and not having to worry about sticking to a brand.

You’ve heard her in: My Little Pony, Drawn Together (aka the two most different cartoons ever made).

tara strongv-Twilight_Sparkle

Photo Source: wikipedia.org and mlp-gameloft.wikia.com
7. Bill Hader – You’ve heard him in: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, sound effects weeoop weeoop

He’s probably one of the more recognizable faces on this list, having been on SNL, but Bill has definitely made his mark on the world of voice acting. He’s pretty recognizable when he’s doing a starring role, but as he told Conan O’Brian, he’s all about the wacky sound effects. He’s got a lot of credits to his name and a few that have flown under the radar. He might be the only kid to ever want to be the sound effect guy from police academy when he grew up.

bill hadercloudywithachanceofmeatballs

Photo Source: imdb.com and screen shot
6. Maurice LaMarche – You’ve heard him in: Ghost Busters, Futurama, and Orson Welles

Maurice has been the Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8, a ghostbuster, and a mouse bent on world domination. He’s also been everything in between. Like the others on this list, you’ve definitely heard him everywhere, but his specialty is his amazing impersonation of Orson Welles. He’s a comedic genius and he has worked his magic on tons of shows for all ages. He can be wise and serene, wild and crazy, or absolutely monstrous, but he’s always great.

maurice lamarchewikipediapinky_and_the_brain

Photo Source: wikipedia.org and screen shot
6. Cree Summer – You’ve heard her in: Rugrats, Drawn Together, Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Cree’s career has been just about as adventurous as it gets and she, like Tress MacNeille created a staple voice of the industry. She can be heard playing a sassy woman of color or spoiled child, but she’s run the gamut of characters. She’s said in interviews that voice acting gives her the freedom to pursue any role she likes despite her skin color and she gets a thrill from knowing that she can be the voice of a little blond girl, a gawky teenaged boy, or a sassy cat. She kicks butt at all of it, so hey, why not?

Cree Summercasey

Photo Source:  tvtropes.org and screencap

5. Dee Bradley Baker – You’ve heard him in: American Dad!, Star Wars Clone Wars, Ben 10

For the American Dad! fans out there, Klaus’s voice is as recognizable as it gets with his distinctly unfriendly German accent and propensity for unfortunate faux pas. However, Baker has had quite the career apart from his MacFarlane adventures. Unlike the other actors on this list, he’s done a ton of superhero cartoons and a lot of Star Wars, which makes him kind of badass in our humble opinion. His brand of comedy works great, but he gets mad respect for dabbling in serious roles too.
deebradleybakerklaus americandad

Photo Source: wikipedia.org and screencap

4. Lauren Tom You’ve heard her in: Futurama, King of the Hill, Teen Titan

If you remember King of the Hill, you remember Khan. Lauren played Khan’s wife and daughter, and while her voice is somewhat recognizable, it’s also become a joke in and of itself. She provides the Asian flair for just about any show with an Asian character, and does it well enough that it walks the line between taboo and absurd well enough to be both believable and hilarious. Like Cree though, she doesn’t limit herself at all. She plays up her strengths and while you might be able to pick her out when she’s doing he schtick, her voice has probably flown right past your radar.
lauren tomconniekingofthehill

Photo source: wikipedia.org and screen cap
3. Mark Hamill – You’ve heard him in: Batman, The Regular Show, Avatar: The Last Air Bender

Luke Skywalker doesn’t really have to try to be amazing, but he never phones it in. Mark Hamill has provided one of the best, most respected Joker performances in the history of Batman cartoons. What’s more is that you would never have known it was the timid and thoughtful Luke from Tatooine could sound like such a maniac. His voice acting is intense and ominous. You’ve heard him in: Batman, The Regular Show, Avatar: The Last Air Bender and honestly, his dedication to sounding insane is just a little bit scary.

mark hamill

Joker (Mask_of_the_Phantasm)

Photo Source: wikipedia.org and screencap

2. Billy West – You’ve heard him in: Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, M&M commercials as Red

Billy West is probably the Mel Blanc of our generation. He’s been in everything. He does shows, movies, an even commercials, and all with only a hint of his real voice. It can be tough to hear it, but if you’ve got an ear for voice actors, he quickly becomes the Wilhelm scream of the voice acting world. He’s most well-known these days for playing Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan on Futurama, but he’s been tons of our favorite characters throughout his lengthy and amazing career. He was very nearly number one on our list, but not everybody can train with a Sinatra.

 

billy westzoidberg

Photo Source: wikipedia.org and screencap

1. Seth MacFarlane – Family Guy and American Dad

There’s a lot of hate out there for Seth, but the fact remains that he is an extremely talented voice actor. He began his career with Hanna-Barbara doing animations. He plied his craft until getting his own show, Family Guy, and becoming the cultural force he is today. He’s at the top of this list because of his insane range. In Family Guy and American Dad!, he voices Brian Griffin, Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Quagmire, Stan Smith, Roger, and an incredible number of supporting characters. Not only does he voice so many characters, he sings as them too, flawlessly and with an amazingly trained voice. Not everybody gets to work with a Sinatra though, so maybe that’s cheating. Still, his control over his vocal chords lands him at the top of this list along with Roger. Seriously, Roger and Stan are voiced by the same guy. Think about that.

v-sethmacfarlaneklaus americandad

Photo Source: twitter.com and .mtv.com

Honourable mentions: The cast of the Simpsons. Mike Judge, H. Jon Benjamin, Patrick Warburton, and Judy Greer. Hats off to the master Mel Blanc (1908-1989).

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