I'm sure that there are many people who do know a lot of these, but I hope that some will surprise you! True, you could learn all of these by sitting through the credits or by making a quick IMDB search, but who has the time? I know you're all busy.
So here is my list of 20 cartoon voices that you might not have known were voiced by celebrities!
Jaleel White - Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog
He might be best known for his role as Steve Urkel on Family Matters. But did you know that Jaleel also voiced the most famous cartoon hedgehog in this classic '90s cartoon?
Michael Cera – Brother Bear from Berenstain Bears and Josh from Braceface
Oh, Michael Cera. We've known you and loved you for years. You've been great from Arrested Development to Superbad and beyond ('beyond' meaning despite that 'stache). Should we forget some of your younger cartoon roles? He sounds almost unrecognizable. That's what puberty does to you, I guess.
Meg Ryan – Dr. Blight from Captain Planet and the Planeteers and Anastasia from Anastasia
In the late '80s up to the early 2000s, Meg Ryan ruled the rom-com genre with films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. During this time she also played the beautiful, but evil scientist Dr. Blight.
Christian Bale – Howl, Howl’s Moving Castle
Given his immense talent and fame, Christian Bale is a man who needs no introduction. So I'm not going to give him one! It only takes a minute, but once you realize that Bale plays the voice of the mysterious wizard Howl, the movie magically becomes 100x more awesome. And this is already a Miyazaki film we're talking about.
James Avery – Shredder, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The man who famously played Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air also voiced the main antagonist on the TMNT cartoon. Just imagine if he talked to Will and Carlton this way!
Vin Diesel – Iron Giant, The Iron Giant
Just one year after his first big role in Saving Private Ryan, Vin Diesel was cast to play the voice of the Iron Giant himself. People might notice parallels between the Giant and one of Vin's more recent roles, Groot from [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073).
Brittany Murphy – Luanne Platter, King of the Hill
Following her Clueless fame, Brittany Murphy went on to voice Hank and Peggy Hill's niece, Luanne, on Fox's King of the Hill from 1997 until her shocking death in 2009. She was featured in 226 of 259 listed episodes!
Tim Curry – Nigel Thornberry, The Wild Thornberrys
Here's another voice where once you know who it is, you can't remember why you didn't recognize them to begin with! I can almost guarantee that Nigel wouldn't have been so hilariously cool if it hadn't been for Tim Curry's hard work behind the character's voice. And it was just great hearing him voice a good guy for once. We love you, Tim!
Lacey Chabert – Eliza Thornberry, The Wild Thornberrys
She might not have been able to make 'fetch' happen as a Mean Girl, but Lacey Chabert absolutely killed it as the voice of Eliza Thornberry. Being popular is one thing, but being able to talk to animals is way better.
Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – Donnie, The Wild Thornberrys
Insanely talented bass player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the voice of the feral boy from Borneo adopted by the Thornberrys. Yes, that definitely makes sense.
Michael J. Fox – Stuart Little, Stuart Little
No, they didn't make a Back to the Future IV where McFly gets turned into a mouse. But if you want to rewatch it that way, go for it! I don't think it will really fit, but I'm not here to tell you how to run your life.
Special mentions also go out to Nathan Lane as Snowbell and Steve Zahn as Monty the Mouth!
Mark Hamill – The Joker, Batman - The Animated Series
The video below gets bonus points for having Mark Hamill admitting to driving around Los Angeles and practicing the Joker's maniacal laugh. Light side to the dark. What would Obi-Wan say?!
Note: Mark Hamill, like many of these actors, has done other voice work too, but I have only included some of the more notable roles to save some time.
Fergie – Sally Brown, Peanuts TV Specials
Okay, I was genuinely shocked when I first got word of Fergie's Peanuts roots. Way back in the mid-80s, before the Black Eyed Peas were even a twinkle in her....eye, Fergie voiced Charlie's younger sister, Sally. And she even sings!
Jerry Orbach – Lumière, Beauty and the Beast
When he wasn't busy with his role on Law & Order, Jerry Orbach found time to offer Belle to be his guest as Disney's famous French candle, Lumière.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster – Ferb, Phineas and Ferb
You might know him from Love Actually, Game of Thrones, or Mazerunner, but did you know that Thomas Brodie-Sangster also plays Phineas' brother, Ferb? He might not speak often, but when he does he's very insightful.
Constance Shulman- Patti Mayonaise, Doug
Now Constance plays the yoga-loving inmate, Yoga Jones, on the Netflix original Orange is the New Black. But in the heyday of Nickelodeon (at least in my opinion), she played Doug's number 1 girl, Patti Mayonaise.
Melissa McCarthy – DNAmy, Kim Possible
While only for a brief 3 episode stint, Melissa McCarthy played the Cuddle Buddies lover and pseudo-villain, Amy Hall (a.k.a. DNAmy), on Disney's Kim Possible. Start at 1:41 for Melissa's signature voice!
Bernadette Peters – Rita, Animaniacs
The voice, both singing and speaking, of the feisty but loving cat Rita on Animaniacs belonged to one of Broadway's finest, Bernadette Peters.
Jay Leno – The Crimson Chin, The Fairly Oddparents
Sadly I couldn't find a great video for the Crimson Chin. But by my mother's mandible, who else could possibly play this chin-centric role? Only Leno could.
Chris Kirkpatrick – Chip Skylark, The Fairly Oddparents
Major props to Chris Kirkpatrick who not only voiced Chip Skylark, but also gave the cartoon pop-star a singing voice. So just remember, one of the founding members of 'N Sync gave us this crazy catchy tune about teeth that is still pretty damn catchy after all these years!
As is the case with all of these lists, it is far from exhaustive. Honorable mentions go to pretty much any celebrity cameo on The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park. They bring on some pretty big names that would take forever to list! Also, we didn't even skim the surface of all of the most famous voice actors out there (that's a different post for another day). These were just some of the voice actors that I found most surprising.
If we missed anyone that you feel is worth mentioning, please let me know in the comments so that my mind can be further blown!