Tuesday, 26 November 2013

10 animated films with the best voices (ever)

I enjoy reading and compiling trivia. They’re a source of amusement. Especially so if they consist of lists of this, that, and the other, which being subjective are open to scrutiny, criticism, and ridicule. Trivia are little titbits that you often find in small boxes and units as part of a larger story in a newspaper or magazine.

My earliest introduction to published trivia was The Book of Lists series compiled by the family troika of bestselling author Irving Wallace, his son, historian David Wallechinsky, and his daughter, writer Amy Wallace. Their people’s almanac covered such unusual and absurd topics as “Breeds of dogs which bite people the most, and the least” and “Famous people who died during sexual intercourse.” I don’t know if the almanac is still around.

British actor Jeremy Irons lent his deep
voice to the evil Scar in The Lion King.
This week, for Overlooked Films, Audio & Video at Todd Mason’s blog Sweet Freedom, I decided to introduce an occasional post on trivia in films, starting with some of my favourite animated movies with the best voices (ever). I've selected these from the films I have seen and remember the most off the top of my head. I've left out several pre-1960 classic animated movies like Bambi, Cinderalla, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, and Pinocchio as well as many others made in the 1970s & 1980s for the reason that while I have seen most of these animated films, I don’t remember the voice overs.

But ten is a good number, and here they are in order of release and some of the finest voice overs in the business.

01. The Jungle Book, 1967
Best voice: George Sanders as Shere Khan, the Tiger.

02. Beauty and the Beast, 1991
Best voice: Robby Benson as the spellbound Beast.

03. The Lion King, 1994
Best voice: Jeremy Irons as Scar, Simba’s evil uncle.

04. 101 Dalmatians, 1996
Best voice: Glenn Close as dog-hater Cruella De Vil.

05. Shrek, 2001
Best voice: Eddie Murphy as Donkey, Shrek’s friend.

06. Ice Age, 2002
Best voice: Ray Romano as Manfred, the mammoth.

07. The Polar Express, 2004
Best voice: Tom Hanks as the young boy, conductor, and Santa Claus among other roles.

08. Madagascar, 2005
Best voice: Sacha Baron Cohen as Julien, the lemur and a self-proclaimed king.

09. Ratatouille, 2007
Best voice: Peter O’Toole as the intimidating food critic Anton Ego.

10. Rango, 2011
Best voice: Johnny Depp as Rango, the chameleon who becomes sheriff in Wild West.

If I were to pick any one that I like the most, I'd have no hesitation in choosing Beauty and the Beast followed by The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Ice Age, and Ratatouille as my top five. It's one of the most beautiful films I've seen. It's a story of love, courage, betrayal, compassion, and sacrifice, revolving around the unlikely pair of Beauty (Paige O'Hara as Belle) and the Beast (Robby Benson). One of the things I liked about this film is Belle’s hunger for books, her thirst for knowledge, even if it means reading the same books again from her village library. And then she meets Beast and steps inside his spectacular library. I reviewed this film last year. 

15 comments:

  1. Animated movies are such fun :-) When I read the title of your post, I instantly thought of Donkey in Shrek.

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    1. Fleur, I liked Donkey better than Shrek. Such an original name too! Secondary characters are often better and funnier than the principal characters in animated movies.

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  2. Shrek was definitely good. My favorite might be Toy Story though. the voices seem to match so well the characters.

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    1. Charles, I thought of TOY STORY which'd have made it to my top 20 animated films. I remember liking the film with voice overs from Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, both suited for this sort of thing.

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  3. One of these was a live-action remake of an animated film.

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    1. Martin, thanks for visiting and writing. I'm trying to figure out which of these was made into a "live-action" film.

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  4. As a kid, I was enthralled by animated films and couldn't wait for every new Disney that came out. Cartoons were my favorite part of going to the movies with my parents. Today, and I can't explain why, my interest in them is next to zero. Of the few I've seen, I admit that I thoroughly enjoyed FINDING NEMO.

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    1. Ron, let me say that three out of five films I see in the theatres are animated. There was a time when I didn't miss any. Now theatres here run English films for just about two weeks and one often doesn't know when a film has come and gone. I do manage to watch them on cable every month including reruns of classic Tom & Jerry episodes. I remember FINDING NEMO although I sometimes confuse it with SHARK TALE.

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  5. Nice post. I was obsessed with the Book of Lists when I was a young girl. I had it practically memorized.

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    1. Kelly, I read THE BOOK OF LISTS in my teens and recall being somewhat astounded by all the statistics and bits of information. Those were days when I read little else with the exception of HARDY BOYS.

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  6. Periodically my two girls drag out Beauty and the Beast for an afternoon of comfort films. I don't mind too much, but draw the line at Lilo and Stitch!

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    1. Col, I think I might have seen LILO AND STITCH but I'll look it up nonetheless. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a lovely film right from the story and the animation to the colours, characters, and musical score. Never tire of watching it again and again.

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  7. Some lovely choices there Prashant and I too used to love the book of lists - still remember the list of top 10 locked room mysteries!

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    1. Sergio, I'll have to check out the top 10 locked room mysteries in the LISTS. Of course, now there are many similar lists on the internet. Collectively, they probably account for all the locked room mysteries there are, as would be the case with any other list.

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  8. I loved the Book of Lists too! And Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairytales. My children loved lion King, and we all often imitate Jeremy Irons doing some of Scar's lines - 'I was first in line till the little hairball came along'. He was born for that part.

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