Voice actors are the unsung heroes of animation. They breathe energy into our favourite characters, often have many credits on a single show and slip under the radar when it comes to any sort of formal recognition.

I could probably write an entire post about my contempt with the way animation is treated as a whole, and likely will at some point soon. For now, though, I’d love to shine whatever light I have on the people who’ve helped make our childhood whole. These are the people who show up and show out with every performance they give. 

They’re the voices that we hear in the echo of our memories and the characters that we can pinpoint to an exact moment in time. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most in demand, popular cartoon voice actors, however please know that there are some greats who aren’t listed.

Here are 10 voice actors you can thank for your childhood:

(In no particular order)

John DiMaggio

Dr. Drakken and Bender

Notable roles:

Bender from Futurama
Dr. Drakken from Kim Possible
The Scotsman from Samurai Jack
Brother Blood from Teen Titans
Fu Dog from American Dragon: Jake Long

Pamela Adlon  

Bobby Hill and Spinelli

Notable roles:

Bobby Hill from King of the Hill
Spinelli from Recess
Young Tito from Rocket Power
Pajama Sam from Pajama Sam
Milo Oblong from The Oblongs

Dan Castellaneta

Homer and Grandpa

Notable roles:

Homer Simpson (and other various roles) from The Simpsons
Grandpa (and other various roles) from Hey Arnold!
Megavolt from Darkwing Duck
Robot Devil from Futurama
Johnathan from The Rugrats

Tara Strong

Bubbles and Timmy Turner

Notable roles:

Timmy Turner from Fairly Odd Parents
Dil Pickles from The Rugrats
Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls
Ben from Ben 10
Rikku from Final Fantasy X

Maurice LaMarche

The Brain and Kif

Notable roles:

The Brain from Pinky and the Brain
Kif Kroker from Futurama
Narrator from Johnny Bravo
Chewbaccastan Ambassador from Totally Spies!
Garbage Man from Dilbert

Kath Soucie

Phil and Lil and Lola Bunny

Notable roles:

Phil and Lil from The Rugrats
Nibbles from Tom and Jerry
Lola Bunny from Space Jam
Fifi La Fume in Tiny Toon Adventures
Dexter’s Mom in Dexter’s Laboratory

Jim Cummings

Darkwing Duck and Pooh

Notable roles:

Winnie the Pooh from Winnie the Pooh
Ed from The Lion King
Cat from CatDog
Darkwing Duck from Darkwing Duck
Tigger from Winnie the Pooh

Elizabeth Daily

Buttercup and Tommy Pickles

Notable roles:

Tommy Pickles from The Rugrats
Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls
Knothead from The Woody Woodpecker show
Cap’n Sticky from Recess
Lightwave from Darkwing Duck

Rob Paulsen

Donatello and Mark Chang

Notable roles:

Carl Wheezer from Jimmy Neutron
Mark Chang from The Fairly Odd Parents
Pete Junior from A Goofy Movie
Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Cree Summer

Kida and Numbuh 5

Notable roles:

Susie Carmichael from The Rugrats
Princess ‘Kida’ Kidagakash from Atlas: The Lost Emperor
Numbuh Five from Codename: Kids Next Door
Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toon Adventures
Miranda Killgallen from As Told By Ginger

Of course, this list is only the tip of the iceberg; I implore you to do some research yourself of the voice actors behind some of your favourite characters from childhood or today. You just might find yourself researching the same person over and over again.

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