In live-action movies and TV shows, the same actors tend to pop up a lot, even if they aren’t A-list and easily recognizable. You’re just sitting around, watching a repeat of Law & Order or a romantic comedy, and all of a sudden you see one of “those guys” on screen. No idea what their name is or what you saw them in before, yet you know you like their work and have definitely seen them before.
In animated fare, the same thing happens a lot more frequently, but it goes unnoticed. It’s always more difficult to parse whose voice you are listening to when you can’t see their actual face or body movements, and it’s definitely more difficult when voice actors are talented enough to alter their identity depending on the character. Live-action actors have makeup and CGI to disguise themselves, sure, but voice actors are on another level of trickery because of the very nature of their medium.
Some of the characters who share a voice are obvious and pretty famous simply based on how iconic the character is. It is pretty apparent that Stan Smith from American Dad and Peter Griffin from Family Guy are both brought to life by Seth Macfarlane, or that Sterling Archer and Bob Belcher are both hilarious because of H Jon Benjamin. Some iconic characters will still surprise you though. For example, did you ever realize Homer Simpson from The Simpsons and Grandpa Phil from Hey! Arnold were both voiced by Dan Castellaneta? Or that Jake the Dog from Adventure Time and Bender from Futurama are one in the same? All true, and all crazy to think about. We bet you will pay closer attention to your favorite animated characters from now on to try and pick out who shares the same voice. It’s harder than it looks!