Scarlett Johansson is making history by gaining critical acclaim for her vocal performance as an operating system in the film Her. During Oscar season, we shine the spotlight on the actors who give this year’s animated nominees a voice
Tipped to be the deserving winner of the Best Animation award this year, Frozen truly comes with an intimidating cast beginning with Kristen Bell who plays Princess Anna. Bell, who plays the lead in television series Veronica Mars and Gossip Girl, is joined by powerhouse singer Idina Menzel, possibly best known for playing Lea Michele’s character Rachel Berry’s birth mother on Glee. The male artistes are Jonathan Groff (Kristoff, a mountain man), who apart from being on Broadway, is also part of the Glee cast as Jesse St James;Josh Gad— a well-known voice actor who was part of Ice Age, and voices Olaf, a witty snowman; and Santino Fontana, a popular stage actor who plays Hans, a handsome prince from the Southern Isles.
The Wind Rises
Not only did this animation take its home country Japan by storm, but now, the English dubbed version is all set to take centrestage at the Oscar awards ceremony. It is a historical fantasy about Jiro Horikoshi—an aviation engineer—and is voiced in the original by Hideaki Anno, a writer, director and actor in Japan. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who will next be seen in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, is Anno’s Hollywood counterpart. Emily Blunt lends her voice to the character of Naoko Satomi, Horikoshi’s wife and support. Miori Takimoto, former member of the disbanded Japanese idol group SweetS is Satomi in the original film.
The Croods may have gained popularity for its characters Eep, Grug, Ugga and Guy, but little do people know that the voices of the cavemen and women are by top notch Hollywood stars. Eep is voiced by Emma Stone who plays Gwen Stacy in the Amazing Spider-Man series, while Eep’s friend, Guy is the ever popular Ryan Reynolds who was also the sound behind Theo in the 2013 film Turbo. Academy award nominee Catherine Ann Keener steps up to the role of lovable Mum Ugga, and Nicholas Cage adds to the glamour quotient as he is the voice of over bearing and strict father caveman Grug.
Despicable Me 2
Steve Carrell (Gru) plays a reformed villian and now father to Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Elsie Fisher (Agnes) and Dana Gaier (Edith), as they reprise their roles from the original film. In Despicable Me 2, Benjamin Bratt joins the team as El Macho, the owner of a Mexican restaurant in the Paradise Mall. But it is Kristen Carroll Wiig, an actor, comedian, and writer, who really brings experience to the outfit. She plays Lucy Wilde, Gru’s love interest and an Anti-Villain League agent. Previously, she voiced for Ruffnut in How to Train Your Dragon, Miss Hattie in Despicable Me and Lola Bunny in the series The Looney Tunes Show.
Ernest & Celestine
With a French and English version, Ernest & Celestine is the tale of Celestine, a young mouse, and Ernest, a bear cub. In the French film, called Ernest et Célestine, Ernest’s voice is Lambert Wilson, a French actor known best as The Merovingian in The Matrix series, while Celestine is dubbed by Pauline Brunner. In the English adaptation, Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker plays the bear, while Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn star Mackenzie Foy (she played Renesmee Cullen) takes on the role of the gentle mouse. Whitaker has previously been
nominated at the Black Reel Award as a voice actor when he dubbed for Ira, a gentle Wild Thing in the film Where The Wild Things Are. Foy, 13, will also be dubbing for the upcoming film, The Little Prince.
– Compiled by Aakanksha Devi