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Top five: Actors who steal the show from the animated characters they voice

In tribute to Johnny Depp's compelling performance in Rango

Top five: Actors who steal the show from the animated characters they voice

Johnny Depp is usually famed for his leading roles in Hollywood blockbusters, his ageless face always strikingly present on the promotional canvases. However, there is talk buzzing about his brilliance in his latest film Rango, where he plays…an animated chameleon. Reviews claim that Depp gives an outstanding performance as Rango, by succeeding in conveying zaniness, wit and charm through his voice alone. But how often can this be said of other actors who lend their vocals to an animated character? In tribute to Johnny's compelling performance here's a top five of other actors who are intrinsic to the animated film they starred in.

Shrek (2001)

Comedy king Mike Myers proved that he could shrug off his trademark Austin Powers persona when he took up the role as grumpy yet lovable ogre in the Oscar winning classic Shrek. A true Scot could not have pulled off the accent any better and Myers was extraordinarily adept at transmitting his own natural comedy through his animated character.

Monsters Inc (2001)

Billy Crystal's leading role as Mike, the friendly green creature with an eyeball-shaped body, helped boost the film's publicity and he undoubtedly possesses one of the integral roles in the movie. It can't have been easy to convey the scary-looking monster as a sweet and caring creature, but Crystal's manages to succeed.

Antz (1998)

This action adventure animation stars Woody Allen as the individualist crusading ant who seeks to express himself in a way outside his humdrum existence. His slightly neurotic personality is perfectly set off by Allen's natural manner of speaking. Allen plays the character like an insect version of his well-established screen persona, and this is vital in leading the film to its victorious ending.

Toy Story (1995)

There is no imagining what Toy Story would have been like without Tom Hanks at the wheel, stealing the show as Woody, the loveable, yet slightly egotistic toy cowboy. Hanks is masterful at commanding the audiences attention throughout every scene as Woody attempts to over-throw his rival, Buzz Lightyear, before realizing that they must join forces to teach sadistic toy-torturer Sid a lesson he will never forget.

Chicken Run (2000)

Mel Gibson is brilliant at conveying his usual on-screen characteristics of arrogance, charm and emotional insecurity through the character of Rocky the Rooster in this comedy adventure animation, loosely based on classic rebellion flick, The Great Escape (1963). Rocky is one of Gibson's most likeable roles, as it is one of the few in which he is not hurtling around on a near-inexplicable killing spree, nor being splattered with someone else's blood every few minutes. If only he would do more voice-over roles.


  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • US
  • PG
  • Directed by: Gore Verbinski
  • Cast: Voices of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin

Depp voices a wannabe swashbuckler chameleon in this animated action comedy.

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