Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon & Other Great Voice Performances
The highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy will be released on Friday, but a few of us have already seen the movie, myself included. And let me just say that not only did it not disappoint, but it exceeded my rather high expectations. For me, Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket the Raccoon was the highlight of the film, as it seemed like, to my surprise, he had the second most lines in the movie behind the lead Chris Pratt, who plays “Starlord”.
Cooper perfectly toes the line of making it easy to tell who’s voice it is, but adding in a certain flare and subtlety that would have you guessing for a moment or two who it is. I tend to perfer those type of voice acting performances, where the character isn’t defined by the voice actor, but is instead seen as an offshoot of that person’s personalitiy, and Rocket the Raccoon certainly seems to fit with Cooper. This got us thinking about some of the best voice acting work of the past decade. We hope you enjoy our list below, and be sure to check out Guardians of the Galaxy when it hits theaters this weekend. You can also read our review of the film here, but be warned, there are spoilers abound!
Alan Tudyk: King Candy, Wreck-it Ralph
Earlier I said that I generally prefer the voice acting where you can tell who’s voice it is, but they still make the character their own, an offshoot of their personailty if you will. Well, this goes a bit off road from that. Tudyk’s brilliant work in Wreck-It-Ralph as the evil villian King Candy is voice acting at it’s finest. Tudyk seemingly gets lost in the character, creating a truly unique character that stands out in a film full of standout moments. You know he did a great job when you look up the voice and are shocked to find out who it was.
Jason Segal: Vector, Despicable Me
Somewhat along the same lines, comedic genius Jason Segal’s debut into voice acting went off incredibly well, playing the villain in the surprise smash hit Despicable Me. While you can definitely pick up on the fact that it’s Segal providing the voice, his character is still so out there and wacky that it immediately makes you take notice. Not only that, but the delivery of classic lines like “Curse you, tiny toilet,” and “Oh Yeah” everytime he does something even remotely cool make for amazing voice work that set the standard for animated films in 2010.
Jack Black: Po, Kung-Fu Panda
When you combine the words Kung-Fu and Panda, you know you are on to something special. And special is exactly what Kung Fu Panda delivered, thanks in large part to the impeccable tone and cadance of the title role’s voice, Jack Black. Black’s seamless transition, from being psyched, to incredibly timid, back to shock and awe, all within the same line, truly help bring the character to life in what was easily one of the best animated movies of the past decade.
Jim Cummings: Ray, Princess and the Frog
This one is a bit off the beaten path, but in a movie that was as heavily immersed in New Orleans and creole culture and dilect, no one nails it quite like Cummings does as Ray, the likeable fire fly who helps our two lead frogs out. Cummings helps transform the viewer to the swamps of the Lousiana Bayou’s and delivered what is to this day one of my favorite and most quoted movie lines in recent memory. When told that the frogs aren’t from around here: “Go to bed…..y’all from Shreveport?!”
Ellen DeGeneres: Dory, Finding Nemo
In 2003, Ellen DeGeneres took on the role of Dory in the Disney Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and as usual, she provided a ton of laughs. Her character was brilliant in itself, a fish with a laughably short memory, yet still one of the most bold fish in the sea. Who will ever forget Dory trying to communicate with the whale so effectively, and the impeccable confusion in her voice every time a memory slips Dory’s mind. Truly spectacular.
Charlie Day: Benny, The Lego Movie
What are some of your favorite animated voice performances in recent memory? Are you excited to see Bradley Cooper voice Rocket Raccoon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!