Surprisingly Good Casting [NOT 24/10/21]

Hi, friends!

I was watching Shrek 2 on tv this afternoon, and I’d forgotten just how good Rupert Everett is in the role of bratty Prince Charming. He couldn’t have been cast as the character had it been live-action since he would have been like 45 years old at the time.

What are some surprisingly good castings you like that really only work because the medium is animated/cgi and how the person looks in real life has zero bearing on the role?

I would have said Paul Bettany as Jarvis/Vision, but then once they went the romance route with Elizabeth Olsen, I was like oh great yet another couple where you’re old enough to be her dad.



  1. Obviously, casting Robin Williams as the Genie was brilliant. He would have been  fabulous in a live-action version, but drawing him as (in Jafar’s words) the “big blue lout” and animating all his vocal gymnastics into shapeshifting illusions was an appropriate visual match. [I also haven’t seen Aladdin since I had a VCR, so I’m saying this with the caveat that so much more in that film probably hasn’t aged well, including the lyrics to “Arabian Nights”.]


    Jessica Walter was perfect as Mallory in Archer, but H. Jon Benjamin in no way bears a resemblance to cartoon Sterling.

    Pamela Adlon as Bobby Hill is also classically mismatched, yet fortuitous. (I also liked Brittany Murphy’s Luanne Platter.)

    Recently, I noted that Daveed Diggs and Stanley Tucci portrayed old ladies in Central Park, which is generally delightful (I only watched the free episodes before hitting the Apple TV paywall).

    On a related note, Central Park was one of a few animated series that came under fire last year for casting a very white voice actor to portray a mixed race, BIPOC character. Kristen Bell has since stepped down and Emmy Raver-Lampman (coincidentally, Daveed’s partner) now has the part. It made me wonder whether we might object to cis men being cast in voice parts that largely peddle in unfavourable and stereotypical portrayals of aged women. I don’t have the answer, but it’s going to be a topic of discussion and debate in voice casting for some time.

      • From what I remember, she was using something close to her normal voice. The character is a plucky, spirited young girl who also sings (the series is semi-musical, hence the multiple Hamilton cast members). Her father is voiced by Leslie Odom, Jr. and her mother is voiced by Kathryn Hahn.

  2. I liked Good Omens but wasn’t all that impressed with David Tennant’s Crowley, it was too obvious and cliche.  But Tennant as the Purple Man in Jessica Jones? Holy shit, he was scary. I think it was the best work he’s ever done.And Bryan Cranston as Walter White was genius. But one of the best and unexpected choices I think I’ve seen is Louie Anderson as Christine in Baskets. Normally I’d object to a man playing a woman but this wasn’t Louie in drag, he was Christine.

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