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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

The 10 Most Out of Place Movie Voices

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The perfect voice can enhance the essence of a film. Voice actors can execute believable performances to bring characters of all creeds to life. Some performances can be unsettling and chilling, and others are upbeat and witty. But not every actor's voice is perfectly matched with their character.

Sometimes this is done intentionally for comedic purposes. Larry King's voice for the Ugly Stepsister in Shrek 2 is so ill-fitting that it's pure comedy gold. Moreover, familiar voices like Eddie Murphy as Mushu in Mulan become iconic for how misplaced they are. But other voices, such as Matthew Broderick's in The Tale of Despereaux completely juxtapose their onscreen character's designs. Not all of these pairings are atrocious, but those that stand out the most can completely take audiences out of a movie's fictional universe.


10. Eddie Murphy as Mushu:


Eddie Murphy is known for his boisterous delivery and hilarious stand-up comedy. He has a remarkably memorable voice and charisma that fits well in modern settings. That's why it is so jarring to hear his voice in Mulan, a fictional telling of historic China.

Murphy plays the comedic relief character of Mushu, who serves as Mulan's accident-prone but well-meaning guardian. Unlike most of Mulan's characters, Mushu makes satirical quips and alludes to modern references. Anyone who watches the movie can instantly tell Eddie Murphy voices this dragon. While Mushu has become a staple in Mulan, there's no question Murphy's voice is definitely out of place in this war film.


9 Ryan Potter as Hiro Hamada


Ryan Potter is a talented actor who carries maturity in his performances, but that is exactly the issue in Big Hero 6. In this Disney film, Potter plays the young teenager Hiro Hamada, but he sounds far older than his character's design.

Hiro Hamada is meant to be around 14 years old, but Potter's voice is so deep that it sounds unnatural. While Potter was only around 18 years old when he performed in Big Hero 6, his baritone voice makes him sound like he's in his thirties. He is mismatched for a character as youthful-looking as Hiro. While Potter has plenty of talent, he isn't quite convincing enough to pass as a prepubescent teen.


8 Zac Efron as Ted

Zac Efron has made a name for himself over the years, from his rise to fame in High School Musical to his many starring roles in hits like 17 Again and The Greatest Showman. Unfortunately, that talent isn't able to shine through in his role as Ted in The Lorax.

In this interpretation of a Dr. Seuss story, Efron gives his voice to a curious 12-year-old who wants to learn more about the origins of trees. While Efron is a talented actor, he doesn't have the vocal range to convincingly play a child. It's incredibly distracting to listen to Ted, who is a child, when he is being voiced by a grown man. While the film adaptation of The Lorax has other criticisms, this miscasting is one of the most prominent.


7 Larry King as Doris

Sometimes stars are cast in roles for the sake of comedy, despite being completely ill-fitting for the part. Larry King as Doris, or the Ugly Stepsister in Shrek 2 is a prime example of this tactic done right.

While Doris does have a masculine appearance, it is still hilarious to hear King's voice come out of her mouth. What's more, King plays his role in Shrek 2 with just the right amount of dryness. His comedic timing is impeccable, and his character is one of the most memorable in the sequel. No one would expect King to voice a woman from a fairytale, and that's exactly why it works like a charm.


6 Pauly Shore as Pinocchio

Pauly Shore has one of the most recognizable comedic voices, and that's why it is so odd to hear him in an iconic role like Pinocchio. Then again, Pinocchio: A True Story is such a bizarre take on a classic fairytale that it makes this odd match-up even better.

Shore plays his part with a slurred drawl and inconsistent inflection. Pinocchio: A True Storywas originally released in Russian, and it's clear the English dub plays up the characters' voices for laughs. The story is so strange that Shore's performance, despite its randomness, fits in well because, ironically, it doesn't fit at all. While this may not have been an intentional choice by the creators, the end product is deeply entertaining.


5 Awkwafina as Scuttle

Awkwafina thrives in boisterous roles such as Peik Lin Goh in Crazy Rich Asians, but her energy is regrettably misused in Disney's live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid. In this interpretation, she gives her voice to Scuttle, a dim-witted and talkative seagull.

Although Awkwafina reveals her talent in projects like The Farewell, her voice as Scuttle is irritating for the wrong reasons. This has less to do with her actual voice-acting and more to do with miscasting. Audiences are accustomed to hearing a deeper voice from Scuttle, so Awkwafina's higher tones in The Little Mermaid are jarring. This, accompanied by the dreadful tones from the song "The Scuttlebutt," is enough to make anyone wish Scuttle had lost her voice rather than Ariel.


4 Matthew Broderick as Despereaux

Matthew Broderick has been in a slew of iconic roles ranging from Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller's Day Off to a grown-up Simba in Disney's The Lion King. Although he is a charming actor, he should not have played Despereaux in The Tale of Despereaux.

In the novel version, Despereaux is a tiny mouse with an even smaller voice. In comparison, Broderick's deeper voice is utterly misplaced with this character design. Instead of sounding like a youthful character, Despereaux manifests as a middle-aged man. This is far from the biggest issue with The Tale of Despereaux, but it doesn't help the film adaptation's case.


3 Rosie O'Donnell as Terk



Rosie O'Donnell has a voice that can command a room, but as a minor character in Tarzan, this serves to be more of a distraction than an aid. O'Donnell lends her voice to the sarcastic gorilla Terk, and while sometimes entertaining, the casting is a poor choice for the most part.

Because her voice is so recognizable, O'Donnell needs to be given exceptional writing to warrant her voice in a timeless Disney film. Unfortunately, her dialogue is very run-of-the-mill, so her voice in Tarzan feels unwarranted and out of place. Because her tone is better suited for hosting, she doesn't blend well into a cast of fictional characters, especially when she isn't the film's focus.


2 Chris Pratt as Mario

It's typical for studios to select big-name actors over traditional voice actors in feature-length films. Chris Pratt as Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a primary example of how this tactic can be implemented for the worse.

Chris Pratt is a talented actor, but in order to voice someone as iconic as Mario he needs to nail the inflection of the video game character perfectly. Unfortunately, many fans likened his interpretation to Linda from Bob's Burgers. His performance isn't bad, but it doesn't compare to some of the great Mario voices of the past. Jack Black may have been able to pull off Bowser's essence, but Pratt's attempt with Mario ends up getting lost in the pipeline.


1 Will Forte as Shaggy

Will Forte is an outrageously funny actor and comedian who has appeared in hits like 30 Rock and MacGruber. That's why it's so incredibly disappointing to hear him butcher the iconic voice of Shaggy Rodgers in the feature-length movie Scoob!

Upon the release of the film's first trailer, fans of the Scooby-Doo franchise just couldn't get used to Forte's take on Shaggy. This famous character has a very recognizable voice that fans look forward to experiencing in a Scooby flick. While Forte is a wonderful actor, he can't quite capture the nostalgic feeling of his character. Even with his great comedic timing, his role in Scoob! is overshadowed by the fact that he just doesn't sound like Shaggy.



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