Image for article titled 21 Times Celebrity Voiceover Stunt Casting Paid Off

Screenshot: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse/Sony Pictures

Last month, Universal delighted few, annoyed many, and baffled all but those with a pragmatic view of movies-as-product when it announced Chris Pratt will be taking over the role of Mario in an upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated movie. The actor was also recently cast as loveably outrageous cat stereotype Garfield for that franchise’s latest animated reboot, and has already voiced characters in both Lego Movies and Pixar’s Onward. Does this mean he is the world’s greatest voice actor? Well, he’s a famous actor, and he has a recognizable voice, but those aren’t really the same thing.

For studios, the appeal of celebrity voice casting is undeniable: star power puts butts in seats, or so conventional wisdom tells us. but it’s also the case that actors accustomed to performing with their entire bodies can’t always master the nuances of purely vocal performance. There’s a reason animation fans line up at conventions to meet people whose faces have never appeared on camera—I’m thinking of names like Tara Strong, Cree Summer, Steve Blum; in some circles, Mark Hamill is even better loved for his VO work than for Star Wars).

Voice acting is a distinct talent that some big names in live-action can sometimes master (either by creating a compelling performance or by making good use of a recognizable voice), and sometimes…not so much. But when it works, it really can deliver in all sorts of ways. Here are 21 times it did.