Artist sketchingHave you ever noticed how some animated characters tend to resemble their voice acting counterparts?

Whether it’s outright physical similarities or intentionally incorporated mannerisms, Hollywood has made an extra effort to bring more of the actor into their animated selves, in fact, an actor’s mannerisms will often inspire the physical appearance of their character!

Art Imitating Life

Over the years, we’ve witnessed a number of animated films where the characters have taken on aspects of an actor’s physique, their mannerisms and in some cases, even elements of their personality.
When an animator has a palette of unique vocal characteristics and versatile, artistic talent to work with, the opportunity presents itself to animate the character guided by what they hear in the voice of an actor.
Jeremy Irons once said in an interview before the release of The Lion King (in which he voiced Scar) that “When the picture is being drawn as a result of the sounds you’re making, you can take it very wild, very broad and give the animators some nourishment.”

What About You?

Can you think of a time when your voice was the catalyst for how a product was presented?
Alternatively, can you think of a good example of an animated character that resembles their human counterpart?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Best wishes,
© bo

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. I definitely agree, I actually majored in Animation in College, and having the voice actor as a reference was always a treat. 🙂

  2. Stephanie:
    I am enjoying and thought processing each segment of Vox Daily. I’m a veteran broadcaster, who is getting ready to jump back into media work, and intend to start my own Voicing Over business.
    Please keep the thoughts coming daily. I look forward to each segment.

  3. When I did Mushu in “Mulan 2”, they were filming me the whole time, even though the character had already been fully realized, wasn’t changing in appearance, and this was a sequel. They use a lot of your natural gesturing-your physicality-in drawing the movements of the character. It’s happened more than once since then, with other animated films and TV shows.


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