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How do you find the right voices for animation projects? This article delves into what to look for in voice talent and where to find the right actors.

When you think about animation voiceover, your mind may instantly go toward the visual masterpieces created by Disney and Pixar. But voices for animation go far beyond feature films. Video games, TV shows, and even corporate videos all need the help of voice actors to stand out.

You may have an animation project for which you need dubbing or character voices. If that’s the case, this article will teach you what to look for in an animation voice actor and reveal where you can find somebody with the perfect recording voice.

How to choose an actor for an animation voiceover

Animation voice acting is a continually growing industry, with everybody from professional voice actors to gifted amateurs making their services available. Here’s what to look for in your search for a voiceover actor for your animated project.

Determine what the voice needs to sound like

Before you start looking around the world for a voice actor, you need to know what you want from their voice.

For example, a simple animation demo probably doesn’t require special voice talent so that you can cut costs. But suppose you have a collection of cartoon characters, all needing their own voices. In that case, you’ll need to find actors with funny quirks to make those characters memorable.

Outline what you need from your voiceover artist and use that information to find somebody with the right type of voice.

Consider any quirks you need

Often, the best voices for animation have little quirks that make them instantly recognizable.

Just look at Tom Hanks’ work in Toy Story. The southern lilt he gives to Woody helps to define that character. Now, imagine Woody with a Los Angeles or New York accent. It simply wouldn’t work.

The quirks in an actor’s voice can make all the difference between whether you cast them for a cartoon voiceover or an e-learning video. Listen for something unique, and you’ll find an appropriate talent.

Set a budget for the work

The animation industry can be costly, with the average voice actor charging between $250 and $500 for an hour of work. Add the cost of renting a recording studio (assuming the actor doesn’t have their own equipment), and costs soon mount up.

Before you start looking for applicants for your animation voiceover jobs, set a budget for what you’re willing to pay. Stick to that budget so you don’t have to compromise elsewhere in the project to account for the voice work.

Listen to different voices to see which match your animated characters

As the old saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life,” and that’s certainly the case with animation voice acting. Every person you listen to will have their own take on the project, so it never hurts to listen to multiple actors before making a choice.

Listen to their previous work if you can’t afford to get sample recordings for each actor you’re considering. You may spot a quirk or way of speaking that would make that actor perfect for your project. Or, your research may reveal that the actor isn’t right for your needs.

Choose between hiring a freelancer or working with an agency

With budget being such a crucial consideration, it’s important to note that where you hire your voice talent affects your costs. Agencies often have established professionals with extensive portfolios. Still, that talent comes at a higher cost than actors who work as freelancers.

On the flip side, a freelance actor may be cheaper but may also be unproven. So, choosing between a freelancer or an agency requires balancing your budget against the project's requirements.

Where can you find the right voice talent?

Now that you know what you’re looking for in a voice actor for animation, you need to know where to find talented people. But interestingly, you may find you don’t need an actor at all.

Freelancing websites

Websites like Fiverr and Upwork connect freelancers with employers across multiple industries, including voice acting. That’s great news for you because it means you have a supply of hundreds (if not thousands) of low-cost actors who may want to work on your project.

However, freelancing sites come with some downsides. Anybody can make a profile and call themselves a voice actor, so look for freelancers with a proven track record.

Voiceover agencies and marketplaces

Agencies act as intermediaries between those who make animated films and those who voice them. They’re a great source for voiceovers because good agencies have professional standards to which they hold all of their actors.

That higher level of professionalism comes at a cost, both in terms of the rates you pay the actor and the fact that you’re also paying the agency. Still, you may be willing to pay that cost to ensure you get the right talent.

Speechify Voiceover

The rise of text to speech technology and continued advancements in artificial intelligence means you may not even need a human voice actor.

Services like Speechify Voiceover give you access to natural-sounding voices in dozens of languages and dialects. The tool is so powerful that it allows you to change the pitch, speed, and inflection of any voiceover it provides.

Try Speechify Voiceover for free

If hiring a voice actor will stretch your animated project’s budget too thin, Speechify Voiceover is the ideal solution. Offering over 200 voices, including celebrity voices like Snoop Dogg and Gwyneth Paltrow, the app provides quality recordings for which you have full commercial rights.

It’s also easy to use. Just type (or copy) your script into the platform, select the voice you want to use and click a button. You’ll receive a voiceover, which you can download as an audio file, that’s ready and waiting for your animation project.

If you want to discover what Speechify Voiceover can do, try it for free online today.


How do you get voiceover for animation?

You can get voiceovers for animation via freelancing sites, agencies, and AI-driven tools.

How much do actors get paid for animated voices?

Rates for voice actors vary but can be as high as $500 per hour.

Can I be a Disney voice actor?

Disney operates open casting calls and accepts online applications, so you could become a Disney voice actor.

Who does the most animated voices?

Dee Bradley Baker is the most prolific voice actor, with 2,296 roles to his name.

What is the best voice for an animated character?

Whatever voice suits the character is the best voice to choose.

What are the benefits of being a voice actor?

Some benefits of being a voice actor include access to abundant work and the chance to have your voice featured in popular projects.

What is the difference between voice acting and voiceover?

Voice acting involves voicing a specific character, while a voiceover is usually narration over the top of a scene.

What is the best-animated show ever?

While this is up for debate, The Simpsons is a frontrunner due to its longevity and enduring popularity.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.