Ever watched an animated movie and heard a voice that you couldn’t quite place? That could have been because a character — be it a blue-haired troll or a singing crocodile — was actually played by someone whose tone you’re much more used to hearing in song.
Over the years, dozens of celebrity musicians have added a whimsical film project or two to their resumés by lending their certified platinum voices to colorful 2D characters. There was Taylor Swift in The Lorax, Rihanna in Home, Beyoncé in Epic, Katy Perry in Smurfs, Selena Gomez in the Hotel Transylvania franchise, and Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez in Ice Age. At this point, it’s practically a trend. No family-feature film made by the folks at DreamWorks, Illumination or Disney Animation Studios feels complete these days without at least one cameo from a star singer-songwriter, whether it’s queen of pop Madonna or a hip-hop icon such Snoop Dogg. (They were actually both in the same movie, but more on that later.)
In some cases, these guest musicians become part of a voice cast simply to try out something new. In others, they contribute their own expertise to the project by working on an animated film’s soundtrack — oftentimes to great success. One of Justin Timberlake‘s best-charting songs, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” was written for Trolls 2, in which he also starred, and took home the Oscar for best original song in 2017.
Keep reading to see which of your favorite musicians have starred in an animated film below:
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