What Forbes Considers The ‘Animation A-List’

Via: Forbes.com

This managed to slip by me back in March. What is the ‘Animation A-List‘? Sadly it isn’t what I thought it was, which means it probably isn’t what you thought it was either. Nope, sadly it is a rather subjective list of the top “voice-actors” in the business. Did I mention that only celebrities, a.k.a. non-professionals were included? Well they’re not.

How was the list calculated? As follows:

To compile our list of the 10 actors whose animated films have earned the most at the box office over the last 10 years, we looked at the top-grossing animated films from the past decade using numbers from Box Office Mojo. We gave each star all of the money from each of his or her films.

So in effect, it’s the celebrities with the highest grosses that get the top spot, not necessarily the one who’s the most famous or the most talented.

Why use celebrities? Dorothy Pomerantz speculates that

Big names can definitely help a film at the box office. Just look at the Shrek movies. They starred Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy, actors who over the past few years have earned big salaries for their live-action work. Who knows how the films would have fared at the box office if they had been cast with unknowns?

O…K…So it was all to do with the voice-acting and not the animation, story or even plot itself? If memory serves me correctly, Disney did some very tidy sums at the box office with their movies before they brought in Robin Williams for the Genie, and they did that because Williams is such a unique performer, not because he was a celebrity.

I’ve written before about celebrity voice actors and while there are a few who are genuinely good, there are a lot who just do it for the paycheque. In reality, an actor’s voice is incredibly boring comapred to the whole. A professional voice-actor is exactly the opposite; they might not have the looks, but they can knock your socks off with their voices.

Posturing over, here is the actual list:

  1. Cameron Diaz
  2. Eddie Murphy
  3. Mike Myers
  4. Ray Romano (WTF?)
  5. Tim Allen
  6. Tom Hanks
  7. Ben Stiller
  8. Jack Black
  9. Albert Brooks
  10. Ellen DeGeneres
  11. Ed Asner