55 Famous People Who Have Dubbed STUDIO GHIBLI Films - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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55 Famous People Who Have Dubbed STUDIO GHIBLI Films

The Earth speaks to all of us, and if we listen, we can understand.

Founded in June 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, the Japanese animation film company Studio Ghibli has produced 21 full length feature films (with a 22nd, How Do You Live?, on the way in the next couple of years), 6 of which are among the 10 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan.

Classics like Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro have proved to be popular the world over, and have received a variety of English language dubs over the years - some more successful than others!  - by a multitude of very famous British and American actors and actresses. Some voices you may recognise straight away, some may be on the tip of your tongue, but many are hard to place so you may be surprised to learn just who was responsible for the dub of your favourite Studio Ghibli character.

Join us as we dust away those soot sprites and listen out for 55 famous people who have dubbed Studio Ghibli films over the years...

1. Christian Bale voiced Howl (Howl's Moving Castle) 
Studio Ghibli's 2004 animated feature made $190million in Japan alone. The following year an English dub was overseen by Pixar's Pete Doctor with Christian Bale, fresh from filming Batman Begins, providing the voice for the title character. He was joined by more than one genuine Hollywood legend...

2 & 3. Jean Simmons voiced Old Sophie, and Lauren Bacall voiced the Witch of the Waste (Howl's Moving Castle)
In one of her last roles, the star of Great Expectations, Guys And Dolls, Spartacus, The Thorn Birds and The Happy Ending, provided the voice for old Sophie. Another Hollywood icon joined he in the film, the star of stage and screen, and one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood's golden era. You may have seen Lauren Bacall in classic films like The Big Sleep, Key Largo, How To Marry A Millionaire, The Mirror Has Two Faces, and Murder On The Orient Express, to name just a few. You will have heard her voicing the Witch of the Waste in the 2005 dub of Howl's Moving Castle

4. Billy Crystal voiced Calcifer (Howl's Moving Castle)
One that may have been on the tip of your tongue whilst watching, Billy Crystal, he of Harry Met Sally, City Slickers and Monsters Inc., voiced the fire demon Calcifer in Howl's Moving Castle. One more from that film and it's a young...

5. Josh Hutcherson voiced Markl (Howl's Moving Castle)
Future star of The Hunger Games and the wonderfully funny Future Man, Josh Hutcherson completes our famous voices for Howl's Moving Castle, a film which soon after its release became the third most financially successful film in Japan, behind Titanic and another Studio Ghibli production... Spirited Away...

6. John Ratzenberger as Aniyaku (Spirited Away)
Another Pixar alum and friend of Hayao Miyazaki was tasked by Disney to oversee the English dub for Studio Ghibli's 2001 release, Spirited Away. Debuting in 2002, it's perhaps no surprise that he called upon the vocal talents of regular Pixar vocal artist John Ratzenberger to provide the voice of Aniyaku. On screen you'd have seen him as Cliff in Cheers (as well as roles in The Empire Strikes Back and both Superman: The Movie and Superman II), and he's voiced Hamm in the Toy Story films, Mack in Cars, and The Underminer in The Incredibles.

7. Michael Chiklis as Akio Ogino (Spirited Away)
Chihiro's father, who spent most of the film as a pig, was voiced by The Shield star Michael Chiklis.

8. Patrick Stewart voiced Lord Yupa (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
Going back to the very early days, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was made in 1984 before Studio Ghibli was founded, but it is often considered a Ghibli work, and was released as part of the Studio Ghibli Collection DVD and Blu-ray range. Originally dubbed into English in a heavily edited version in the mid to late 1980s, it was eventually replaced in circulation by an uncut, redubbed version produced by Walt Disney Pictures in 2005. A star-studded vocal line-up was gathered for the dub, including Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart as Lord Yupa. He was joined by...

9. Shia LaBeouf voiced Asbel (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
Yes, the Transformers star and performance artist Shia LaBeouf learnt his vocal talents to the role of Asbel.

10.  Uma Therman voiced Kushana (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
She Killed Bill (spoiler!), did a funky dance in Pulp Fiction and overacted as Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin, and then Uma Thurman found time to dub the voice of Kushana.

11. Edward James Olmos voice Mito  (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
The distinctive voice of the Battlestar Galactica alum, Edward James Olmos, can be clearly heard as Mito in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

12. Mark Hamill voiced Mayor of Pijite (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind) 
One more from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and it's a star who is no stranger to voiceover work. When he's not playing Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, Mark Hamill has provided the voice for two Studio Ghibli characters, the Mayor of Pijite above, and...

Mark Hamill voiced Colonel Muska (Castle In The Sky)
After successfully voicing The Joker for a number of years, Mark Hamill knows a thing or two about bad guys, so he was perfectly cast as Colonel Muska in the 1998 Disney English language dub (which for a multitude of scheduling reasons didn't actually get released until 2003!) in what was the first official Studio Ghibli film dating from 1986.

And you can have that one for free, we've not counted Mark Hamill twice, because there are so many more famous voices to be heard alongside his in Castle In The Sky...

13 & 14. James Van Der Beek voiced Pazu, Anna Paquin voiced Princess Sheeta (Castle In The Sky)
The Dalton's Creek and True Blood stars, James Van Der Beek and Anna Paquin, took the lead roles in Castle In The Sky - often re-titled Laputa: Castle In The Sky in some countries, after the full name of Paquin's character 'Lucita Toel Ul Laputa'.

The 1998 Disney dub was not the first time Castle In The Sky had been re-voiced into English. A version was recorded in the late 1980s which wasn't so successful. Probably it's most notable feature is that Pazu is voiced by Barbara Goodson. That name might not mean much to you but you would have also heard her as the voice of Rita Repulsa in the long running Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series!

Back to the Disney dub, though, and a plethora of other famous voices can be heard, including...

15. Jim Cummings voiced General Mouro (Castle In The Sky)
You may not recognise him as General Mouro in Castle In The Sky, and you may not be able to place his name, but will know Jim Cummings voice well as he has played Winnie The Pooh since 1988, Tigger since the year 2000, and had over 400 other vocal roles including playing the Tasmanian Devil since 1991.

16 to 19. From left to right, Mike McShane voiced Charles, Cloris Leachman voiced Captain Dola, Mandy Patinkin voiced Louis, and Andy Dick voiced Henri (Castle In The Sky)

The band of air pirates from Castle In The Sky were dubbed by some famous people whose voices you may well recognise. Lead by Captain Dola who was English voice was supplied by Cloris Leachman, her acting credits date back to 1948 and include The Last Picture Show, Butch Casidy And The Sundance Kid, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and, in later years, Malcolm In The Middle and Raising Hope.

Leachman also returned to the world of Studio Ghibli to provide the voice of Kayo in Ponyo (which will will get to later).

Dola's sons made up three key members of the gang, Mike McShane of Whose Line Is It Anyway fame voiced Charles, comedian Andy Dick dubbed Henri, and the great Mandy Patinkin, who you know from The Princess Bride, Alien Nation and, of course, Homeland, voiced Louis.

Mandy Patinkin would also provide the voice of Hattori in the 2013 English dub of The Wind Rises.

Talking of Homeland...

20. Claire Danes voiced San (Princess Mononoke) 
There was only a two year gap between the 1997 Japanese release of Princess Mononoke and the Walt Disney Company's English dub. It was among the first they worked on, and assigned subsidarary Miramax Films to prepare the film for its American release.

In response to demands from Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein (you know him!) to edit the film, one of Miyazaki's producers sent Weinstein a katana with the message: "No cuts." Possibly as a result of this, the movie only had a limited theatrical release in the United States, so very few people at the time heard Claire Danes, of Romeo & Juliet and Homeland fame, voice San, the young woman raised by wolves.

Talking of wolves...

21. Gillian Anderson voiced Moro (Princess Mononoke)
The giant wolf god and San's adopted mother was voiced by none other than Gillain Anderson of The X-Files fame.

Ms Anderson would return to Studio Ghibli to provide the voice of Miki Hokuto in 2011's (dubbed in 2012) From Up On Poppy Hill.

22 & 23. Elle and Dakota Fanning voiced Mei and Satsuki Kusakabe (My Neighbor Totoro)
Real life sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning provided the voices of the animated sisters Mei and Satsuki in the 2005 Disney dub of the 1988 Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro.

It was an early role for Elle, but you'll have seen her in such films as Super 8 and Maleficent. Big sister Dakota had already had multiple small screen roles in series' like Taken and Ally McBeal, before making the jump to a successful big screen career with the likes of The Cat In The Hat, War Of The Worlds, Coraline, and Man On Fire.

My Neighbor Totoro and its titular character have become cultural icons. Recognised as one of the most popular characters in Japanese animation, Totoro has made multiple cameo appearances in a number of other Studio Ghibli films and video games and also serves as the mascot for the studio.

Miyazaki followed up My Neighbor Tortoro with the coming of age classic, Kiki's Delivery Service...

24. Kirsten Dunst voiced Kiki (Kiki's Delivery Service)
Released in Japan in 1989 and dubbed into English in 1997, Kirsten Dunst of Interview With The Vampire, Jumanji, Spider-Man and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind fame, voiced the lead role of Kiki, the young witch who moves to a new town and uses her flying ability to earn a living.

25. Daisy Ridley voiced Taeko Okajima (Only Yesterday)
Many of the early Studio Ghibli films saw a gap of a decade or so before an English dub came their way. Despite becoming the highest-grossing Japanese film of 1991, the Isao Takahata directed Only Yesterday had to wait 25 years for its English release! When it did finally come, Daisy Ridley, most famous as Rey in the Star Wars saga, provided the voice for the 27 year old version of the main character, Taeko Okajima.

26 & 27. Michael Keaton voiced Porco Rosso and David Ogden Stiers voiced Mr Piccolo (Porco Rosso)
Another Batman, Michael Keaton provided the English dub for the title character of Porco Rosso, aka Marco Pagot (aka Rossolini) in the 2005 dub of the 1992 Studio Ghibli film.

The plot revolves around an Italian World War I ex-fighter ace, now living as a freelance bounty hunter chasing air pirates in the Adriatic Sea. However, an unusual curse has transformed him into an anthropomorphic pig. And in case you're wondering, "Porco Rosso" is Italian for "Red Pig".

David Ogden Stiers is well known for his many years starring in the television series M*A*S*H as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, and the science fiction drama The Dead Zone as Reverend Gene Purdy. He voiced the character of Mr Piccolo (above right) in Porco Rosso, as well as lending his vocal talents to two other Studio Ghibli dubs; he voiced Kamaji in Spirited Away and read the role of the narator in My Neighbors The Yamadas...

28 & 29. James Belushi voiced Takashi Yamada and Molly Shannon voiced Matsuko Yamada (My Neighbors The Yamadas)
In something of a stylistic change, Isao Takahata departed from Studio Ghibli's traditional anime style of animation for his 1999 offering. My Neighors The Yamadas follows a series of vignettes following the daily lives of the Yamada family: Takashi and Matsuko (the father and mother) as voiced by James 'According To Jim' Belushi and Molly 'Saturday Night Live' Shannon.

We don't like to split things up if we don't have to, and we promise that we'll never be the type of site that makes you click a new page for every single item (we hate those sites, don't you?), but this page is starting to get a bit long. So we've added a second page to continue our round-up of famous people who have lent their vocal talents to the English dubs of Studio Ghibli films, you can find it here.

And if you can name any more famous people who have dubbed Studio Ghibli films, let us know in the comments below...


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