Which Voice Actors Do You Prefer For Young Characters: Adults Or Children

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Which Voice Actors Do You Prefer For Young Characters: Adults Or Children

  • It's better for kids to have age appropriate actors.

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • Having adult voice actors means more range in the long term.

    Votes: 3 50.0%

  • Total voters
    6

SweetShop209

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Jan 5, 2014
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When it comes to children in media, there's one thing that's often talked about quite a bit. Is it better for kids/teenagers to be voiced by kids/teenagers, or if they're voiced by adult voice actors? On the one hand, if you have a child character voiced by an age appropriate actor, then they could sound a lot more authentic. On the other hand, when the actor goes through puberty, their voice will either be digitally altered and they'll sound too old, or they'll be replaced with a younger actor. There's also the matter on if they can't show good range (like if they have great acting skills but not singing skills).

Take got example Zach Callison. One of his first voice acting roles is Billy Batson from Superman/Shazam: Return Of Black Adam. That came out a few weeks after he turned 13, meaning he was 11-12 when he recorded his dialogue. He would reprise the role for various projects into his teens and young adulthood, sounding notably older. He was also in Sofia The First as James and Steven Universe as the title character. However, he was replaced in the former role in the middle of season 2 due to puberty, and voiced the latter for all of his appearances . Of course, it helps that Steven notably aged up.

For another example, there's the Loud family on The Loud House. Lincoln himself has had 6 voice actors (Sean Ryan Fox, Grant Palmer, Collin Dean, Tex Hammond, Jackson Petty when singing, and Asher Bishop), all of whom were about 10-12 when they first voiced him. On the other hand, all of his sisters are voiced by adult voice actors. There's an interesting debate to have here. With Lincoln, since he's always voiced by a young boy, he does sound fairly real, though his voice gets higher each time. With someone like Lily, who's a baby, Grey DeLisle Griffin can nail playing her since she's an adult, and is thus easier to direct when she's crying or trying to tell her family something through babbling.

There's many examples, but that's just a few. What do you think?
 
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Frontier

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I think children voicing children is the most believable, but if they're regulars in a show you always run the risk of them growing out of the role or their voice breaking to where they don't sound convincingly that age anymore unless the characters age in real time.

And adults can convincingly portray kids to where it's hard to imagine the kids' voice otherwise...such as Tara Strong as Timmy Turner or Ben Tennyson.
 

Spacething7474

Thanks for watching “Jake glides down the whivers”
Adults, but mostly because I think it’s funny to hear a grown adult voice coming out of a kid.

Although women voicing children can be a mixed bag. Some can sound pretty decent, like Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson or Debi Derryberry as Jimmy Neutron, but most of them sound pretty awkward.
 
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Freddy

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Aug 1, 2012
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I'm fine with both, but if you are going with adults voicing children, please get people who actually sound believably young, not 30-40 year old men doing their normal speaking voices. The new Ducktales is currently on its third season and the voices of the nephews still take me out.
 

Red Arrow

ça va nog wel
Oct 22, 2012
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Adults and teenagers (16+). Then the voice stays the same for the entire series :)
Adults, if only because I think child acting is one of the worst and most traumatic things a kid could do.
Also voice-acting??

In Flanders back in the early 2000s, there was a studio that used to call people by phone: "Do you have children? Do they want to be the voice of a character in this new cool show?"

The dubs turned out horrible, but I am apparently the only one who thinks that. Others are blinded by nostalgia.
 

Rhaynebow

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Aug 11, 2013
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I'm fine with both, but if you are going with adults voicing children, please get people who actually sound believably young, not 30-40 year old men doing their normal speaking voices. The new Ducktales is currently on its third season and the voices of the nephews still take me out.
This never bothered me until I recently watched Space Force and I cannot listen to Tony because all I hear is Dewey. Looks like they didn’t even try to have Ben actually voice act for Dewford, he’s just talking.

In any case, if it’s an educational show for little little kids, then having the characters voiced by kids would make sense. Those sort of characters are written to talk to children, so they’ll probably be more susceptible to a voice that sounds like them then a grownup who might sound like a parent. But if it’s not educational, I’d prefer adults voicing kids. Voice acting is still acting and takes loads of practice. If you take a 7-year old novice and some celebrity singer and put them in front of mic for a voiceover, neither would be the best performance because neither know how to act.


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SweetShop209

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Jan 5, 2014
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I just recently thought of another factor for this. What if you have a child in an adult cartoon? In that case, it's good for them to have adult voice actors given how, if they swear or do something very un-childlike, there'd be more leeway to let it slide. For one shot characters, there seems to be a preference to have them voiced by child actors. I remember a few episodes of Family Guy and American Dad that had some child characters voiced by Isabella Acres, Max Charles, Isaac Ryan Brown, and Ava Acres, just to name a few. Plus, some DC animated movies that have been PG-13 or R would sometimes cast child actors. For example, Ariel Winter was 14-15 when both parts of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns came out, and she voiced Carrie Kelly/Robin, meaning she was most likely 13 when recording the role. Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, which is R rated, had one of the Robins (I believe Dick Grayson) voiced by 14 year old Lincoln Melcher, meaning he was most likely 13 when recording dialogue. Would you approve of the casting there?
 
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Frontier

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I just recently thought of another factor for this. What if you have a child in an adult cartoon? In that case, it's good for them to have adult voice actors given how, if they swear or do something very un-childlike, there'd be more leeway to let it slide. For one shot characters, there seems to be a preference to have them voiced by child actors. I remember a few episodes of Family Guy and American Dad that had some child characters voiced by Isabella Acres, Max Charles, Isaac Ryan Brown, and Ava Acres, just to name a few. Plus, some DC animated movies that have been PG-13 or R would sometimes cast child actors. For example, Ariel Winter was 14-15 when both parts of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns came out, and she voiced Carrie Kelly/Robin, meaning she was most likely 13 when recording the role. Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, which is R rated, had one of the Robins (I believe Dick Grayson) voiced by 14 year old Lincoln Melcher, meaning he was most likely 13 when recording dialogue. Would you approve of the casting there?
There's actually a precedent for casting younger actors as the Robins, like with Evan Sabara as Dick Grayson/Robin in The Batman or Stuart Allan as Damian Wayne/Robin (a role that actually accommodated him growing up and hitting puberty).
 

SweetShop209

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I do know that. I mean with more adult oriented projects. Would you rather have child actors for the young Robins, or adult voice actors? The same goes for child guest stars on adult cartoons.
 

Mostezli

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If the character is in their teens (13+), go right ahead and get someone past their teens. If it's younger, get someone as close to the appropriate age as possible because I can't sit through the umpteenth woman babying herself or cycling through some surfer lingo. Plus, on a show like Gumball or for the only kid VA I can recognize, Sam Lavignino, they bring a cadence that livens the material either because of the unexpected vocabulary or because of the authenticity.

The TV-rating does not matter.
 

Classic Speedy

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There's a trade off either way. Actual kid actors will obviously be more authentic sounding, and if you have a good voice director they'll be able to inspire a fine performance out of them (see many Pixar films). But as has already been said, kids' voices change, which isn't a problem for adults. And adult VAs will obviously have more experience than kids.
 

Light Lucario

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I think it depends. For younger kid characters, like say maybe ten and under, I think kid actors might be the way to go. They'd sound more authentic and with the right direction, they can put out some good performances. For teenage characters, it would probably be best to go with adult voice actors, especially when kids' voices change as they get older. If the character is an ageless kid, then going with an adult voice actor is definitely better than going through multiple kid voice actors.
 
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