The Simpsons, Disney and Casper – The female stars who played male characters

In the world of animation, we often don't realise who is acting of the voice of the character.

And surprisingly, a lot of our beloved male characters, including lead roles, have actually and continue to be voice by female stars.

From Disney characters, Nickelodeon's shows like Rugrats, to countless characters on The Simpsons, and 90s hits, a lot of the voices you grew up to were actually women.

According to many producers, this is because when casting a pre-pubescent male character for a cartoon or animation series, the "sensible choice" is casting a female voiceover, primarily because of longevity.

This is due to a real boy’s voice getting deeper as they grow older and in time may no longer suit the character, and a female voice actor can maintain the role longer.

Here are some of the most surprising male roles voiced by women…

Nancy Cartwright — The Simpsons Bart Simpson

One of the more well known cases is Nancy Cartwright who plays the voices of The Simpsons Bart Simpson and also the adorable naked mole rate Rufus from Kim Possible.

Nancy also voiced Chucky from Rugrats, but most impressive is the fact she stars as a number of characters on The Simpsons.

As well as the main character Bart, she also plays Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, Kearney, Database and Maggie.

When turning up for her audition for The Simpsons, she intended to audition for Lisa Simpson but after finding Bart's character more interesting creator Matt Groening who allowed her to audition for the little boy and then offered her the role on the spot.

Tara Strong — Fairy Odd Parent's Timmy Turner

The Canadian-American actress has provided voice-over work for animation and video games and has performed in live-action.

One of them includes Timmy Turner, the little boy from Nickelodeon's Fairy Odd Parents.

As well as playing Timmy, she has also leant her voice to Rugrats and All Grown Up! as Dil Pickles, The Powerpuff Girls as Bubbles, and in Ben 10 she starred as lead Ben Tennyson.

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Pamela Hayden — The Simpsons Milhouse Van Houten

Another Simpsons star who is actually played by an actress is Milhouse Van Houten, who behind the mic is played by Pamela Hayden.

She also plays teenage thug Jimbo Jones, Ned Flanders' first-born son Rod, Chief Wiggum’s wife and Ralph Wiggum‘s mother Sarah, Lois Pennycandy and Lisa Simpson’s friend Janey Powell.

Pamela originally voiced the character of Katrina (Shanks) Meltsner on the Focus on the Family radio drama Adventures in Odyssey from 1993 to 2000.

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Kath Soucie — Rugrats Phil DeVille

In Rugrats, Kath Soucie is the lady behind the DeVille family which includes Betty DeVille and her twin children Lil DeVille and little boy Phil DeVille.

Her voice can be most recognised as the kangaroo mum called Kanga from Winnie the Pooh, for which she always starred as in the movie Piglets Big Movie and Pooh's Heffalump Movie.

She also plays Linka in Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Lola Bunny in Space Jam, Fifi La Fume in Tiny Toon Adventures, Bea in Mighty Max, and Dexter's Mom in Dexter's Laboratory.

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Cecil Roy – Casper the Friendly Ghost

Cecil sadly passed away at the age of 94 on January 26, 1995, following a long career which saw her be labelled The Girl of a Thousand Voices.

Between 1944 and 1962, she provided voices for numerous animated cartoons, specializing in children's voices.

One of the most famous characters she played for Casper from Casper the Friendly Ghost in the theatrical animated series of the 1940s and 1950s.

She also played the iconic roll of Winnie the Pooh for a period of time.

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Christine Cavanaugh and Candi Milo – Dexter's Laboratory

Two women have played the character of Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory, first up was Christine Cavanaugh.

Christine played the iconic character before she died on December 22, 2014, at the age of 51.

The character was taken over by Candi Milo from season three onwards.

She has also starred in Cow and Chicken, ChalkZone, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Codename: Kids Next Door, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Loonatics Unleashed, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Maya & Miguel, W.I.T.C.H., The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, The Replacements, and The Adventures of Puss in Boots.

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Tress MacNeille – Disney's Chip 'n' Dale

Tress is most known for playing Dot in Animaniacs, Babs Bunny in Tiny Toon Adventures and the current voice of Daisy Duck in various Disney media, since 1999.

She is also widely known for her work in popular long-running animated series such as The Simpsons, Futurama, and Rugrats.

However, Tress also starred as the male Disney chipmunks Chip 'N' Dale for their film Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.

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