It seems like the careers of some mainstream live-action actors have, well, gone cartoon. Sure, they may still dabble in film or TV episodes, but what they're best known for at the moment, are voice roles in animated films. Off the top of our head, we can think of at least 10 thespians who've gone full, or nearly full, donkey, zebra, ogre and so on.
Everybody loved Raymond, but everybody — especially kids — adores furry family man and "Ice Age" franchise star, Manny the mammoth.
TV's "Friends" launched his career. Then, a handful of not-so-well-known films kept it afloat, but his turn in "Madagascar" as giraffe Melman opened up a whole new world of possibilities including a warrior stint in Disney CGI spectacle "John Carter."
Cheers to Ratzenberger for not heading home after the Boston barfly that made him famous lost his barstool. Instead he's added a long and illustrious list of animated films to his resume from "Up," and "WALL-E," to "Cars" and this summer's fantastic fairytale "Brave."
Another "Madagascar" alum, Chris Rock may have ranted about donkey discrimination and African American voice roles at the Oscars, but Marty the zebra has proved a crack-a-lackin' success.
Though "Austin Powers 4" may redirect his career from cartoon into human comedy again, donkey lover Mike Meyers has proved Kermit the Frog wrong and had an easy and lucrative time being green for the "Shrek" saga.
"Night at the Museum" aside, Azaria seems to have crossed over to the cartoon side with curmudgeonly "Smurfs" villain Gargamel, and numerous other TV and film characters in the "Simpsons," "The Cleveland Show" and "Happy Feet Two."
Analyze this: how does a city slicker who loved Sally become a wisecracking cyclops in "Monsters, Inc."? We don't know, but it's served Crystal well in his golden acting years.
Yes, "Tower Heist," but with "Hong Kong Phooey" on the way and a long history as Shrek's donkey BFF, we're not sure if Murphy's decided to trade his animated tail for a full-fledged return to grown-up comedy.
With Shakespearean pipes like his, it's no surprise Stewart can dominate a screen in any form, whether it's as a starship captain, mind-bending professor, or as of late, a sage Shakespeare statue ("Gnomeo & Juliet"), or a cartoon CIA director ("American Dad!").
"House" has ended a long run, but with "Arthur Christmas," "Hop," "The Simpsons," "Monsters vs. Aliens," and more under his belt, odds are primetime's hospital Sherlock Holmes may decide his future is brighter in the animated world.
Originally published June 8, 2012.