Animated kid characters are often voiced by adults, but Hey Arnold! was a major exception. The long-running Nickelodeon series employed kids to voice kids, going through multiple actors to play protagonist Arnold Shortman (including Halloweentown's Phillip Van Dyke). [Note: MTV News and Nickelodeon are both owned by Viacom.]
On Thursday (March 16), Hey Arnold! creator Craig Bartlett shared the perfect #TBT: a cast pic of the real faces behind P.S. 118's finest. Reposting the photo from Anndi McAfee, a.k.a. brainiac Phoebe, Bartlett graciously clued us in on who voiced who — and it's super surreal to match faces to their animated alter egos.
Back row, left to right: Marcus Toji (Park), Christopher Walberg (Stinky), Ashley Buccille (Lila), McAfee, Francesca Marie Smith (Helga), Spencer Klein (Arnold), Olivia Hack (Rhonda)
Front row: Sam Gifaldi (Sid) and Jamil Walker Smith (Gerald)
But where is Justin Shenkarow (Harold)?!
I love that Arnold and Helga are standing next to each other because you know you totally rooted for them to get together — and they finally did (kinda) in Hey Arnold! The Movie. Klein was the last Arnold, voicing the character from 1999 until the series finale in 2004 and also voicing the football-head in the 2002 movie.
Some, though not all, of the original cast are returning for the upcoming Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie currently in production, so get ready to hear Helga, Phoebe, Harold, and Rhonda over 10 years later. Plus, Lane Toran — the OG Arnold — is voicing bully Wolfgang (like he did on the show), while Smith is lending his voice to an unknown character. It's all happening, guys.