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Big Lip Cartoon Characters: How A Voice Actor Can Use Them

Oct 18, 2022
big lip cartoon characters

Leveraging Big Lip Characters for Versatility and Standout Performances

There's something inherently funny about big lips on cartoon characters. Maybe it's because they're such a contrast to the rest of their features, or maybe it's because they're just so darned expressive. Whatever the reason, these characters are sure to make you laugh!

As voice actors, it's our job to study these characters so we can create our own versions. Whether it is the "beautiful young woman" archetype with big red lips and big eyes or pop art that is a popular cartoon style NFT right now.

Read ahead to learn about the appeal of these body parts, famous male and female characters, how these characters originated, and how voice actors can learn from them.



What is the appeal of big lip cartoon characters, and why are they so popular?

Some of the earliest examples of big-lipped cartoon characters can be found in early Disney cartoons from the 1930s. Characters like Goofy and Donald Duck were designed with big lips to make them more expressive and easier to animate. At the time, big lips were seen as a silly and comedic style of animation that was perfect for slapstick humor.

Big Lips Go Global

In the 1960s, Japanese animation studios began to experiment with bigger lips on their characters. This was likely influenced by American cartoons, which were becoming increasingly popular in Japan at the time. One of the most famous early examples of this style is Doraemon, a blue robotic cat with impossibly full lips. This new style of animation quickly caught on, and by the 1980s, big-lipped cartoon characters were appearing all over the world.

Today, big-lipped cartoon characters are more popular than ever. Thanks to shows like SpongeBob SquarePants and Adventure Time, these larger-than-life characters have become pop culture icons. And with new technologies making it easier than ever to create expressive animations, it's likely that we'll only see more big-lipped cartoon characters in the years to come

Who are some of the most famous big lip cartoon characters, and what do they represent?

There are many famous big lip cartoon characters, but some of the most popular ones include:

  • Bugs Bunny: Perhaps the most famous big lip cartoon character of all, Bugs Bunny is known for his quick wit and clever comebacks. He's also famous for being able to outsmart his enemies, like Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam.
  • Popeye: This big-lip cartoon character is known for his love of spinach and the strength that comes from it. He's also famous for being able to withstand a lot of punishment, thanks to his Popeye the Sailor Man persona.
  • Fat Albert: This big-lip cartoon character is known for being overweight and for his catchphrase, "Hey, hey, hey!" He's also known for being a good friend and for always being there for his friends.

Vanessa Rabbit: This big-lip cartoon character is known for being the love interest of Roger Rabbit. She's also famous for being a doting mother and for always putting her family first.

How did big lip cartoon characters originate, and where are they popular today?

The origins of big-lip cartoon characters can be traced back to the early days of animation. One of the earliest examples is Felix the Cat, which debuted in 1919. While big lips and isolated lips were not always a feature of these early cartoon characters, they became increasingly common as animation evolved. There was not a blue background, but they were of flat design.

Big lip cartoon characters really came into their own in the 1930s and 1940s, during the golden age of animation. Characters like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny became icons thanks to their big lips.

Today, big lip cartoon characters are popular all over the world and can be found in many different types of media, from movies and TV shows to video games and advertising. While they may have started out as simple drawings, these characters have come to life in a big way!

How can a voice actor capitalize on these types of characters?

When it comes to carving a niche in the voice acting industry, versatility is key. One avenue that remains under-explored but offers vast potential is big lip cartoon characters. 

But why are these quirky characters worth a voice actor's time? Let's dig a little deeper:

1. Diversifying Your Portfolio

By incorporating big lip cartoon characters into your portfolio, you're not just showing your range — you're showcasing your ability to adapt to unique and off-beat character designs. 

Think of characters with exaggerated expressions — like SpongeBob's full-blown shouts or Daffy Duck's infamous lisp. By tapping into such niche segments, you demonstrate your mastery over various vocal nuances and pitches.

2. Standing Out from the Crowd

In a sea of voice-over samples, a quirky, well-executed big-lip cartoon character voice can be the hook that catches an agent or client's ear and gets you that coveted voice-over job you’ve been eyeing. It's an immediate showcase of creativity and versatility that can instantly set you apart from the average Joe.

3. Crafting Memorable Sketches

Big-lip characters — given their exaggerated nature — typically lend themselves well to comedy sketches. That said, voice actors can develop a series of amusing skits or dialogues, highlighting their ability to use vocal dynamics to their advantage. 

Think of scenarios where characters like Sylvester the Cat or Goofy have unforgettable exchanges.


Collage of big lip cartoon characters

(From Wallpapers.com)


4. Engaging Demos for Potential Clients

Instead of the usual voice-over demos, imagine presenting a potential client with a dialogue between two big-lip characters — each showcasing different pitches, tones, and emotions. 

It's an immediate representation of range and capability, often leading to a lasting impression.

5. Boosting Social Media Presence

Let's face it: everyone enjoys a good laugh or an engaging piece of content. That said, voice actors can bring big-lip cartoon characters to life in short audio or video clips on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. 

This not only enhances engagement but can also attract potential clients or collaborators.

6. Pure, Unadulterated Fun

Sometimes, it's not all about business. The world of big-lip cartoon characters can be a playground for voice actors. It offers a chance to experiment, play around with different voices, and simply have fun. 

Such passion often translates to authenticity, a trait that’s highly valued in the industry.

Big Lip Cartoon Characters: A Unique Asset for Voice Actors

Get a voice acting coach or join a community to learn how to create these characters, like A VO's Journey Elite Academy. Cartoon demos can be extremely effective if you know how to make them and who to market them to.

Also, understanding the animation industry and how/when voice actors play a role is key to your success. Learning the vocabulary, meeting the right people, and doing your due diligence, on top of lots of auditions, can set you apart from the competition. Don't forget the importance of branding too!

Harnessing the Power of Big Lip Characters

If you want to create a big-lip cartoon character that will appeal to the masses, start by understanding what makes them so popular. Study some of the most famous characters and see what traits they share.

Then, work on developing your own voice and style for the character. Once you have a strong foundation, start sharing your character with the world. Who knows, maybe your big lip cartoon will become the next viral sensation.

Start working on your characters today and see where they take you!