Celebs Move In on Voice Artists' Jobs

Movies like "Madagascar" (search) and "Shrek" (search) have been hits at the box office, and it can't be denied that much of the movies' praise has been for the talent behind the 'toons.

There was a time when the voices behind the cartoons were unfamiliar. But today, high-profile actors are eager to raid the animated gold mine.

"Nowadays, you can be unbelievable and you still won't get a job in an animated cartoon, 'cause you have to be a celebrity now," Billy West, a voice-over artist, told FOX News.

Click in the video box to the right for a complete report by FOX News' Dan Springer.

As celebrities bask in the limelight, professional voice actors are being left out in the cartoon cold. The star appeal of celebrity voices is simply selling tickets at a rate that other voice actors can't compete with.

Providing voices for animated films may be a nice way for actors to capitalize on their fame. But the A-listers say it's not just about the money and publicity that come with these films. It's also about sharing their talent with a G-rated audience.

"If you have kids, it's great to have something that your kids can see. Like I said, my kids, they can see everything I've done, they just can't see it until they're 30," said Chris Rock (search), actor and voice artist for "Madagascar."

The celebrities may be stealing the jobs of voice-over artists, but they have certainly gained a greater respect for their line of work.

"It was a frustrating process for me just because, you know, it's hard because you don't have the other guys there. You don't have a set, you don't have any props, just the script," said Jada Pinkett Smith (search), actor and voice artist for "Madagascar."