After it emerged that the original Arnold voice actor from Hey Arnold, Lane Toran, had grown into a rugged hipster musician, we decided to find out what had happened to the rest of his 90s peers. Here’s what they all look like now, alongside the characters they used to voice. Try not to be freaked out.
Lacey Chabert played The Wild Thornberrys’ Eliza, a long-suffering kid with glasses and braces whose parents were on an endless documentary-filming tour of Africa. Chabert voiced Family Guy’s Meg Griffin before Mila Kunis, and she was Mean Girls’ “fetch”-pusher, Gretchen Wieners. She reprised the role of Eliza for Seth Green’s animated sketch show Robot Chicken.
Playing Eliza’s sister, perpetually miserable strop-haver Debbie Thornberry, didn’t turn Danielle Harris into a brat. After The Wild Thornberrys she starred in 2007’s Halloween reboot, developed an association with horror films, and eventually directed her own, Among Friends, in 2012. Like Chabert, she returned to voice Debbie Thornberry on Robot Chicken.
The Magic School Bus’ class clown, Carlos, was played by Daniel De Santo. Like Lacey Chabert, he graduated from voice acting into the Mean Girls cast, playing irritating Jock Jason, who was incidentally the on-and-off onscreen boyfriend of Chabert’s character Gretchen.
Ashley Johnson, voice actor of bunch-haired Gretchen from Recess, became a staple voice actor in noughties kids’ animation Ben 10. You might also recognise her from The Killing US, where she played pregnant Amber Ahmed, or Avengers Assemble, where she played… waitress.
Sarcastic Keesha from The Magic School Bus was played by Erica Luttrell. Ever the voice actor, you’ll hear her mainly in video games now – she’s been in Dragon Age: Origins, Lego Batman 3 and new nuclear wasteland-set game Fallout 4.
Phillip Van Dyke was, like Lane Toran, the voice of footballhead Arnold in Hey Arnold! – this time from 1997-2000. He’s now a married father of two and runs a sales floor for a financial services company.
Andrew Lawrence is the youngest of three actor brothers – his oldest bro Joey is the titular star of TV show Melissa & Joey, while middle bro Matthew was middle child Chris in cross-dressing comedy Mrs Doubtfire. Andrew himself voiced T.J Detweiler in Recess and has recently had roles in detective comedy Castle and criminal investigation series CSI.
Jamil Walker Smith was the voice of Arnold’s tall-haired buddy Gerald in Hey Arnold! for its entire run from 1996-2004. He’s expanded into TV sci-fi since, playing SGU Stargate Universe’s Ronald Greer from 2009-2011, as well as having roles in Medium and Supernatural.
Emma Taylor-Isherwood voiced fanged hair disaster Mona in Mona the Vampire. She’s now doing cutesy stuff, currently voicing a character in Gwen Stefani’s new animated sugar explosion, Kuukuu Harajuku. Prior to that she voiced bunny rabbit Miffy in kids’ cartoon Miffy and has live action experience in teen drama Strange Days at Blake Holsey High.
Tara Strong is a real veteran of the kids’ TV voice acting circuit, with roles inlcuding The Powerpuff Girls’ Bubbles and The Fairly OddParents’ Timmy Turner. She was also crazed Joker-lover Harley Quinn in the Batman games, and played ‘Deranged Squad Female’ in Arrow so, y'know, she’s got range.
Whatever happened to the voice of feral child Donnie from The Wild Thornberries? Uh, well, he’s actually always been Flea. As in the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ diminutive bassist, Flea. This whole time. Weird, right? Even more weirdly, he recently voiced Mind Worker Cop Jake in Pixar’s Inside Out, and no one really noticed.
Poor old bespectacled Gus. The downtrodden Recess character was voiced by Courtland Mead, who had played Uh-Huh in 1994 children’s classic The Little Rascals. Aside from a bit of work on a 2006 episode of Lilo & Stitch he hasn’t done much since. His Myspace page – before it was taken down – listed him as “washed up child actor”. We hope he’s ok.
Mead’s Little Rascals costar Blake McIver Ewing – rich kid Waldo – was also the nerdy Eugene in Hey Arnold! from 2001-2003. He cropped up as a TV-watcher in the American version of Gogglebox, the awfully titled The People’s Couch, and recently released an equality anthem called ‘This Is Who We Are’.
This long-running Sailor Moon voice actor – she’s played the Japanese animation’s Sailor Venus since 1992 – is actually a bit of a Japanese animation specialist. Her animé credits include more than 80 roles – but she’s also made time for live-action stuff, including 2001’s Fast Food Nation and 2007 sci-fi horror, The Mist.