Kari Wahlgren (born July 13, 1977) is an American voice actress who has provided English-language voices for over a hundred cartoons, anime and video games. She got her start in anime voice-overs as Haruko Haruhara in FLCL, and would later land major roles in a number of shows and films: Robin Sena in Witch Hunter Robin, Lavie Head in Last Exile, Fuu in Samurai Champloo, Scarlett in Steamboy, Pacifica Casull in the Scrapped Princess, Saya Otonashi in Blood+, Kagami Hiiragi in Lucky Star, Saber in Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, and Celty Sturluson in the Durarara!! series.

Early life

Wahlgren was born and raised in Hoisington, Kansas. She was inspired as a child by the Disney Princesses and other voices in animation. Her parents were teachers, which encouraged her to support charities and organizations that promote reading and education later in her career. On her eleventh birthday, when she and her family were in California and toured the building for Focus on the Family, she was asked to do a bit role in their radio drama Adventures in Odyssey, as an eleven-year-old character named Gloria McCoy.

Wahlgren graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater in 1999. She lived in Kansas City, Missouri where she did some radio spots, then moved to Los Angeles in 2000 to work on her acting career. In an interview in Lawrence Journal-World, she said that she was not getting much on-camera work, so she shifted her energies towards voice-over work, and that her experience with dialogue and Shakespeare classes helped a lot towards landing roles that involved various characters, some of which had accents or were from certain time periods.

Career

Wahlgren's debut anime role was as Haruko Haruhara in a six-episode OVA series called FLCL. In an interview with Anime Tourist, she said that Haruko was the only character she got to audition for. She depicted her as close to the original dub but with some American interpretation to appeal to the audience, and depending on how she was drawn, she changed her voice range from cartoon and childlike to realistic. In a later review of the series, Bryce Coulter of Mania.com was impressed by her character work: "she definitely gives Haruko that twenty-something, sarcastic and almost punkish persona." In 2018, it was announced she would be voicing in the new FLCL seasons, including as Haruha Raharu in FLCL: Progressive and reprising Haruko in FLCL: Alternative.

Wahlgren's next major anime dub role was in Witch Hunter Robin, where she played the title character Robin Sena, a soft-spoken girl who joins a group of witch hunters, but harbors some magic abilities of her own. She voiced lead character Lavie Head in the steampunk fantasy series Last Exile. Allen Divers of Anime News Network grouped her with the "better known names of the California voice-acting scene". She voiced title character Sakura Kinomoto in Bang Zoom!'s dubbing of Cardcaptor Sakura 2: The Sealed Card, which Divers praised that "the voice actors did a great job of matching the emotions of the original Japanese voices, including Sakura's trademark expression 'Hoe!'", something that was missing in previous English adaptations.

In 2004, she voiced a starring role in the animated feature film Steamboy, among actors Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart and Alfred Molina. She played Scarlett, a teenage granddaughter of the corporation's chairman, described as spoiled and cruel, and generally annoying. She voiced Chika Minazuki in Ai Yori Aoshi, a little cousin character. Way Jeng of Mania.com described her performance as energetic, yet innocent and simple, but contrasting to Wendee Lee's voicing of Tina Foster. In 2005, she voiced the female lead character Fuu Kasumi in Samurai Champloo. Carlo Santos of Anime News Network thought the characters sounded "well-suited to their personalities", but was concerned that Fuu "falls into the habit of sounding like every other ditzy anime girl out there." In Scrapped Princess, she voices the title character Pacifica Casull, who is hunted down because of a prophecy where she would cause the destruction of the world if she lives to see her 16th birthday.

Wahlgren's involvement in animation voice-over took off in 2004 when she was cast in a lead role in the Disney/Jetix ensemble action superhero show Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! where she voiced Nova. The show ran for four seasons from 2004 to 2006. She would also pick up recurring villain roles such as Samantha Paine aka Magness in A.T.O.M. and Charmcaster in Ben 10, the latter of which would return in the show's sequels and related video games In 2007, she voiced Tak's friend Jeera in Nickelodeon's computer graphics-animated series Tak and the Power of Juju. She voiced little sister character Suzy Johnson in Disney’s hit series Phineas and Ferb, and participated in the second season of the animated comedy Lil' Bush where she voiced Lil' Hillary and Lil' Condi.

Wahlgren became a regular cast member for Fish Hooks, which premiered in 2010, where she voiced Shellsea and many supporting and guest characters. She landed the role of Tigress in the television adaptation Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness; the series premiered in 2011 and has run over four seasons. In 2012, she had the lead role of Allie Underhill in the action series Kaijudo, which spanned 52 episodes, and picked up roles in other cartoon shows such as Gravity Falls, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, and Winx Club. She voiced Meg, the starring love interest in the Disney short film Paperman which screened before Wreck-It Ralph in the theaters in 2012. In an interview with her school's alumni association, she said that she was asked to do the role because of her previous involvements in Bolt and Tangled. Recording for the film took about 30 minutes, mostly of vocal sounds. The short went on to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

In 2015, she joined the cast of The Fairly OddParents as a starring character Chloe Carmichael in the show's tenth and final season. She continued to voice Jessica and other characters for Rick and Morty which has concluded its third season, and voiced Amanda in the Butch Hartman-produced series Bunsen Is a Beast which aired on Nickelodeon in February 2017. In July 2017, she voiced Dorothy Gale in the animated television series Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz broadcast on Boomerang.

Filmography

Animation Dubbing

Animated Series

  • Winx Club (2004-present) - Narration, Headmistress Faragonda, Princess Galatea, Professor Ediltrude, Kylie, Jade, Queen Luna (ep. 144), Jolly, Nesia, Queen Rachel, Carol, Boutique Fantastique Announcer (ep. 53), Dance Teacher (ep. 71), Student (ep. 79), Girl (ep. 82), Girl (ep. 83), Woman (ep. 88), Hostage Girl (ep. 89), Radio Announcer (ep. 89), Mom (ep. 91), Little Girl (ep. 95), Warrior Fairy (ep. 97), Rustic Fairy (ep. 99), Andros Soldier (ep. 130) (Nickelodeon Dub)

Animated Films

Anime Dubbing

Anime

Anime Shorts

OVAs & Specials

Anime Films

Video Game Dubbing

External Links

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