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Why The Voice Of Haku In Spirited Away Sounds So Familiar

"Spirited Away" is one of the most popular movies by acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. It tells the story of Chihiro (Daveigh Chase), who finds herself in the spirit world after she unknowingly crosses a bridge into the realm and her parents are turned into pigs. After meeting Haku (Jason Marsden), Chihiro begins to work at Yubaba's (Suzanne Pleshette) bathhouse, where she goes by the name of Sen and tries to save her mother and father. The film was well-received in both Japan and America, even taking home the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003. It was the only Japanese animated film to win, though other films from the studio have been nominated. 

Those who have watched the English dubbed version have probably recognized Haku's voice. That is because Marsden has had an extensive career in voice work and live-action productions. However, if you're wondering where you've heard his unique voice, here is a look at some movies and television shows he's been in. 

He was a cat

In 1993, a cult classic was released to the world. "Hocus Pocus" is about Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy), and Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker), three witches who are accidentally brought back to life 300 years after their passing by Max Dennison (Omri Katz). Before their deaths, the Sanderson sisters cursed Thackery Binx (Sean Murray) and turned him into an immortal cat, forcing him to live with the guilt of not being able to save his sister, Emily (Amanda Sheperd). Once the witches have returned, Binx — voiced by Jason Marsden — helps Max, Dani (Thora Birch), and Allison (Vinessa Shaw) find a way to rid the world of their evil once and for all. 

Because he has lived for so long — and cannot move on from Emily's death — Binx doesn't start off very nice. He gets angry and frustrated when there are snags during his mission. However, he ultimately proves kindhearted and determined, becoming especially close to Dani, who reminds him of his sister. His efforts pay off, and he is freed from his form and reunited with Emily's spirit by the film's end. 

Marsden does a great job at capturing Binx's sarcastic yet sweet personality, and he even takes levity in his tole to this day – stopping by Disney parks for a quick photo when the opportunity arises. 

He was in Full House

Jason Marsden isn't just a voice actor. He's had his fair share of live-action roles, and even if they can't recognize him from his face, they will definitely know who he is by his voice.

In 1994, he appeared in the hit sitcom "Full House" as Nelson Burkhard, D.J. Tanner's (Candace Cameron Bure) rich boyfriend. First debuting in season 8 in "Comet's Excellent Adventure," Nelson appears to be more in love with D.J. than she is with him, and she ends things in the same episode — potentially landing among the worst moments fans have seen D.J. Tanner in. This is not the last of Nelson, however. He remains a good friend to D.J. and even goes out with Kimmy (Andrea Barber), though nothing comes of it. Marsden was asked to return to the role on "Fuller House," but the actor explained in a three-part Twitter video that he had been invited to attend Dragoncon, and it was too stressful to do both (via MTV). As a result, Nelson was recast with Hal Sparks. 

During the same year, Marsden appeared on another popular sitcom, "Boy Meets World." Portraying as a character with the same name as him, Jason is Eric Matthews' (Will Friedle) best friend during the first two seasons. Though he's smarter than Eric, his short stature makes it hard for him to attract girls. According to IMBD, Jason was in nine episodes of "Boy Meets World" before being written out for unknown reasons.

He is a Goof

Jason Marsden is probably best known for being the current voice of Max Goof, Goofy's (Bill Farmer) son, in Disney animated projects since 1995. He replaced Dana Hill, who played him in "Goof Troop," and continued to play younger versions of Max until her death in 1996.

He started voicing Max in "A Goofy Movie," where the character is first depicted as a pre-teen. And as Max was depicted older, there were things only adults would notice in "A Goofy Movie." Max is often shown to much rather want to hang out with friends, deepen his relationship with Roxanne (Kellie Martin), and see a Powerline (Tevin Campbell) concert than spend his vacation with his father. Though they have their differences, the father and son go on an unforgettable adventure and end up much closer than ever, with Max even introducing Goofy to his girlfriend. Marsden reprised the role for the 2000 sequel, "An Extremely Goofy Movie," and the series, "The House of Mouse," where Max serves as a waiter at Mickey Mouse's nightclub.

Marsden perfectly emulates what it means to be a teenager and even embraces some of Goofy's personality, particularly his iconic "Ah-hyuck!" which he happens when he laughs.

He was a Lion

Jason Marsden has also lent his talents to other iconic Disney franchises. Three years after debuting as Max Goof, Marsden found himself answering some of the biggest questions left in the "Lion King" via its sequel, "Simba's Pride," as an adult Kovu. This film revolves around Simba's (Matthew Broderick) daughter, Kiara (Neve Campbell), as she falls in love with Kovu, despite the bad blood between the Pridelands and the Outsiders. However, their relationship is threatened by Simba — who cannot see Kovu as anything but an extension of Scar (Jeremy Irons). All the while, Kovu's mother, Zira (Suzanne Pleshette), believes Kovu deserves to be king. Finally, after a tragic battle, both prides come together, and Kiara and Kovu can start their own family. 

Kovu is very cocky and sarcastic, but when it comes to Kiara, he reveals that he is actually a sweet and insecure lion. Marsden does a fantastic job depicting both sides of Kovu's personality and making him relatable to audiences. 

Marsden returned to voice Kovu in the series, "The Lion Guard," which follows Kiara's younger brother, Kion (Max Charles).

He was the Flash's grandson

While often upbeat, "Young Justice" toes the line between an adult animated show and a superhero cartoon. The show started in 2010, and during its second season, Marsden made his debut. He appeared in 21 episodes and voiced several unique characters in the popular DC show. These include The Atom, Lok-Ron, Danny Chase, and his most notable role, Impulse, later known as Kid Flash.

Bartholomew "Bart" Allen possesses powers like the Flash and hails from 2056. After coming to the past, he joined the team — which works under the Justice League — taking on the name Impulse. Following the death of Wally West, the speedster takes on the mantle of Kid Flash and continues to carry on that legacy.

Bart is rather serious due to the apocalyptic event that made his time inhospitable. When he goes to the past, determined to change the outcome, he becomes hyperactive, vivacious, and talkative to win over his new teammates. Unfortunately, he also tends to spoil information, like revealing secret identities to other heroes.

Though "Young Justice" was popular when it aired, it was canceled in 2013. It wasn't until 2019 that it was revived and able to continue the stories of the young heroes.