A Collection of Offbeat Rock Star Appearances in Animation

Let’s face it. Disney isn’t normally knocking on musicians’ doors, asking them to join the cast of their next animated masterpiece. Yet through the years, artists such as Lou Reed, Marilyn Manson, Tom Petty, and the lovable Donny Osmond (he was a little bit rock and roll, lest we forget!) have lent their voices and talents to a few lesser-known animated films, and cartoon series as well. Whether making an animated cameo, contributing to the soundtrack, or even taking on a completely different character, you’ll find that these ten rock and roll artists have certainly left their mark on the industry. Who did we leave out?

Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop – Rock & Rule

This 1983 rock and roll-themed animated film hails from the Canadian animation studio Nelvana — which spent a whopping $8 million to crank out Rock & Rule as their feature film debut. It has received a cult following throughout the years, marketed to an adult audience for its references to drug use and some sexuality. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic US where we find struggling band members Angel and Omar — humanoid rat people — trying to make a name for themselves in the music industry. Playing around the nightclub circuit, Angel finally wants to give her softer love ballad a chance, despite Omar’s jealousy-laden protests. Her song (which Deborah Harry performs here) catches the attention of aging rock superstar Mok — whose vocals were provided by Lou Reed — who plans on kidnapping Angel to use her voice as a means of unleashing a demon from another dimension (who was voiced by Iggy Pop). Omar and the rest of the bandmates embark on a whirlwind cat-and-mouse game, trying to reach Nuke York City (har har) in time to save Angel from Mok’s clutches. In the end, Angel learns that if her voice is powerful enough to unleash a demon, she can also use it to defeat a demon, with the help of Omar, of course. Once all has been said and done, the group proves that, together, they are the greatest rock band around.