Most professional voice actors are only really famous to animation fans; for others, they seem disembodied, totally tied to the animated character they've brought to life. While there has been an influx of famous celebrities being cast in animated films (some suspect it's purely for their marquee draw), the game of 'who's that voice' can still be an entertaining way to pass the time during a Disney movie marathon. Here are some actors who have popped up in the Disney canon.
David Ogden Stiers
This Julliard-trained actor was first known as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on the hit TV series M*A*S*H, joining the cast in 1977. Frasier and Star Trek were also frequent gigs for him: He has been a regular part of Woody Allen films, and has also worked on Wings and
The Next Generation. But Stiers is also the voice behind many beloved characters from Disney films. The first of these roles was in 1991's Beauty and the Beast, where he played the stuffy Cogsworth, and also provided the opening narration. Stiers played the villainous Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas, the Archdeacon in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Dr. Jumba in Lilo and Stitch. Stiers was also the voice of Kamaji in the English dub of Spirited Away.
Have you ever noticed that Duchess from The Aristocats and Miss Bianca from The Rescuers sound fairly similar? That sultry-yet-sophisticated voice is the inimitable Eva Gabor, an actress and socialite who was mostly known for her role in the sitcom Green Acres from 1965-1971. She worked on Broadway, in films, on TV and was also very successful with business ventures. Gabor lent her voice to both Rescuers films as well as The Aristocats, giving the characters an old-world charm that could only come from her glamorous, larger-than-life persona.
While The Hunchback of Notre Dame had its flaws, most critics agreed that its villain, Judge Frollo, was genuinely one of the most frightening Disney antagonists in years. Well established Shakespearean actor Tony Jay was of great help because of his wonderful voice work. He lent his rich baritone to many characters over the years, including the asylum owner in Beauty and the Beast and the Supreme Being in Time Bandits. Jay is also very well known for being the voice of the evil Megabyte in the cult classic series ReBoot, and was the narrator for Treasure Planet, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and the video game Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
The Emperor's New Groove is an oft-overlooked Disney release, coming at a time when the great heights of the 1990s Renaissance were most certainly over. But it still has a large fan-base, due in no part to the brilliant comedic team of the villains: the scrawny, scheming Yzma (voiced by Eartha Kitt) and her dim-witted, enthusiastic bodyguard Kronk, who was voiced by Patrick Warburton. Since that role, Warburton has become one of the most recognizable voices in the animation world, playing Joe on Family Guy, The Wolf in Hoodwinked, Rip Riley in Archer and Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story spin-off show Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. In the live-action realm, Warburton has appeared in NewsRadio, Seinfeld, Scream 3, and Men in Black II.
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