Disney has, especially more recently, attained many celebrities who have done voice work for their 52 Disney Classics. This list includes actors such as Zach Braff (Chicken Little), Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi (Tangled), John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It Ralph), John Travolta and Miley Cyrus (Bolt), and so on.
However here are a list of famous celebrities whom you may not have realised have worked on some Disney Classics.
1. Mel Gibson as John Smith (Pocahontas, 1995)
Yes, in 1995 while Mel Gibson was leading the Scottish in their fight for independence in Braveheart, he also lent his voice to Disney’s Pocahontas. Mr. Gibson plays the role of Captain John Smith, who travels to the ‘New World’ in search of gold where he meets native Pocahontas and they fall in love in typical Romeo and Juliet fashion.
Fun Fact: (that I myself just learned) Mel Gibson holds a dual Irish and American citizenship (his mother is Irish!). Something for us Irish to be proud of?
Probably Definitely not, sorry Mel!
2. Christian Bale as Thomas (Pocahontas, 1995)
We all know and love him for being Christopher Nolan’s Batman, but in 1995, fresh from his role as Laurie Lawrence in Little Women, Christian Bale voiced the role of Thomas in Disney’s Pocahontas. While Bale’s role is relatively small (lines wise) his character is very important (you’ll know why if you’ve seen the film).
Fun Fact: In 2005, Christian Bale went on to portray John Rolfe in The New World, a film depicting the relationship between John Smith and Pocahontas.
3. Billy Connolly as Ben (Pocahontas, 1995)
Yes, yet another celebrity in Pocahontas, what can I say, it was a good cast.
Billy Connolly, best known for his comedic work also had a small role in Disney’s Pocahontas, voicing the role of Ben.
4. Angela Lansbury as Mrs Potts (Beauty and the Beast, 1991)
Not too sure whether this is common knowledge or not, but Ms. Angela Lansbury, perhaps best known for her television series Murder, She Wrote, voiced the ever lovable Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Angela Lansbury actually sung the titular song ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as part of her role as Mrs. Potts. which went on to win some big awards including the Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media.
5. Hayden Panettiere as Suri (Dinosaur, 2000)
Back when she was only 11 years of age, Hayden Panettiere, most famous for her role in Heroes, voiced the role of Suri in Disney’s Dinosaur.
Dinosaur was the first ever computer-animated feature film in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series.
6. Demi Moore as Esmerelda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1996)
Demi Moore plays a care-free gypsy girl named Esmerelda in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In the film, Esmerelda seeks justice and for her people and all of the outcasts in what is one of my favourite songs from the movie, ‘God Help The Outcasts’. Demi Moore however does not provide the singing voice of Esmerelda in this film.
7. Tom Jones as the Theme Song Guy (The Emperor’s New Groove, 2000)
Ok, so I have never actually seen this movie, so when I read the cast list and saw that Tom Jones was in it…not gonna lie…I was shocked! (And also highly amused). Welsh singer Tom Jones, who is currenly a judge on the UK’s version of The Voice, is not traditionally known for his acting roles, and while I assume that this is not a very substantial role, I have a feeling that when I eventually get the chance to watch this movie, I will love this character.
8. Michael Clarke Duncan as Tug (Brother Bear, 2003)
The late, great Michael Clarke Duncan voiced the role of Tug, a wise old grizzly bear in Disney’s 44th animated classic, Brother Bear. Michael Clarke Duncan will be remembered forever for his breakout role in the 1999 classic The Green Mile, and I personally will always remember him for his role in Armageddon whose character was coincidentally nicknamed ‘Bear’.
9. Dame Judi Dench as Mrs. Calloway (Home on the Range, 2004)
This is why I love Disney. Taking someone who is elegant and poise and not to forget a dame, Judi Dench, and turning her into a cow!
Ms. Dench actually has quite a large role in this animated classic.
10. Tom Selleck as Cornelius (Meet The Robinsons, 2007)
Disney’s Meet The Robinsons is about a young boy named Lewis, an aspiring inventor, who meets a young boy names Wilbur who claims is from the future. Together they travel to the future where Lewis meets Wilbur’s family (except for his father Cornelius). Towards the end of the film, Lewis finally meets Cornelius (enter Tom Selleck) who SPOILER ALERTturns out to be a grown-up version of Lewis himself (Disney meets Inception anyone?!)
11. Oprah as Eudora (Princess and the Frog, 2009)
Okay, I have seen this movie several times without realising that Oprah does indeed play Eudora, Princess Tiana’s loving and caring mother. I’ll just leave that one to sink in…
12. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jim Hawkins (Treasure Planet, 2002)
I am a huge Joseph Gordon-Levitt fan, and was very excited when I found out that he voiced the protagonist, Jim Hawkins, in Disney’s Treasure Planet (Not to be confused with Treasure Island, the novel in which this film was based on).
Gordon-Levitt stated that he was attracted to the role because “it’s a Disney animated movie and Disney animated movies are in a class by themselves,” and that “to be part of that tradition is unbelievable to me”.
13. Sir Patrick Stewart as Mr. Wollensworth (Chicken Little, 2005)
I certainly saved the best ’til last, didn’t I? In what I suspect will be the most surprising actor to appear on this list, Sir Patrick Stewart did infact voice the role of Mr. Wollensworth in Disney’s Chicken Little.
Fun Fact: Sir Patrick Stewart was considered for the voice role of Gov. Ratcliffe in Disney’s Pocahontas.
Well, in the words of Porky Pig, that’s all folks!
I hope you have enjoyed this list of actors behind the voices of Disney characters, and hopefully learned a piece of pointless knowledge!