I talked yesterday about my love for Disney+ and it has really gotten me thinking about one of my all-time dreams, which is to do the voice for a Disney character. Watching many of these animated features, there are several people that are in many of the features doing various characters/voices, some doing multiple duties in the same feature. A few of those who come to mind are J. Pat O’Malley, Phil Harris, Verna Felton, Bill Thompson, Eva Gabor and the king of Disney voices, Sterling Holloway.
There are others, of course, but these are the ones that come to my mind.
J. Pat O’Malley was the Cockney coster in the “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” sequence in Mary Poppins; Cyril Proudbottom, Winkie, and a policeman in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad; Colonel Hathi and the vulture Buzzie in The Jungle Book; all the non-Alice character voices in “The Walrus and the Carpenter” segment of Alice in Wonderland, including Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Walrus, the Carpenter, and Mother Oyster. O’Malley also provided the voice of Br’er Fox in Song of the South. Actor Dick Van Dyke has said that O’Malley was his dialect coach on Mary Poppins, attributing his infamous Cockney accent in that film to O’Malley.
Phil Harris played Baloo in The Jungle Book, Thomas O’Malley in The Aristocats, and Little John in Robin Hood.
Verna Felton was the Elephant Matriarch, Mrs. Jumbo and Dumbo’s Mother in Dumbo. She was the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella and the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland. In Lady and the Tramp, she was Aunt Sarah. In Sleeping Beauty she wasFlora the Red Fairy and Queen Leah. In The Jungle Book, she was Winifred the Elephant (which was her last role, live or animated).
Bill Thompson was, in addition to doing the voice for Droopy, was the White Rabbit and the Dodo in Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Smee and the other pirates in Peter Pan and King Hubert in Sleeping Beauty. In Lady and the Tramp, he was heard in no less than five dialect parts of different characters.
Eva Gabor was “Duchess” in The Aristocats and Miss Bianca in The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under.
Sterling Holloway was Mr. Stork in Dumbo, adult Flower in Bambi, the narrator of the Antarctic penguin sequence in The Three Caballeros, the narrator in the Peter and the Wolf sequence of Make Mine Music, the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, Kaa the snake in The Jungle Book, and Roquefort in The Aristocats. He is perhaps best remembered, however as the voice of Winnie the Pooh in the Winnie the Pooh featurettes through 1977.
Let’s not forget Pinto Colvig as Goofy, Grumpy and Pluto; Clarence Nash as Donald Duck and the man, Walt Disney himself, as the original voice of Mickey Mouse.
I have always been fascinated with voices, the actors who perform the characters and the whole idea of doing them myself. I really want to do animated voice-overs and the dream of all dreams would be to do a Disney animated picture.
Okay, back to Peter Pan.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“I warn you, child… if I lose my temper, you lose your head! Understand?” – Queen of Hearts