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Toon Talk Special: The 101 Greatest Disney Voice Artists - Part 2 of 2
Page 1 of 9

by Kirby C. Holt (archives)
July 6, 2001
In a special edition of Toon Talk, Kirby looks at the voice actors behind the memorable chacters. Part 2 of 2.

The 101 Greatest
Disney Voice Artists
Part Two of Two
If you missed part one, it's available here

"It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you here today. And now, we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair, as Toon Talk proudly presents: Part Two of The 101 Greatest Disney Voice Artists!"

Show Stoppers
These are the guys that make you sit up in your seat, tap your toes and sing along ...

Jerry Orbach

A Broadway veteran (42nd Street, Chicago) returning to his musical theater roots, Orbach obviously relished his role as the debonair candlestick Lumiere in Beauty & the Beast, whether romancing a feather duster or crooning "Be Our Guest", which he performed live as a nominated song in the 1991 Academy Awards.

Orbach was back as Lumiere in Beauty & the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas, Belle's Magical World and House of Mouse and will be heard singing the revived "Human Again" number in next year's IMAX release of Beauty & the Beast. He also voiced the villainous Sa'Luk in Aladdin & the King of Thieves.

Paul Kandel

kandel.JPG (19308 bytes)
(c) Disney

As Clopin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame's gypsy narrator, Kandel's soaring vocals in the opening song "The Bells of Notre Dame" immediately set the dramatic tone for this film, letting you know that this ain't no "once upon a time" story. Add to that his joyous irreverence with "Topsy Turvy" and "The Court of Miracles", and you'll see why he is Notre Dame's version of the Emcee from Cabaret.

Kandel was also one of the Forty Thieves in Aladdin & the King of Thieves.

Samuel E. Wright

Wright.jpg (10906 bytes)
Jodi Benson and Samuel E. Wright
(c) Disney

A calypso singing crab named Sebastian was Wright's character in The Little Mermaid, and it turned into a career for him. In addition to singing the Academy Award-winning "Under the Sea" and the Academy Award-nominated "Kiss the Girl", Wright went on to record two Sebastian albums and returned as the lovable crustacean in The Little Mermaid television series and the video sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea.

He can also be heard in the series Marsupilami and as the menacing Kron in Dinosaur, and was nominated for a Tony Award for originating the role of Mufasa in the Broadway version of The Lion King.

Robin Williams

williams.jpg (6579 bytes) Williams2-Bicen.JPG (5433 bytes)
(left) Genie - (c) Disney
(right) Robin Williams from Bicentennial Man (c) Touchstone/Columbia

This man needs no introduction. As the wacky and wonderful Genie of the Lamp in Aladdin and Aladdin & the King of Thieves, Williams utilized every weapon in his comedic arsenal, leaving the animators racing to keep of with him. And he had not one but two production numbers, "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali", two of the late Howard Ashman's final compositions.

Williams was also the voice of the Timekeeper in that Tomorrowland attraction at The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, delivering my personal favorite one-liner: "There goes Suzanne Summers pulled by a blender fish ... "

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