Last night, among many other announcements made about the not-too-distant future of Walt Disney World, a little detail regarding the new Canada: Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 film was snuck in there that could be easily overlooked with all the excitement of the upcoming projects.
From the Disney Parks Blog: “And “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” in the Canada pavilion is an update to the previous “O Canada!” film with new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and new narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.”
Although I am a huge fan of Martin Short, and was quite vocal in my hopes he’d reprise his role in the Canada pavilion that he’s held since 2007, it was that last blurb (“new narration by…Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy”) that definitely got my attention. Sure we heard more about the Halcyon and a Runaway Railway, but this news is what had me talking this morning around the proverbial water cooler, but as I shared my excitement with others, I got asked a recurring question: “Who?” I repeated the names as if my listener truly meant “what?” or “pardon? I didn’t quite catch that.” I would erupt, “You know who these people are! I promise you!” AND THAT is why I’m here today.
Catherine O’Hara, born in Toronto, Ontario has a miles-long list of credits that stem from her early days at SCTV. You’ll recognize her voice when you hear it in Canada: Far and Wide as it will definitely sound like something you’ve already heard.
O’Hara lent her voice to Mrs. Frankenstein in Frankenweenie (as well as “Weird Girl” and the Gym Teacher), Tina the Alien mom in Chicken Little, and other vocal performances in Brother Bear 2 and Sofia the First. Most notably, she can be heard in Tim Burton’s 1993 holiday phenomenon, The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was in this film she took on the role of one of three rambunctious children, Shock, as they kidnap the Sandy Claws. She also took on the role of the creation of Dr. Finkelstein, the one pining for the attention of Halloweentown’s Pumpkin King, Sally.
She also worked on an earlier Tim Burton project, but you definitely didn’t hear her voice as it was possessed by playfully vengeful ghosts in (arguably) one of the most famous scenes ever put to film, as she portrayed Delia in Beetlejuice.
However, it’s this time of year in particular that I’m sure she’ll appear on any one of your devices if you pop in a little-known holiday classic (or its sequel) from 20th Century Fox called “Home Alone.” She plays Kate, the concerned and albeit forgetful mother of their son…what was his name again?
I honestly hope you heard a shrieking “KEVIN!” in your head.
Eugene Levy was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and also appeared on SCTV. Appearing in comedies throughout his career, he is known mostly for playing supporting parts or one part of large ensemble pieces. He has appeared on The Drew Carey Show, in 20th Century Fox’s Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and as Mr. Habib in Father of the Bride 2.
He had one heck of a week in 1984’s Splash as Dr. Walter Kornbluth, who after numerous attempts proved he wasn’t crazy, and that mermaids were real.
It was 2001’s Miramax release, Serendipity, that saw Levy inhabit the pushy Bloomingdales salesman trying to meet his monthly sales quota in one man’s search for “Ms. Carbon Copy” throughout New York.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that he is probably most recognized (at least, with those from a certain generation) as Jim’s dad, Mr. Levenstein from the late 90’s teen comedy, American Pie.
This wasn’t his first time playing a father, nor was it his last, as he and wife Jenny laid out shells all over the kelp forest outside the Marine Life Institute as he lent his voice to Dory’s father, Charlie, in Pixar’s Finding Dory.
Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara have appeared on screen together numerous times, especially in the mostly-improvised films by director Christopher Guest, and in the show Schitt’s Creek, created by Levy and his son, Daniel. The two have amazing chemistry together, and I’m sure that will be evident when Canada: Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 opens up at Epcot on January 17th, 2019.
I told you you’d know who they are!