8 People Who Voiced Disney Characters You Loved Who You've Totally Forgotten About
My mother may have given birth to me, but I think even she'd agree that I was actually raised by Disney. I spent hours in front of the television screen, singing along to Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and really, anything else I could get my parents to shove into the VCR player. So, I suppose you can say that the first real celebrities I looked up to were the actors who voiced Disney animated characters. I was enthralled with them then, and to this day, I still think of them as sort of magical.
Most of those Disney voiceover greats were people of huge talent. Some were actors, while others just did extensive voiceover work, and a few did some sort of a combination of the two. Yet no matter what their Hollywood background was, all of them were consummate professionals who had skills that could put most triple threats to shame.
For whatever reason, some of these beloved Disney voice actors, who were responsible for some of the most beloved and recognized cartoon characters of all time, have faded into obscurity over the years. I think it's time we shine a light on them once again, though — here are eight people behind your beloved characters who you may have forgotten about as the years have gone by.
1. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Hello? This dude was Young Simba, the lion cub we all aspired to be. His iteration of the Lion King protagonist was impressive not just for the emotional depth he displayed, but because of his age, too. When the Lion King premiered in 1994, Thomas was only 12 years old. In recent years, the actor hasn't spent as much time in the spotlight as he did when he was a kid (as you may recall, he was a star of Home Improvement and something of a teen idol). Despite a recurring role on Tim Allen's Last Man Standing, where he also directed three episodes, Thomas's last acting stint was in a short film called The Extra in 2006. According to People, after studying at Columbia, Harvard, and St. Andrews University, Thomas is back in Los Angeles and working on directing and screenwriting.
2. Paige O'Hara
O'Hara played Belle, Beauty and the Beast's incomparable heroine. She gave life to a Belle that was smart, witty, headstrong, intuitive and caring — basically everything I wanted and still aspire to be. OK, I'll stop my gushing. Anyway, the golden-voiced actor last starred on-screen in Enchanted as Angela in 2007. She did some stage work, however, performing in Menopause: The Musical in Las Vegas, and she may soon be making a small screen comeback in the form of Yo Gabba Gabba — which means that she's going to delight longtime Beauty and the Beast fans and their potential children. I feel warm and fuzzy all over.
3. Robby Benson
He was The Beast to O'Hara's Belle. IMDB lists his last voiceover work as being in 2013, but sometimes, obscurity isn't all bad. Not everyone craves the limelight. Benson's been doing just fine for himself, executive producing and flexing his skills all over the biz.
4. Judy Kuhn
Kuhn, or as Broadway.com likens her, "Pocahontas's singing voice," may have technically faded into obscurity on-screen wise, but forgotten she is not. In 2015, Kuhn was nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in the hit Broadway show, Fun Home. You know, no big deal or anything.
5. Samuel E. Wright
Perhaps my most favorite Disney character besides Belle, Sebastian in The Little Mermaid was voiced by Wright. But before and after he gave life to our little crustacean pal, Wright was a bonafide Broadway star. Broadwayshowbiz.com did an interview with him in 2014, and you can check it out below to see what he's up to now.
6. Alex D. Linz
According to IMDb, Young Tarzan last acted in 2007 in Choose Connor, but his disappearance from view was perhaps for the best reason. According to a 2012 article from Her Campus, Linz studied Science and Technology at UC Berkeley.
7. Erik von Detten
Sure, we all loved to hate Toy Story's, Sid, but you could not deny that von Detten was a total babe himself. I mean, did you see Brink! as a tween? Ironically, Sid was also the last role the actor lent his talents to, when he returned to the role back in 2010 for Toy Story 3. If you want to check out what he looks like currently, though, look no further than here.
8. Tom Hulce
Hulce played the kindhearted underdog, Quasimodo, in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. His last acting job was in 2008 as Mr. Bowker in Jumper. Yet like many of these supposed public eye Houdinis, he's made a name for himself behind the scenes, too. According to IMDb, he's producing The Seagull , which is due out in 2016.
So, you see, just because you haven't heard from them doesn't mean they've gone away. People with this much talent don't just disappear.