6 'Toy Story 2' Voice Actors You Forgot Were in the Film
When Toy Story 2 was released in cinemas, I was only 7 years old and living overseas with my family in Egypt. So unfortunately, it wasn’t until a few years later that I had the opportunity to experience the magic of this wonderful Toy Story sequel. Yet when I did finally get around to watching it, I was hooked for life. I was always that kid who believed her toys understood what she was saying whenever we sat down for a tea party and naturally really took Jessie’s story to heart. Her song about her former owner Emily still makes me reach for the tissues even today.
With the third movie’s release in 2010, and a Toy Story 4 on the way to theaters for a 2017 premiere, it seems hard to believe that Toy Story 2 came out so long ago and is celebrating its 15th anniversary on Nov. 24 this year. Time flies, but it’s nice to know that myself and so many others can reminisce on our childhood with movies like this one. And the best part about re-watching my second favorite film of the franchise? Revisiting the characters and the actors behind them.
Although everyone already knows that Tom Hanks voices Woody and Tim Allen voices Buzz Lightyear (at least I hope you all know that), I often have to remind myself who played the supporting roles. After all, they’re just as important as our favorite toy duo. So to help the rest of you remember as well, and to bring a little nostalgia into your life, here’s a list of some of Toy Story 2’s characters and the (surprising) people who voice them that you may not know about.
Jessie – Joan Cusack
For years I honestly had no idea that Cusack was rootinest tootinest yodeling cowgirl in this Pixar animated film. Although I can sometimes catch her voice now, the actress known for her work in Addams Family Values, School of Rock, and Shameless, really ad me fooled. Born in New York and raised in Illinois, Cusack proved she knows how to act with her awesome southern accent as Jessie.
Stinky Pete the Prospector – Kelsey Grammer
Grammer, or as I still like to call him, Frasier, isn’t as difficult to detect voice-wise like Cusack was, but even so I still imagined that Stinky Pete’s voice actor was actually as old as his character looked. Turns out I was so wrong.
Tour Guide Barbie – Jodi Benson
Aside from voicing, oh you know, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Benson also participated in Toy Story 2 as the friendly Barbie doll that shows the rest of Andy’s toys around Al’s Toy Barn when they attempt to search for Woody. Although Benson has voiced so many of our favorite characters like Thumbelina or the robot Weebo from Flubber, not many people recognize her name (unless you’re as obsessed with animated movies as I am).
Blue Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot – John Lasseter
If you’re not already familiar with Lasseter’s name, now is the time to be because he’s not only directing Toy Story 4, but also directed Toy Story and Toy Story 2. And between being a director and a producer, Lasseter has big names like Bugs Life, The Princess and the Frog, Wall-E, Cars (all of them), and Finding Nemo on his resume as well. And when he’s not busy doing so much behind the scenes, he of course helps out with voicing every now and then, because why not?
Andy’s Mom – Laurie Metcalf
Maybe it’s because we don’t see her too often in any of the movies, but Andy’s mom — or as some theories go, Emily, Jessie’s previous owner — isn’t a character I think about too often. Yet little did I know, Metcalf has actually starred in a number of films and TV shows like Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and The Big Bang Theory.
Slinky the Dog – Jim Varney
Most of Andy’s toys have such prominent and distinct voices that they’re so easy to match with the people behind them. From Wayne Knight as Al the Toy Collector (I mean anyone who’s seen Seinfeld or Space Jam knows that voice), to Estelle Harris as Mrs. Potato Head, Pixar chose actors we’d all immediately recognize. Yet Slinky might be the one toy that trips people up. From Ernest Goes to Camp and all of the many Ernest films that followed, to Roseanne, you’d probably know exactly who Varney is if you saw his face.