I saw the delightful Frozen yesterday and noticed something: Idina Menzel‘s singing voice stands out so much that you feel like you’ve been transported to the Hollywood Bowl midway through the movie. For me, this celebrity quotient adds to how great a Disney animated adventure can be. That brings us to today’s topic: the 10 best celebrity voiceovers in Disney films. Draw up your personal list beforehand; this one got hard for me and I needed to switch up my order several times. I only ended up including the bare necessities. Onward!
10. Ellen DeGeneres in Finding Nemo
Dory is exactly who don’t want to meet when you lose track of your spawn. She’s flighty, annoying, chipper and not incredibly helpful thanks to her short-term memory loss. “It runs in my family. Well, at least I think it does.” But Ellen makes that character so lovable thanks to her droll, worried tone. Here’s hoping she can keep up the charisma in 2016′s Finding Dory.
9. Bob Newhart in The Rescuers
God, The Rescuers. Remember when Disney could release a huge blockbuster starring the voices of Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor? Sounds more like an episode of Password Plus than a runaway hit, but nonetheless, Newhart’s stutters and meek sincerity are perfect fits for Bernard, the most adorable animated mouse of all time (and I don’t care what Mickey, Jerry, or Staurt Little have to say). This remains a very rewatchable Disney movie, one that appeals to viewers with classier taste and button-down minds.
8. Peggy Lee in Lady and the Tramp
As the voices of Darling, the Siamese cats Si and AM, and the Lhasa Apso Peg (Is that all there is?), Peggy Lee originated Eddie Murphy‘s shtick of playing multiple characters with Lady and the Tramp. Oh, her magnificent voice and can’t-help-it sultriness! Love her slightly mischievous tone as the squawky cats. An unforgettable and one-of-a-kind performance from a woman who, let’s not forget, was an also an Oscar-nominated actress. (I remembered watching the above clip from when I was a kid and dug it out for you. You’re welcome.)
7. Tom Hanks in Toy Story
Woody is an affable, sensitive type of toy chest sheriff, and Tom Hanks’ aw-shucks patois brought those qualities to astonishing life. I even love how Tom Hanks’ performance makes Woody unlikable at times — especially when he’s indignant or overly mad or cynical. It’s a slyly complicated role, and for that he makes it on this list ahead of his costars Don Rickles, Tim Allen, and the immortal Annie Potts.
6. Billy Crystal in Monsters Inc
I always thought Monsters Inc already achieved a poetic level of greatness thanks to its climactic scene featuring tons and tons of bedroom doors on a monstrous circuit, but its other fabulous attribute is its voice performances, particularly Billy Crystal as schlubby, lovable Mike Wazowski. Sure, it’s not exactly a stretch for Crystal, but he delivers with such conversational ease and punchy timing. It feels like a romcom performance snuck its way into a dynamite adventure, and I love that about it