42 celebrities you probably didn't realize voiced Disney characters

42 celebrities you probably didn't realize voiced Disney characters
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Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff next to his character from "Frozen." Gary Gershoff/Getty; Disney
  • Throughout the years, many celebrities have voiced Disney characters.

  • Some notable actors have included Oprah Winfrey, Danny Devito, Christian Bale, and Whoopi Goldberg.

  • More recent additions have included Shakira, Angela Bassett, and Sandrah Oh.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Demi Moore lent her voice to Esmeralda in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

demi moore esmerelda
Demi Moore is not Esmeralda's singing voice. Getty/Vivien Killilea/Disney

Even if you're a fan of the film you may not know that Esmeralda was voiced by none other than Moore. But Moore didn't record Esmeralda's singing voice. That was taken care of by Heidi Mollenhauer.

"Treasure Planet"'s Jim Hopkins is voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

goron levitt treasure planet
There were other celebrity voices in the film. Getty/Michael Buckner/Disney

Before he starred in "Inception" and "Looper", Gordon-Levitt lent his voice to Jim Hopkins in "Treasure Planet."

Of course, he wasn't the only star to voice a character in this underrated Disney film. The voices of Laurie Metcalf, Martin Short, and Emma Thompson are all in the space-centric animated movie.

Oprah Winfrey's voice was in "The Princess and the Frog."

oprah princess and the frog
Her voice is easily recognizable. Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris/Disney

You can't miss Winfrey's signature vocals as Princess Tiana's hardworking mom Eudora in Disney's "The Princess and the Frog,"

Danny DeVito voiced Phil in "Hercules."

danny devito hercules
Danny DeVito initially wasn't going to audition for the role. Getty/Frederick M. Brown/Disney

DeVito lent his vocals to the centaur Phil in "Hercules."

Of course, this iconic voice casting almost never happened as DeVito initially decided not to audition for the voice of Phil.

The voice of Hercules was provided by Tate Donovan.

tate donovan hercules
Tate Donovan has been on a few popular shows. Getty/Nicholas Hunt/Disney

"Friends" actor Donovan was the voice of Hercules in the 1997 movie of the same name.

You've also probably seen him in other popular TV shows like "The OC" and "Damages." Donovan has voiced Hercules over two decades, in both the spinoff shows and the popular "Kingdom Hearts" video games.

Scott Weinger was cast as Aladdin in "Aladdin."

aladdin
You might recognize Scott Weinger from "Full House." Getty/Alberto E. Rodriguez/Disney

You might know Weinger best as DJ Tanner's boyfriend on "Full House," but did you know the '90s star was also the voice of Aladdin?

In addition to singing in the movie, Weinger also voices Aladdin in the "Aladdin" spin-off movies and TV series. Like Donovan, he voices his character in the "Kingdom Hearts" franchises as well.

Genie in "Aladdin" was voiced by the one and only Robin Williams.

genie robin
It's an iconic role. Disney

Although he didn't voice the Genie in the spin-off TV show or sequels, fans can hear the late actor's voice as Genie in "Disney's Math Quest with Aladdin" video game and a few select stints as Genie for various videos.

Jonathan Groff's iconic voice was put to good use in "Frozen."

Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff next to his character from "Frozen." Gary Gershoff/Getty; Disney

Groff is known for his role as the charming Jesse St. James on Fox's "Glee" and his comical portrayal of King George III on "Hamilton."

The Grammy-award-winning singer put his vocal cords to good use yet again as Kristoff on Disney's 2013 blockbuster "Frozen."

Though he didn't have any solo songs in the first film, "Frozen 2" gave Kristoff an entire ballad. Groff told Entertainment Weekly in 2019 that he felt this role was "empowering" and he loved that "Kristoff is a Disney leading man with a sensitive side."

Tarzan was voiced by the one and only Tony Goldwyn.

tarzan actor
But, he wasn't the voice in "Tarzan 2." Getty/Dia Dipasupil/Disney

Before he was the fictitious president of the United States on "Scandal," Goldwyn lent his voice to Tarzan in Disney's 1999 film of the same name.

Goldwyn was not involved in the voicing of Tarzan in "Tarzan 2."

Tarzan's love interest, Jane, was voiced by Minnie Driver.

jane minnie driver
Minnie Driver was not involved in sequels. Getty/David Buchan/Disney

Driver's recognizable voice was also in the movie "Tarzan."

Alongside Goldwyn, Driver lent her voice to the talented Jane, Tarzan's love interest. The "Good Will Hunting" actress was not involved in "Tarzan" sequels or spin-offs.

Terk in "Tarzan" was voiced by Rosie O'Donnell.

rosie odonell tarzan
Rosie O'Donnell voiced Terk. Getty/Mike Coppola/Disney

Rounding out the star-studded voice cast of "Tarzan" is O'Donnell.

O'Donnell voiced the boisterous Terk in the 1999 film. She was not involved in any subsequent "Tarzan"-related creations.

Linda Hunt lent her voice to Grandmother Willow in "Pocahontas."

linda hunt
Linda Hunt voiced a character in "Pocahontas." Getty/Mark Davis/Disney

The veteran star has voiced or acted as what seems like hundreds of characters since the 1970s. In 1995,

Hunt lent her unique voice to Grandmother Willow in "Pocahontas" and again in 1998's "Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World."

Christian Bale voiced Thomas in "Pocahontas."

christian bale pochaonts
Christian Bale voiced Thomas. Getty/Vince Bucci/Disney

A few years after his "Newsies" debut, Christian Bale starred in his second Disney film, "Pocahontas", as the voice of Thomas.

A small role, you'd probably miss this celebrity cameo if you weren't paying attention.

Mel Gibson voiced John Smith in "Pocahontas."

mel gibson jogn smih
Mel Gibson didn't voice Smith in the sequel. Getty/Kevin Winter/Disney

Former A-lister and controversial celebrity Gibson was also in Disney's "Pocahontas."

In the film, Gibson voices Pocahontas' love interest, John Smith. Gibson did not voice Smith in "Pocahontas 2", but his brother, Donal Gibson, did.

David Spade voiced the llama and human versions of Kuzco in "The Emperor's New Groove."

david spade kuzco
David Spade voiced Kuzco in "The Emperor's New Groove." Getty/Monica Schipper/Disney

Both Kuzco and the llama version of Kuzco in "The Emperor's New Groove" are voiced by the same comedian: Spade.

John Goodman's voice starred alongside David Spade's as Pacha in "The Emperor's New Groove."

john goodman empeoror
It was John Goodman's first Disney movie. Getty/Jemal Countess/Disney

The voice of reason and perhaps the sole reason Emperor Kuzco was transformed back into a human, Pacha was played by Goodman. This was the actor's first Disney movie.

Joaquin Phoenix voices Kenai in "Brother Bear."

big bear joaquin pheonzi
Joaquin Phoenix voiced Kenai. Getty/Matthias Nareyek/Disney

Three years after the release of "Gladiator," Hollywood star Phoenix would find himself in a lead role for Disney.

Voicing the Inuit hunter turn talking bear, Phoenix would bring his character Kenai to life in 2003's "Brother Bear." The was his first Disney film.

Billy Joel lent his unique voice to Dodger in "Oliver & Company."

bill joel oliver and company
Billy Joel sings in the movie, too. Getty/Michael Loccisano/Disney

Joel voices the too-cool street dog Dodger and sings one of his songs in the movie, too.

Meanwhile, Oliver in "Oliver & Company" was voiced by Joey Lawrence.

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Joey Lawrence voiced the orange kitten. Getty/Frederick M. Brown/Disney

Before he starred on "Melissa & Joey", Lawrence made a name for himself voicing the petite orange kitten Oliver in Disney's "Oliver & Company."

This was his first Disney movie, but he did voice Dirk Brock in Disney's TV spin-off of "The Emperor's New Groove" titled "The Emperor's New School."

Bette Midler was in "Oliver & Company" as well.

bette oliver
Bette Midler sang, too. Getty/Jason Meritt/Disney

Midler voiced posh poodle Georgette in "Oliver & Company" in 1988. This was her first Disney movie and viewers get to hear her sing a perfectly-suited song in the film.

Adult Simba in "The Lion King" was voiced by Matthew Broderick.

broderick simba
Matthew Broderick didn't sing in the movie. Getty/Michael Loccisano/Disney

Young Simba was voiced by "Home Improvement" actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the adult version was voiced by '80s star Broderick.

No, he doesn't sing in the movies. And, yes, he voices Simba in both "Lion King 2" and "Lion King 1 1/2."

Jeremy Irons lent his voice to Scar in "The Lion King."

jeremy scar
Jeremy Irons didn't sing. Getty/Alberto E. Rodriguez/Disney

Some might know him best as Brom in "Eragon," but before he was training dragon riders, Irons was the voice of Disney villain Scar in "The Lion King."

Sadly, Irons developed vocal problems while singing his characters famous "Be Prepared" number and Jim Cummings was asked to replace him on the song.

James Earl Jones voiced Mufasa in "The Lion King."

james earl jones mufasa
James Earl Jones voiced Mufasa. Getty/Michael Loccisano/Disney

What do Darth Vader and Mufasa have in common? They're both voiced by the same actor: Jones. Jones also voiced Mufasa in the 2019 "The Lion King" remake.

Whoopi Goldberg was also in "The Lion King."

whoopi goldberg lion king
Whoopi Goldberg voiced a hyena. Getty/Jamie McCarthy/Disney

Goldberg's Disney debut was in "The Lion King" where the famous actress voiced Shenzi the hyena. Her voice also appears in "The Lion King 1 1/2" as Scar's snarky hench-hyena.

Rounding out "The Lion King"'s star-studded cast is Rowan Atkinson as the voice of Zazu.

zazu
Rowan Atkinson didn't sing for Zazu, though. Getty/Eamonn M. McCormack/Disney

In his first Disney production, veteran actor Atkinson voiced the Mufasa loyalist Zazu.

But Atkinson did not sing as Zazu in the movie. That role was filled by Jeff Bennett.

Angela Lansbury voiced Mrs. Potts in "Beauty and the Beast."

mrs potts
Angela Lansbury sings one of the iconic songs from the film. Getty/Lisa Maree Williams/Disney

Lansbury was in "Beauty and the Beast." Voicing the motherly Mrs. Potts, Lansbury gifts the audience her rendition of "Tale as Old as Time."

Shakira played an antelope version of herself as Gazelle in "Zootopia."

Shakira in Zootopia
Shakira next to her character in "Zootopia." Focus on Sport/Getty; Disney

The "Hips Don't Lie" singer left her mark on the 2016 Disney film about a rabbit police officer and fox criminal.

Shakira played a character much like herself — a famous pop star dedicated to social justice and peace. She contributed the original single "Try Everything" to the movie soundtrack, and later wore an outfit similar to Gazelle at her Super Bowl halftime show performance.

Adding to the star-studded cast, Octavia Spencer voiced Mrs. Otterton in "Zootopia."

octavia spencer
Octavia Spencer next to her character from "Zootopia." Vera Anderson/Getty

The "Hidden Figures" actress made her animated film debut in "Zootopia." Her character — Mrs. Otterton, an anxious otter — turns to Judy Hopps to help with the mysterious disappearance of her husband.

Spencer told The Grio in 2016 that she was excited to work on a film her nieces and nephews could watch, considering most of her roles aren't "age-appropriate." She added that working on an animated movie was "difficult" but "fun."

She added, "As an actor, we are used to using our whole bodies to convey varying emotions in front of the camera, but with animation, it's one hundred percent your voice."

Idris Elba also lent his voice to Chief Bogo in "Zootopia."

Idris Elba arrives at the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" at Dolby Theatre.
Idris Elba next to his character from "Zootopia." Gregg DeGuire/Getty; Disney

The "Avengers: Age of Ultron" star switched things up to play the animated Chief Bogo — a burly buffalo police officer who doubts the talent of rabbit Judy Hopps.

This was Elba's first time playing an animated character, and told USA Today in 2016 that he "grabbed the part by the horns."

Michael J. Fox voiced Milo in "Atlantis: The Lost Empire."

michael j fox milo
Michael J. Fox wasn't involved in the sequel. Getty/Jason Merritt/Disney

"Back to the Future" star Fox took a break from time travel to search for the lost city of Atlantis.

Voicing the adventurer Milo in "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," Fox would continue to work with Disney as a voice actor in smaller roles. But, the actor was not involved in the "Atlantis" sequel.

Sterling K. Brown voiced Lieutenant Mattias in "Frozen 2."

Sterling K Brown
Sterling K. Brown next to his character from "Frozen." odd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty; Disney

Most people know Brown for his role as Randall on NBC's "This Is Us" or his appearance in "Black Panther," but many would be surprised to find that he also voiced a character in Disney's "Frozen 2."

Brown lent his voice to the character of Lieutenant Mattias and told Variety in a 2019 interview that having Black representation in the film was very important to him.

Daveed Diggs voiced rapper Paul in "Soul."

Daveed Digs.
Daveed Digs next to his character from "Soul." Mat Hayward/Getty

Multi-talented actor and "Hamilton" thespian Diggs played a former rapper in "Soul." Paul is Joe's neighborhood nemesis who has flashbacks of being in a rap group.

Diggs contributed to the soundtrack of the film with the original "Rappin Ced" and consulted on the show. Diggs told The Guardian in 2020, "They wanted feedback on cultural relevancy from a ton of black folks," adding, "Everybody means well, but there's so much unconscious bias happening."

Angela Bassett loved playing "Dorothea Williams" in "Soul."

Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett next to her character from "Soul." Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty; Disney

The "Black Panther" star voiced the suave jazz saxophonist Dorothea Williams in "Soul."

She told NPR in 2020 that she enjoyed her role because it reminded her of female Black musicians she admired, and she especially enjoyed playing a saxophonist.

She added that voice acting was more difficult than she was used to, adding "I obsess about it being a little harder because that's - like, right now, all you have is my voice. And you don't have the other distractions, you know, the physicality, the facial expressions, you know, the others. You know, it's just your voice."

Questlove did more than voice Curly in "Soul."

Questlove.
Questlove next to his character from "Soul." Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty; Disney

Not only did Questlove voice Joe's former student "Curly" on "Soul," he also acted as a cultural consultant alongside Quincy Jones and Diggs. He also helped creators choose the film's music.

In a 2020 interview with ABC, he said, "They told me who the characters were and I asked every question under the sun about that character, and I figured out what they would listen to."

Who could forget Eddie Murphy voiced Mushu in "Mulan."

eddie murphy mushu
Eddie Murphy voiced a character in "Mulan." Getty/Pascal Le Segretain/Disney

Before he was Donkey in Universal Studios' "Shrek," Murphy used his voice acting skills to bring Mushu alive in "Mulan."

With hilarious one-liners and a natural ability to bring a bit of comedy into an otherwise darker Disney film, Murphy nailed it.

Awkwafina recorded her voice as Sisu in "Raya and the Last Dragon" during the pandemic.

Awkwafina
Awkwafina next to her character from "Raya and the Last Dragon." Tibrina Hobson/Getty; Disney

The "Crazy Rich Asians" star and comedian recorded the 2021 animated action-adventure from a makeshift home-recording studio.

She told USA Today in 2021 that she felt like a big shot when Disney sent her an audio-production tent — and even asked to keep it.

Awkwafina voiced Sisu — a goofy, larger-than-life dragon who accompanies Raya on an adventure to restore a dragon gem in Disney's first film with a Southeast Asian princess. She told Stylecaster in 2020 that she was drawn to the role because she "definitely relate[s] to both Raya and Sisu."

Sandra Oh on Raya voiced the regal Virana in "Raya."

: Sandra Oh poses backstage during the 33nd Annual Tibet House US Benefit
Sandra Oh next to her character Virana. Noam Galai/Getty; Disney

The ABC "Grey's Anatomy" star played Virana, Namaari's mother and poised chieftess of Fang.

At the first global press conference for Disney's "Raya" in 2021, Oh said she was "extremely moved by the theme of the story, which, ultimately, is about trust and how I am struggling with that."

The Tail Chief was voiced by Patti Harrison in "Raya."

Patti Harrison
Patti Harrison next to her character from "Raya and the Last Dragon." Slaven Vlasic/Getty; Disney

Harrison is known for writing for Netflix's "Big Mouth" and appearing on Comedy Central's "Broad City."

The star of Hulu's "Shrill" and comedian joined the cast of "Raya" and is the first-known trans actor to voice a Disney animated character.

The Tail Chief is the leader of her land and is on-screen for only a few moments.

Chief Benja was played by Daniel Dae Kim in "Raya."

Daniel Dae Kim.
Daniel Dae Kim next to his character from "Raya and the Last Dragon." Mat Hayward/Getty; Disney

Kim is known for his many on-screen roles, including ABC's "Lost," CBS's "Hawaii Five-0," and most recently, ABC's "The Good Doctor."

However, Kim took to the animated screen with his role as Chief Benja in "Raya." Kim played Chief Benja, ruler of the Heart tribe and father of Raya.

He told Young Post in 2021 that his character was especially important to have in the wake of anti-Asian hate crimes, saying "My character plays a leader of a land that has become factionalised. His mission is to bring unity to all of the lands," and added that this film "should have happened a long time ago."

Maya Rudolph voiced Daniela in the Disney film, "Luca."

Maya Rudloph in "Luca."
Maya Rudolph next to her character in "Luca." Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

The "SNL" comedian played Luca's mother — who is also a sea monster — in the 2021 animated adventure that takes place on the Italian Riviera.

In a 2021 interview with The Movie Times, she said she admired the way her character was ready to roll up her sleeves in any way to protect her son. She added, "She's a fiercely loving protective mother."

Jim Gaffigan voiced Lorenzo in "Luca."

Jim Gaffigan - Luca
Jim Gaffigan next to his character in "Luca." Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty; Disney

The actor, comedian, and producer played Luca's sea-monster father in "Luca."

In a 2021 interview with Comic Book, Gaffigan said he based the sometimes absent-minded character off of his own parenting experience.

"I can understand being a parent that's distracted by has the best intentions. There's a difference between being a disinterested parent and somebody who's just struggling with trying to do the right thing," he said. "I so identify with that because I'm a dad, but I don't know know what I'm doing."

"Luca" character Ugo Paguro is voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen.

Sacha Baron Cohen.
Sacha Baron Cohen next to his character in "Luca." Steve Granitz/Getty; Disney

The "Borat" star played Luca's cooky, yet lovable, anglerfish uncle who lives in the deep, deep part of the ocean.

"Luca" writer Mike Jones told Slate in 2021 that Uncle Ugo is a "cautionary tale" of a character who left the ocean and "then got in a bunch of trouble."

He added, "Sacha Baron Cohen gave Ugo exactly what Ugo needed, which is that wonderful, loopy, almost drunk from oxygen nature."

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