CATEGORIES Action, Animation, Comedy, New Releases, Disney, Fandom, Remakes and Sequels, Movie News, New Releases, CinematicalHave you ever heard a voice in an animated film and then spent the rest of the movie trying to figure out the name of the actor? It happened to me the other night when I saw Toy Story 3, with not one, but two actors! Not only was it embarrassing, it drove me nuts, especially since they're actors whose work I've always enjoyed. (Don't worry: no spoilers here for a wonderful, warm, clever, still character-based action / comedy.)
Even without perusing the cast list, the lead actors are familiar: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn, and Joan Cusack. While I feel strongly that cartoons don't need celebrity voices anymore, especially those "stars" cast more for their name recognition than their acting ability, Pixar has avoided this trap for the most part. Sure, Tom Hanks is a huge movie star, but he sounds like Woody, an old-time cowboy. Tim Allen is not the up-and-coming star he was in 1995, but he's got the macho bluster down pat, perfect for the supremely confident Buzz Lightyear. Don Rickles is, arguably, the sole example in the three movies where the actor's persona takes precedence over the character.
Toy Story 3 features stellar voice work, again, and showcases actors whose voices bring the characters to life, even in smaller roles: Jodi Benson (Ariel in The Little Mermaid) as the helium-voiced Barbie, Teddy Newton as the mysterious Chatter Telephone and Blake Clark as Slinky Dog (originally played by the late Jim Varney). But I had to look up two or three to figure out who played who. What about you? Have you ever been driven to distraction because you heard a voice in a movie that you couldn't place?