Whether two or forty-two, a Disney fanatic, can't help but sing along when 'I Just Can't Wait To Be King' comes on. There are a handful of songs that could be labeled as “iconic” Disney songs given that they remain permanently engrained into our minds, despite the number of years that have gone by. Singers and voice actors from Idina Menzel (Elsa in Frozen) to Jodi Benson (Ariel in The Little Mermaid) are generally the culprits behind these catchy songs, as they have lent their voice to some of today's most legendary Disney characters.
However, it's amazing to see just how many people contributed to the voices of famous Disney characters. Some of those who are remembered as the voice behind Disney princesses or heroes didn’t even actually sing the iconic songs that their characters are known for. There is a sea of actors who only committed to voicing these Disney characters, with the theatrical singing being handed to someone entirely different.
Want to know who said it and who sang it? Check out these 10 Disney stars who didn’t sing their iconic songs.
Linda Larkin is idolized for providing the soft, sweet voice of the beloved Princess Jasmine in the 1992 film, Aladdin. Her character only contributes to one song during the film; the iconic duet between Jasmine and Aladdin in “A Whole New World.”
Well, it may surprise you that Larkin’s beautiful voice acting was not the one the providing the singing voice for Jasmine in the song we all remember. Instead, Jasmine’s duet was performed by Lea Salonga. Salonga was offered the role as the singing voice of Jasmine after she performed in Miss Saigon. She has since lent her voice as Jasmine throughout the years for TV series or short Disney princess videos.
Acclaimed actor, Matthew Broderick, made his way into the Disney voice acting scene by portraying the voice of adult Simba in The Lion King. “Hakuna Matata” and “ Can You Feel The Love Tonight” are the only two songs that adult Simba doles out a tune. And while his lines are short and simple, Broderick didn’t actually perform them himself.
The singing voice for grown-up Simba was performed by a man named Joseph Williams, who has an uncredited singing voice in the film. Williams’ musical talent is often most credited to arrangements in films such as Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and Pitch Perfect.
Ming-Na Wen is the talented voice actress behind Disney’s infamous Mulan. She has provided the voice of this strong female lead from the original 1998 film all the way until her recent reprisal as Mulan in Ralph Breaks the Internet. However, classic songs such as “Reflection” were performed by none other than Lea Salonga.
That’s right — Salonga holds the title of being the singing voice behind two title Disney characters. She continued to contribute as Mulan in Mulan 2, the TV series Sofia the First, and in various other TV spotlights.
A version of “Reflection” is also recorded by pop artist, Christina Aguilera, which is played during the end credits in the film.
Josh Keaton holds the prized title of contributing his voice to that of young Hercules in the 1997 titled film. Alongside Tate Donovan who voices an older Hercules, who would have thought there would be a third contributor for this one character?
Well in fact — there was. Roger Bart is the singing voice behind young Hercules for the beautiful ballad, “Go the Distance”. Bart is a seasoned actor who is best known for his roles in The Producers and American Gangster.
“Colors of the Wind” written by famous Disney vet, Alan Menken, was so well received in the 1995 animated film, Pocahontas, that it earned an Academy Award, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song. The story of Pocahontas was told with the voice talents of Irene Bedard, who holds the official title for the Disney princess. However, the award-winning songs were performed by Judy Kuhn.
Kuhn is a Broadway singer and actress. She also provided the voice to Pocahontas in Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World for the Disney princess song, "If You Can Dream".
While Full House star Scott Weinger has the glory of holding the official voicing talents of Aladdin, the street rat's singing voice is credited elsewhere. Brad Kane is listed as the uncredited singing voice of Aladdin. From the short “One Jump Ahead” to the beautiful duet with Jasmine in “A Whole New World,” the voice you’ve been humming along to is not that of Weinger, but Mr. Kane.
Kane has lent his voice to Aladdin a few times since the film’s debut including singing live for The 65th Annual Academy Awards alongside Lea Salonga.
BD Wong plays the love interest and warrior in the 1998 film Mulan. Wong is a highly experienced actor, having appeared as Dr. Wu in almost every Jurrasic Park film and has appeared in recent popular spots such as American Horror Story, Gotham, and even Bird Box. However, the catchy song, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” was performed by Donny Osmond.
This was the second time the famous Osmond brother auditioned to be the singing voice of a Disney character. He tried out to be the singing voice of Hercules but was ultimately turned down because his voice sounded too old. He was cast as the singing voice of Captain Li Shang for Mulan owing to the fact that his voice was similar to BD Wong’s voice.
“I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” was written by Tim Rice and musically cultivated by the celebrated Elton John. With legends at the helm of these tunes, it’s a no wonder this song can still get stuck in our heads more than twenty years after The Lion King debuted. The ‘90s teenage heartthrob, Johnathan Taylor Thomas, was cast as the voice of young Simba, though it’s not his voice you hear when you hear that delightful solo in “Hakuna Matata.”
The singing talents of young Simba is uncredited to a boy named Jason Weaver. Weaver has been acting sing 1990, with many of his acting credits going to TV movies. He most notably played a young Michael Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream and made guests appearances on Sister, Sister, Smart Guy, and more recently in Black-ish. Weaver also provided his voice as Simba in Mickey's PhilharMagic.
It may come as no surprise that iconic actress Demi Moore didn’t sing Emerelda’s booming melody in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The 1996 film cast Moore as the voicing talents behind the gypsy and love-interest to Quasimodo. The incredible single, “God Help the Outcasts” was performed by newbie voice actress, Heidi Mollenhauer.
Mollenhauer was a singer in a local night bar when she was discovered by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, who were looking for someone to provide the singing voice for Esmeralda. Since then, Mollenhauer has not appeared in a single movie, TV show, or theatre performance.
What’s this? Chris Sarandon didn’t sing the classic songs held notoriously by Disney’s iconic film The Nightmare Before Christmas? Sarandon is known for his acting roles in The Princess Bride, Child’s Play, and most recently in the television show, Orange Is The New Black. However, the tunes from this 1993 animated classic are perpetually stuck in our heads forever because of one man.
While Sarandon is indeed the voice behind our favorite ghoulish creature, the singing arrangements were performed by Danny Elfman. Elfman has composed numerous works for popular films such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Men in Black, and Corpse Bride. So hopefully now that you know, you’ll think of Mr. Elfman every time you hear “This is Halloween,” “Oogie Boogie’s Song,” or “Jack’s Obsession."