Sterling Holloway was an actor that Disney turned to time and time again. Those born in the first half of the 20th century may remember him as Uncle Oscar in the TV series the Adventures of Superman, however it is his voice that is best loved as that of Winnie the Pooh, Kaa in The Jungle Book, Mr Stork in Dumbo and the Cheshire Cat in Alice and Wonderland.
Eleanor Audley was a well-known face on classic American television and would regularly appear on shows such as Green Acres, I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show. She provided the voices for two of Disney's nastiest female characters, Lady Tremaine in Cinderella and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, and served as a physical model for both characters.
The character that is still, to this day, synonymous with Disney. Mickey Mouse’s high falsetto voice was provided by Walt Disney himself for almost 20 years. However by 1946 he had become to busy to continue – and rumour has it his smoker’s voice was no longer up to hitting the high notes – so the role passed to Jimmy MacDonald.
For a decade Walt Disney insisted that the identities of the actors and singers providing the voices for his characters were kept secret. He believed that if audiences knew who was providing the voice the magic would be ruined. As a result, the entire cast of Disney's first feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs went uncredited – along with the several other movies that followed. The title role was played by Adriana Caselotti, an 18-year-old Italian who was trained by her father to be an opera singer. Disney personally chose her for the role and she was placed under a contract which forbade her from appearing in film and other media. However, she continued to take part in publicity for Snow White until well into her later years.
LEFT: Like many early Disney stars, Cliff Edwards appeared in more than one animated film. His first was as Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio – a character best known for singing the song When You Wish Upon a Star – before later playing the crow in Dumbo. Outside of films Edwards was also a successful ukulele player who had a number one hit with a cover of Singin’ in the Rain in 1929.
RIGHT: Dickie Jones was just 13 years old when he starred as Pinocchio in 1940. Afterwards he had a reasonably successful acting career until he gave it all up in 1959 to go into real estate. He’s still alive today and has been known to appear at Disney promotional events.