The Disney name is made on the voices of actresses whose faces are unknown by most. If you’ve ever wondered who voiced your favorite Disney princess, here are your answers.
Ilene Woods auditioned the film’s popular songs “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Make” and “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” and beat out over 300 other hopefuls role of Cinderella. Outside the movie, she was a United Cerebral Palsy spokeswoman. She acted in other shows through the early 2000s and was awarded a Disney Legend award before she died in 2010.
Princess Jasmine from Aladdin has two voice actresses. One for speaking roles, and the other for singing. First up is Linda Larkin, whose voice was originally deemed too high. But she is heard in the original Aladdin and the subsequent films, but her voice is a little lowered. She has also voiced in the video game “Kingdom Hearts,” Disney On Ice, Runaway Bride, Law, and Order: Criminal Intent.
Jasmine’s singing voice is Lea Salonga, a Filipina singer, who also happens to be a musical theatre veteran. She sang as Jasmine in Aladdin and as Mulan in the Mulan film. Outside of that role, she was a judge on The Voice of the Philippines and is a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Both actresses were honored as Disney Legends in 2011.
In many Disney films, Jodi Benson’s voice was heard from Flubber, A Christmas Carol, Enchanted, and Barbie in Toy Story 2,3 and 4. She has also worked on plenty of Broadway productions outside of being The Little Mermaid star continues to work with the Disney company.
The Powhatan tribe princess Pocahontas also has two voice actors. The first is Irene Bedard, who has a track record for bringing many Native American characters to life. This includes Suzy Song in Smoke Signals, Pocahontas I, and Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World. The animated character was even modeled after the actress physically. Some say this was because she was doing so well on the voice work and others say because she is so attractive. After all, she had landed on one of Peoples'” 50 Most Beautiful People” list.
Pocahontas’ singing voice was Judy Kuhn, a four-time Tony Award nominee. Her voice is the one that performs the song, “Colors of the wind.” She spends her time working on Broadway, including Helen Bechdel in the 2015 performance of Fun Home.
Disney’s Sleeping Beauty starred Mary Costa as the princess Aurora. After the Disney movie, she was an opera performer, working with some of the best like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby up into the 2000s. The Disney Legend award winner, honored in 1999, was also in The Big Caper, The Great Walk, and Titus Andronicus.
Paige O’Hara worked on Broadway before working with Disney. Her first role was in Beauty and the Beast as Belle. Over the multiple decades that Belle’s voice changed, O’Hara was replaced by Julie Nathanson. She continues to voice Belle for Disney Fine Art as well as professional appearances. In 2011, she was also awarded her Disney Legend award.
Ming-ne Wen earned the role of the speaking voice of Mulan after a successful career on screen. She performed in Batman, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, as well as video games in her diverse works.
Lea Salonga is the singing voice of the Mulan, as well.
Tiana from Disney’s 2009 The princess and the Frog movie set in New Orleans stars another Broadway star. Anika Noni Rose is best known for portraying Lorrell Robinson in Dreamgirls and the Broadway production of “Caroline, or Change.” She is an award-winning actress, including a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in 2014 and a Disney Legends award in 2011.
Perhaps the saddest Disney story even sadder than Bambi. Adriana Caselotti was a chorus girl at MGM in the mid-thirties. Before the movie, she signed a contract with them to do voice work. But in this contract, she gave up her right to ever perform in any other projects on film, television, or radio. Thus, when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became such a success, she could not do more work. However, she did walk away with a check of nearly $16,000 of today’s money- $970 at the time.
Mandy Moore, known for Princess Diaries, A Walk to Remember, her 1999 single “Candy,” and various albums, is also a voice actor. She voiced Rapunzel in 2010s Tangled. She performs the voice for both film and others. She worked for Disney on Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, as well, starring as Callie.
Kelly Macdonald is the voice of Princess Merida in 2012’s Brave. She was first seen on film in 1996’s Trainspotting, a movie about junkies. She was in almost 60 boardwalk Empire and movies Finding Neverland, Harry Potter, and Nanny McPhee.
Kristen Bell is Anna, sister to Elsa in Frozen. The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star, married to Dax Shepard, has had a fair share of a career. She’s voiced in Assassin’s Creed, Zootopia, starred on The Good Place, The Boss, and Bad Moms.