Right now at the box office, movie goers cannot get enough of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, Zootopia. Garnering plenty of attention after its early release on February 10 in Belgium, critics collectively praised the movie for its animation, voice acting, direction and plot. It has become the highest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes, earning an almost perfect 100 percent score among critics. That alone is enough of an advertisement to make Zootopia earn a box office opening of $70 million. That is a tantamount achievement for the film, as it beatFrozen by $10 million.
Though Zootopia was an overall smash hit at the box office during its opening weekend, true Disney fans not only enjoyed the film, but tried to find the character voiced by a particular actor, Alan Tudyk. The reason is that Tudyk has become the the John Ratzenberger of Walt Disney Animation Studios films. With that fact in mind, should Alan Tudyk become a Disney Legend?
Alan Tudyk is perhaps best known for his role as Hoban “Wash” Washburne in the fan-favorite Firefly television series and its movie Serenity. He has also taken the roles of Alpha in Dollhouse, Tucker in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Dr. Noah Werner in the popular television series Suburgatory.
In Zootopia, viewers found out Alan Tudyk voiced a minor character, a weasel who is a small-time crook. His character first appears during the film’s first major chase scene in which Officer Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) is pursuing him after he scores a theft, as shown in the video below.
The weasel is an Easter egg on his own because his name is Duke Weaselton. This is an homage to the Duke of Weselton in Frozen, as reported by Guide Live. That Easter egg, however, is no coincidence. Tudyk has also voiced the Duke in Frozen.
It seems clear Alan Tudyk has become John Ratzenberger of Walt Disney Animation Studio films. Ratzenberger is the actor who voiced Hamm in Disney Pixar’s Toy Story Trilogy (soon to be a quartet), plus he has a voice role in every major Pixar film to date. This includes P.T. Fly (A Bug’s Life), the Yeti (Monsters Inc. and Monsters University), the school of moonfish (Finding Nemo), the Underminer (The Incredibles), Mack (Cars), Mustafa (Ratatouille), John (WALL-E), Construction Foreman Tom (Up), Fritz (Inside Out), and Earl (The Good Dinosaur). Though comparing Alan Tudyk and John Ratzenberger by numbers is unequal, the premise is the same for their respective animation studios.
Alan Tudyk’s first voice role for Walt Disney Animation Studios was King Candy, the villain from Wreck-It Ralph. Tudyk was praised for his contribution because the voice he used as so unique. Nobody could pick out the actor voicing the character, proving how much of a chameleon his voice can be. This is further demonstrated when he voiced the Duke of Weselton in Frozen, Alistair Krei in Big Hero 6, and finally Duke Weaselton in Zootopia. All four voices are distinct from each other, yet they are perfectly dynamic for the character. Alan Tudyk is scheduled to voice a character in Moana, the next film by Walt Disney Animation Studios.
For his continuous contribution to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ films, many think Alan Tudyk should be inaugurated as a Disney Legend. It will probably happen, but most likely after Phil Harris is inaugurated. Prior to Tudyk, he was the first actor to lend his voice to multiple Walt Disney Animation Studios films. Phil Harris first voiced Baloo (The Jungle Book), followed up with Thomas O’Mally (The Aristocats), and concluded with Little John (Robin Hood).
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney]