As we get older, certain knowledge vacates our brains like cereal pouring out of a box. I can’t remember any formulas from geometry class and I’m not 100-percent certain of my own state bird, but, dammit, I know my Disney characters. We all do. But do we really? We know every word from “Part of Your World” and “Hakuna Matata,” but do we know the performers behind the doe-eyed animated stars? Now, you can say you do. We all know the big stars, like that Mandy Moore was Rapunzel in Tangled or that Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell star in Frozen, but that’s just the tip of the Disney iceberg. Let’s take a peek behind the cartoon curtain and check out the real performers who brought our favorite Disney characters to life.
Ariel, The Little Mermaid
While her appearance is modeled after none other than Alyssa Milano, Ariel’s voice comes to us courtesy of Jodi Benson. Benson also provided the voice for Barbie in Toy Storys 2 and 3, as well as several other voice roles, and she appeared in Enchanted as Patrick Dempsey‘s receptionist.
Prince Eric, The Little Mermaid
If you wondered why Prince Eric seemed particularly happenin’ in a far out way, that’s because he was played by none other than Christopher Daniel Barnes, who also starred as Greg Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie. The actor who now specializes in voice work, can most recently be heard as Electro in The Ultimate Spider-Man series.
Belle, Beauty and the Beast
Disney’s most book-loving princess, Belle’s voice came from Broadway actress Paige O’Hara. O’Hara also appeared in Enchanted as a soap opera actress.
Jasmine’s speaking voice was provided by actress Linda Larkin (right), and her singing voice was Broadway star Lea Solonga (center), who appeared onstage as Kim in Miss Saigon and both Fantine and Eponine in Les Miserables. She also provided the song stylings for another Disney princess. You’ll have to scroll down to find out who.