I was at a restaurant and I heard this little voice at a nearby table pipe up and say, 'I believe I will have the chowder.' I got up and walked out into the middle of the restaurant. There was Sterling Holloway just sitting there being Sterling Holloway. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I'd have the honor of filling his shoes. I just regret not going up to him and saying hello.
I had to be on the set for 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' because my character was interacting with Bob Hoskins. It's a lot of 'hurry up and wait.' So there I was, at 2 a.m., sitting in a trailer at Griffith Park trying to stay awake. And I said to myself, 'This stinks.' The way I do it is better. I go into the studio about 10 a.m. There's no makeup to worry about. I can wear whatever I want. As soon I get there, I'm good to go. I record my stuff and go home.
I have a brand new favorite for a Disney animated feature coming out next Christmas called The Princess and the Frog. I'm Ray the singing Cajun firefly. New Orleans is my second hometown. I was a deckhand on a riverboat there when I was 18, so I have that Cajun accent down pat. Ray is a lovesick firefly who's near-sighted and falls in love with the Evening Star. Of course, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger will always be favorites of mine too.
I do very little on-camera acting, so within a phrase as a voice actor you have to know how to convey when someone is 95 years old or 19 years old. . . When I was the lead singer of the California Raisins commercials there was a traditional actor there as well and he would do all these body movements without saying anything because he was "acting." And the only acting the microphone picked up on was silence.
I have four daughters, with the two youngest being four years old and a year and a half. When one of my older daughters was in sixth grade, a classmate brought in their talking Winnie the Pooh doll for show and tell, so the next week my daughter one upped her classmates and brought me to school in for show and tell.
I've done so many other projects where you're in a room with a reader and you're acting your lines out: 'We have to get out of here! Any minute the building will explode!' And then the reader says: "Yes...we have to get... out of here." So it's not easy to be in the moment in that kind of situation. Reading with the entire cast in the room for The Clone Wars makes the experience much more organic and I love that.