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4 local celebs who voiced Disney characters

2019-09-05 07:00
Unathi Msengana (Photo: Gallo Images)

Johannesburg – Toy Story 3, Planes 2, and The Lion King, these Disney movies all have one thing in common – they feature the voices of South African celebrities.  

Be honest, no matter how old you are, everybody loves a good Disney film. We're no different. And when there's a local celeb flying the SA flag high in one of those flicks, we love it even more.  

While everybody knows that Dr John Kani has played a role in the new live-action remake of The Lion King, not many know that other stars like Unathi Msengana and Jeremy Mansfield have loaned their voices to Disney characters too.  

Here are four South African celebrities who have voiced Disney Characters: 

1. Darren Simpson 

Did you know that radio presenter Darren "Wackhead" Simpson played a role in Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue?

In 2014, ahead of the film's release, Disney Africa announced that Darren would "voice the character Drip, one of five firefighters called the Smokejumpers." 

The character was described as "an outgoing dude who's always leaking oil and uses a skid-steer claw to clear fallen trees and brush." 

Darren's voice was used in the South African theatrical release of the movie.

Darren Simpson

2. Jeremy Mansfield 

In 2010 Disney released the much-anticipated third instalment in their Toy Story franchise. 

Once again, a South African star was given the opportunity to shine as the voice of "Lifer", a Chatter telephone – that celebrity was radio personality, Jeremy Mansfield.  

Jeremy recorded the voice for the SA theatrical and DVD release of the film.  


3. John Kani 

Of course, there's no way we could leave Dr John Kani off this list.

Not only has he represented South Africa in the Marvel Universe, but he also made us proud as the voice of "Rafiki" in the Lion King remake. 

Speaking to Channel24, Dr Kani said he was approached to play Rafiki while still filming Black Panther. When asked how he would like to portray the character, Dr Kani said he saw Rafiki as "the caretaker of the circle of life".  

4. Unathi Msengana 

That's right, singer and Idols SA judge Unathi Msengana has voiced a Disney character too.

While it was not on the big screen, Unathi still had South Africans filled with pride when it was announced in 2014 that she would voice a character on the Disney Channel children's show Doc McStuffins.  

In the cartoon series, Unathi played "Rita the Cheetah". The episode was titled, "No Sweetah Cheetah".