(Originally published June 2020 – Updated November 2023. A version of this article was shared with Laughing Place and published on November 30, 2023.)
Another day, another iconic voice. Such is the life of the linguistically-talented Alan Tudyk, who is adding another role to his robust repertoire with the release of Disney’s highly anticipated animated film Wish on November 22nd. As we get ready to appreciate Tudyk’s vocal chops in Wish as a goat named Valentin, let’s take a look at some of his key career roles.
In the world of Disney films, there are some legendary actors who are famous in Disney circles for a specific role or two. Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Tom Hanks as Woody, James Earl Jones as Mufasa and Darth Vader, and Robin Williams as Genie, to name just a few.
There are also those actors who may not necessarily be thought of as legendary overall, but they have historically performed so many Disney roles that they have achieved a regal status in Disney lore. Names like Sterling Holloway and Jim Cummings – both of whom played Winnie the Pooh among many others, and Katherin Beaumont – most well known as Wendy Darling in Peter Pan and Alice in Alice in Wonderland, come to mind.
Then there is Alan Tudyk – one of those actors who has quietly racked up many Disney roles under his belt. While Tudyk is getting more and more well known by the Disney community, you’d be shocked at just how many Disney voice roles he’s actually performed. The only other contemporary who can compare to Tudyk’s sheer girth of Disney roles is John Ratzenberger – who has been in nearly every Pixar film until very recently.
Alan Tudyk’s Disney Magic
Not exactly a newcomer to the Mouse of Mouse, Alan Tudyk has been performing in Disney films for well over a decade, and has dozens of roles to his credit. Here are some of the most notable:
Wreck-It-Ralph (2012) – King Candy/Turbo
The loopy king doubling as a maniacal manipulator is inspired by the wacky nature of Disney Legend Ed Wynn.
Frozen (2013) – The Duke of Weselton
The Duke of Weselton would be easily hateable, if not for Tudyk’s brilliantly whiny vocal vibes. In addition to Weselton in Frozen, Tudyk also voiced numerous minor characters in 2019’s Frozen 2.
Big Hero 6 (2014) – Alistair Krei
Not all of Tudyk’s roles are based in wacky cartoonishness. Villain Alistair Krei exudes a handsome exterior, with darkly menacing motivations.
The Good Dinosaur (2015) – Windgust
A hungry pterosaur means bad news. Windgust – voiced by Tudyk – is one of five. Thankfully they aren’t very coordinated.
Rogue One (2016): K-2SO
Tudyk’s performance of reprogrammed Imperial security droid K-2SO is dripping with dry wit – bordering on sarcasm – throughout the film. His perfectly timed and delivered one-line responses make up many of the film’s most memorable lines.
Zootopia (2016) – Duke Weaselton
This snide, slippery weasel loves to make a quick buck, and Tudyk captures the spirit of the low-class criminal perfectly.
Moana (2016) – Hei Hei
No words were needed by Tudyk to emote the loveable, albeit incredibly dumb, rooster who stows away on Moana’s raft. Those comical clucks and screeches? All Tudyk.
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) – KnowsMore
Contrary to Moana’s Hei Hei, KnowsMore is chock full of words – just about any possible word you could think of – in Tudyk’s portrayal of a Google-like search engine/librarian.
Aladdin (2019 live action) – Iago
It’s hard to accept anyone else other than comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried voicing Jafar’s wisecracking parrot. But Tudyk proved up to the task in this live-action remake of the 1992 animated classic.
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021): Tuk Tuk
Tuk Tuk is another character without words. But Tudyk still manages to inject plenty of personality into that giant canine pug/pill bug/armadillo body.
Encanto (2021): Pico
Surprisingly large sounds often come out of tiny packages. Even without words, Tudyk delivers a larger-than-life personality for this small but oh-so-festive toucan.
Disenchanted (2022): Scroll
In another turn reminiscent of Disney Legend Ed Wynn, Tudyk’s Scroll offers sage advice to Giselle, albeit in a rather wacky and whimsical way.
Strange World (2022): Duffle, Narrator, and Radio Host
Tudyk voices a trio of minor roles in this film, with the most notable being that the exuberant pilot Duffle. Unfortunately, Duffle dies near the end of the film – a fate eerily similar to that of one of Tudyk’s live action non-Disney characters – Hoban “Wash” Washburn from the Firefly film Serenity.
Peter Pan and Wendy (2022): George Darling
Tudyk took to live-action in his turn as George Darling, the frustrated father of three who hasn’t much more than an ounce of childishness left in his grown-up body.
Once Upon a Studio (2023): Mad Hatter
In the recent sentimental smash hit animated short Once Upon a Studio, Tudyk picked up the reins from Ed Wynn once again, perfectly capturing the looney spirit of Wynn’s Mad Hatter from 1951’s Alice in Wonderland.
Wish (2023): Valentino
Who says goats can’t talk? Just wish upon a star, and you may be granted the most handsome, gallant-sounding voice your tiny goat body can hold. Look for Tudyk to be at his best in Disney’s newest animated film Wish, releasing November 22, 2023.
Other Alan Tudyk Disney Roles
In addition to the characters shown above, Tudyk has been a staple for additional supporting voices, including countless animal sounds, additional voices for Phineas and Ferb and Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and a host of minor characters in the recently-acquired Ice Age film franchise.
Tudyk’s list of Disney accolades is impressive, but it’s important to note that he has achieved considerable success outside the Disney umbrella as well. His notable non-Disney performances include 28 Days, A Knight’s Tale, 3:10 to Yuma, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, “I, Robot”, Knocked Up, and the Firefly television series/Serenity film.
My personal favorite non-Disney role performed by Tudyk is that of Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. In a total goof role as a Joe’s gym member with a pirate’s persona, Tudyk nails the role with just the right mix of humor and stereotypical pirate impersonation. To quote Steve: “The dread pirate Steve be in no man’s debt. I’ll make a barter with ya; true as the north star. In exchange for your kindness, I’ll be sharing me buried treasure with ya… once I find it, that be.”
Disney’s Secret Weapon
In the Disney voice role universe, Alan Tudyk is a force to be reckoned with, having appeared in every Disney animated film since 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph. Now if Disney could only develop a pirate-based animated film, I know who my first choice would be for the lead…