Next week on June 21st, our favorite Monsters, Mike and Sulley, are back in action with the prequel to Monsters Inc, “Monsters University.” Disney fans, and of course fans of Disney/Pixar collaborated films are all set to go for this next sure to be blockbuster!
Although Billy Crystal and John Goodman are the stars of this film, I wanted to talk about another actor who will be in Monsters University: John Ratzenberger. John has been in every Pixar feature film since Toy Story in 1995. He has never being the main character in any film, but in a supporting role. Besides his Pixar resume John is a very accomplished actor. He is best known as Cliff Clavin in the hit sitcom Cheers. John was involved in the Star Wars franchise as Major Bren Derlin in The Empire Strikes Back, could have been a premonition for future Disney work. He also played roles in the original Superman and Superman II among other films over the years. He even voiced an animated version of Cliff Clavin for The Simpsons.
John is rated as the 6th most successful actor of all time. This is measured by a total box office of over $3,000,000,000. That’s pretty impressive, especially for someone who’s not considered a “leading man.”
In Monsters University John will voice a Monsters, Inc. employee. In the 2001 film he voiced the Abominable Snowman with snow cones to share with Mike and Sulley.
Other Pixar characters voiced by Ratzenbreger are:
Toy Story, Toy Story 2 & Toy Story 3 = Hamm the Piggy Bank
A Bug’s Life = P.T. Flea, the Circus Ring Leader
Monsters, Inc. = The Abominable Snowman
Finding Nemo = School of Moonfish
The Incredibles = The Underminer
Cars and Cars 2 = Mack the Truck
Ratatouille = Mustafa the Waiter
Wall-E = John
Up = Tom the construction Worker
Brave = Gordon
Monsters University = Monsters, Inc. Employee
In addition to all his films, he has also been in the “shorts” based on the films and their video games. John had the opportunity to make fun of his Pixar characters and tenure of playing them during the end credits of Cars. Mack is watching car-themed versions of different Pixar movies (“Toy Car Story”, “Monsters Trucks, Inc.” and “A Bug’s Life”) and Mack says that all the characters played by Ratzenberger were excellent. Mack then realizes that they’re the same actor, and then he says, “They’re just using the same actor over and over. What kind of cut-rate production is this?”
Whenever I see a Pixar film, I always look for Johns character in the movie to see his streak continuing. Although he will probably not go down in history as one of the greatest actors of all time, in the eyes of Disney/Pixar fans, he will always be an actor that holds a special place in our hearts. Maybe one day John will be inducted as a Disney Legend, due to the fact he has contributed in a large way to the Pixar success. Until the next film, we’ll be waiting to hear what character shares his iconic voice in the future!
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