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Top 10 British Disney Performances


Written by Kimberley Payne Bibbidi, Bobbidi… British? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 British Disney Performances. For this list we’ve looked at British actors in Disney’s animated feature films. We haven’t included Pixar productions or live-action Disney flicks, as they’re for another list. You just can’t beat the Classics, can you! Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 British Disney Performances


Bibbidi, Bobbidi… British? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 British Disney Performances.

For this list we’ve looked at British actors in Disney’s animated feature films. We haven’t included Pixar productions or live-action Disney flicks, as they’re for another list. You just can’t beat the Classics, can you!

#10: Idris Elba as Chief Bogo
“Zootropolis” (2016)


Though typically a movie tough guy, Idris Elba is making quite the name for himself at Disney - as he’s also the voice of Shere Khan in the live-action “Jungle Book” remake. But it’s this role as Chief Bogo in “Zootropolis” which deserves particular praise, winning him a whole new following of fans. Elba boasts the perfect voice for a no-nonsense, straight-talking, law enforcement character, and Chief Bogo is exactly that. But this Buffalo’s also a little bit lovable, in his own unique way.

#9: Peter Ustinov as Prince John
“Robin Hood” (1973)


In all honesty, there aren’t many acting achievements that Peter Ustinov didn’t accomplish, with a long list of awards to his name. So it’s no surprise that on top of it all, he was also a successful voice actor. And he hits precisely the right chord as the childish and whiney Prince John, in “Robin Hood”. Ustinov carries just the right amount of malice in his delivery to remind you that he’s the villain, but also just the right amount of self-indulgent whingeing to make you want to slap that thumb out of his mouth.

#8: Barrie Ingham as Basil
“Basil the Great Mouse Detective” (1986)


When you think of iconic British fictional characters, Sherlock Holmes is likely one of the first that comes to mind. So, when Disney adapted Eve Titus’ “Basil of Baker Street” book series - a Holmes retelling, but with mice - British TV star Barrie Ingham proved a perfect fit for the title role. His depiction of the brilliant detective isn’t quite as much of a know-it-all compared to some other Sherlock portrayals... But for an anthropomorphic rodent, his genius deductions aren’t half bad!

#7: Emma Thompson as Captain Amelia
“Treasure Planet” (2002)


Another British acting great with multiple Disney titles to her name, Emma Thompson’s part in “Treasure Planet” proved a definite highlight in a definitely underrated movie. As Amelia, Captain of the RLS Legacy, she voices a determined and strong-willed woman who heads up the journey to the titular Treasure Planet. And this character’s unique way with words is what really sets her apart. Only Emma Thompson could imbue such style, grace and gravitas onto an animated cat. What a legend.

#6: Christian Bale as Thomas
“Pocahontas” (1995)


It’s one of the lesser known entries on this list, but it’s true, Christian Bale was a voice actor for Disney - back when the action movie expert was but 21 years old! It’s hard to believe that that gravelly voice that comes out of Batman is also the one used for innocent, young Thomas - John Smith’s trusty and loyal friend. While Mel Gibson gets most of the lines as John, Thomas is never far away. And as the “Pocahontas” story unfolds, he becomes a vital character, at the centre of some pivotal scenes.

#5: Tony Jay as Judge Claude Frollo
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)


Disney villains come in all shapes and sizes, but Frollo is probably one of the scariest and most sinister of all. And that’s thanks in large part to Tony Jay’s dark, imposing and relentlessly threatening voicework. Frollo’s ongoing cruelty towards Quasimodo is absolutely brutal, as we spend most of the film sincerely hoping that he gets his comeuppance. And when things do start to fall against Frollo, no one has even an ounce of sympathy for him.

#4: George Sanders as Shere Khan
“The Jungle Book” (1967)


It’s a tried and tested formula that villains tend to work best with a booming British voice, but few other actors can match the brilliant bass in George Sanders’ devilish delivery. It’s he who’s behind the instantly recognisable (and incredibly frightening), tigerish tones of Shere Khan, the Bengal Tiger bad guy in “The Jungle Book”. And while he doesn’t seem quite as menacing when you realise he’s afraid of fire, when this big cat’s in full swing he’s full-on terrifying.

#3: Minnie Driver as Jane Porter
“Tarzan” (1999)


She’s intelligent, she can draw, she can talk to monkeys... Is there anything that this amazing woman can’t do? She must also be an incredible teacher, because she manages to teach this film’s titular wild man all about human speech and behaviour in next to no time! Pretty impressive. Minnie Driver as Jane isn’t the only major British influence on this cast, either - with Brian Blessed voicing Clayton - but her work particularly stands out. Driver’s Jane is instantly recognisable, bringing so much personality to the well-known character.

#2: Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991)


If you’ve ever seen the original animated version of “Beauty and the Beast” (and honestly, if you haven’t, where have you been?) then you’ve probably wanted your very own Mrs. Potts to watch over you, at one time or another. And the warmth that she sends out is down to Angela Lansbury’s now-legendary portrayal. Her soft, sweet but stern-when-it-needs-to-be British voice ensures that this maternal figure is an animated icon. And that performance of the film’s title theme is one of Disney’s greatest ever moments.

#1: Jeremy Irons as Scar
“The Lion King” (1994)


It just had to be him. Special mention to Rowan Atkinson’s Zazu in “The Lion King”, but Scar sneaks to top spot with Jeremy Irons setting new standards for animated villainy. This Mufasa-murdering traitor is equal parts creepy, scary and sarcastic, prowling through Pride Rock with only evil on his mind. But let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how good Jeremy Irons is in the role, we’ll never forgive Scar for causing one of the most heartbreaking moments in Disney history.
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