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Top 10 Actors You Forgot Were in Disney Movies

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
They were in a Disney film?! For this list, we’ll be going over some famous actors whose presence in live action Disney films you may have forgotten or not known about in the first place. Our list includes Elisabeth Moss, Ethan Hawke, Elijah Wood, Lena Headey, Kate Winslet and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Actors You Forgot Were in Live-Action Disney Movies.
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Top 10 Actors You Forgot Were in Live-Action Disney Movies


They were in a Disney film?! Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors You Forgot Were in Live-Action Disney Movies.

For this list, we’ll be going over some famous actors whose presence in live action Disney films you may have forgotten or not known about in the first place.

#10: Elisabeth Moss
“Escape to Witch Mountain” (1995)


In case you didn’t know, this “Mad Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” actress actually got her start as a child actor, appearing on both television and film, including this Disney TV movie. Moss plays Anna, who, along with her previously unknown brother, discovers that they are actually aliens with psychic powers. These abilities make them a target for those who would exploit them, and they also drive them to find the titular mountain so they can return home. Although obviously not as nuanced as her performances as an adult, Moss still brings some great spirit to the role.

#9: Ethan Hawke
“White Fang” (1991-94) franchise


Ethan Hawke has appeared in multiple films for most of the years he’s been acting, so it’s easy to forget some of them. Some of the actor’s first onscreen appearances were in the Disney adventure film “White Fang,” as well as a brief appearance in its sequel. Hawke plays Jack Conroy, a young man who befriends the wolfdog that gives the films their names while journeying through the Alaskan wilderness after inheriting his father’s gold prospect during the state’s gold rush. Hawke’s tendency for understated yet empathetic acting is present even this early in his career.

#8: Kaley Cuoco
“Toothless” (1997) & “Alley Cats Strike” (2000)


Before hitting it big on TV series like “Charmed” or “The Big Bang Theory,” Kaley Cuoco starred in several Disney TV movies. Her roles in both films are generally as part of an ensemble, as in “Toothless” she appears as Lori, one of a group of children who encounter the real Tooth Fairy, while her part in “Alley Cats Strike,” Elisa, is a member of the eponymous bowling team. Even this early in her career, Cuoco works well as part of a group of actors.

#7: Taran Killam
“Stuck in the Suburbs” (2004)


Known in his early career for “All That” and “The Amanda Show,” and these days for his time on “Saturday Night Live,” Taran Killam spent part of his time between variety shows appearing in a Disney Channel movie. Killam played Jordan Cahill, a pop idol whose cell phone is accidentally switched with a girl from the suburbs. Through several pranks, Killam’s character is able to shed his previous image and help establish himself as a songwriter, as well as a singer. The actor makes a convincing pop star and fans may be surprised to see his musical talents on display.

#6: Hayden Panettiere
“Remember the Titans” (2000), “Tiger Cruise” (2004) & “Ice Princess” (2005)


While she’s most famous for her roles on “Heroes” and “Nashville,” Hayden Panettiere has had a long career, particularly as a child and teenage actress, appearing in three live-action Disney films in the early 2000s. In “Remember the Titans,” she played the daughter of the titular football team’s assistant coach, whose zest for football was memorably comedic, while “Tiger Cruise” saw her play Maddie, a teenager who tries to convince her father in the Navy to return home. Finally, “Ice Princess” featured the actress in another role as the daughter of a coach, though this time a figure skating one, who is tired of the sport herself.

#5: Elijah Wood
“The Adventures of Huck Finn” (1993) & “Oliver Twist” (1997)


Elijah Wood is an actor that many may not associate with the Disney brand, which is a bit surprising, given that he’s appeared in multiple films from the company. Wood portrayed the title character in “The Adventures of Huck Finn,” in an adaptation that focused primarily on his early adventures with Jim. Meanwhile, his role in “Oliver Twist” was that of the film’s eponymous character’s friend, a thief known as the Artful Dodger. Wood manages to deliver performances of two iconic literary characters and make them memorable at a young age, for which we have to give him kudos.

#4: Kristen Stewart
“The Thirteenth Year” (1999)


Let’s take a break from actors who have been in multiple Disney films, to one who’s barely been in a single one. Kristen Stewart gained international fame for her role in the “Twilight Saga,” but her acting career had more humble beginnings in “The Thirteenth Year,” a movie about a boy whose mother is a mermaid. Stewart is a glorified extra in the movie, though, appearing briefly in a classroom scene, as well as standing in line at a water fountain. Not a bad gig for someone under 10 though, right?

#3: Lena Headey
“The Jungle Book” (1994)


It’s hard to picture an actress known for her recent villainous roles with that of a Disney heroine, but Lena Headey was quite the ingénue decades ago. Headey plays Kitty Brydon, a childhood friend and later romantic interest to the story’s famed human raised by animals, Mowgli. Kitty acts much like the Jane to Mowgli’s Tarzan by introducing him back to human society, while coming to appreciate a greater connection to the jungle. Though her character is a familiar archetype, Lena Headey delivers a solid performance here.

#2: Kate Winslet
“A Kid in King Arthur’s Court” (1995)


Two years before her role in “Titanic” made our hearts go on, Kate Winslet appeared in this strange Disney time travel film, playing Princess Sarah, the eldest daughter of King Arthur. Sarah is far from a damsel in distress, though, as - spoilers - she’s secretly a do-gooding black knight. While this movie also featured another big star of today in an early role, James Bond himself, Daniel Craig (look at that hair!), we ultimately went with Winslet due to her slightly bigger role in the film.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Brie Larson
“Right on Track” (2003)

Justin Timberlake
“Model Behavior” (2000)

Christian Bale
“Newsies” (1992)

#1: Bryan Cranston
“'Twas the Night” (2001) & “John Carter” (2012)


Bryan Cranston has had a diverse and unusual career, and that includes several roles in Disney movies. While viewers of the big budget sci-fi bomb “John Carter” no doubt recall his turn as an antagonistic American Civil War era colonel, by far his more obscure Disney part is his appearance in “’Twas the Night,” a Disney Channel Original Christmas Movie. In it, Cranston plays Nick, a ne’er-do-well who manages to get a hold of Santa’s sleigh and, while delivering presents, also robs the places too; it’s “Breaking Bad” in a more kid-friendly fashion, though he eventually learns his lesson.
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