Disney’s ‘Wish’ Includes a Hilarious Treat for Alan Tudyk Fans
Alan Tudyk, known in the geek world as Wash from the short-lived series Firefly, has been in every Disney animated movie since 2012. Sometimes, you have to listen closely to catch him—but his role in Disney’s new movie Wish is unmistakable.
Wish centers on Asha (Ariana DeBose), a young woman living in a magical kingdom ruled by the sorcerer King Magnifico (Chris Pine). When Asha finds out that King Magnifico isn’t as benevolent as he seems, she sets out to free all the wishes in the kingdom.
Tudyk plays Asha’s pajama-clad baby goat, Valentino. At first, Valentino only makes the usual baa-ing noises, but after a spell is cast on him, he gains human speech. He doesn’t have a baby voice, though—Valentino’s voice is a gravelly full-grown man’s voice with a mid-Atlantic accent. It turns out Valentino is pretty verbose, providing almost constant commentary on Asha’s adventures, along with some meta-commentary on his own transformation.
The joke, of course, is that Tudyk has been voicing an increasing number of non-speaking characters for Disney over the years. For instance, he plays the rooster Heihei in Moana, the toucan in Encanto, and the furry pill bug Tuk Tuk in Raya and the Last Dragon. In one behind-the-scenes video from Moana, he clucks and crows into a microphone before ruefully saying, “I went to Juilliard.”
Tudyk has also voiced plenty of speaking roles in Disney films, of course, like the Duke of Weselton in Frozen and Duke Weasleton in Zootopia. Tudyk recently told Boston Herald that Disney considers him a sort of lucky charm. “The first [voice] I did was King Candy from Wreck-It Ralph. That went well and then I did Frozen and after that, they said, ‘Oh, you’re the good luck charm. Those are the things that made those two movies great!’ I was like, ‘OK! I think you’re right’—and they’ve put me in every one since.”
Tudyk also shared some insights about his approach to Valentino with New Orleans news channel WGNO. “His voice is similar to mine,” Tudyk said. “It’s just a bit lower and enthusiastic all the time. The voice encompasses his thrill for life, he’s very excited. Even when he doesn’t like something, there’s a scene where he jumps in the ocean and says, ‘I cannot swim’ while in the air.'”
Wish opens in theaters on November 22.
(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
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