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Friday, November 6, 2015

Phil Harris - number 2 pick for a Disney Legend

Phil Harris is an unsung Legend. Unlike Knotts, he is not a famous name. Only true Disney fans know who he is (and perhaps folks who are fan of his other work).

So who is Mr. Phil Harris? Better yet, what are his Legend Credentials?

  1. He was the voice of the iconic Baloo the Bear in the Jungle Book. This alone should give him the pedigree for a Legend award. Consider that the voice talent for Jiminy Cricket, James Sullivan,
    Princess Jasmine and Cinderella are all Disney Legends. Baloo ranks right there with those characters. Harris was known to be a wildcard in the recording studio, frequently improvising his lines (many which were kept in the films) and singing various unscripted tunes for his characters. During the recording of The Jungle Book’s “I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)”, it was written in the script that the scatting between King Louie and Baloo the bear that Baloo would simply repeat whatever King Louie sang. But Harris didn’t like that idea and simply recorded his own improvised version which came to be the one we know today.
  2. He was Little John in the animated version of Robin Hood. this was a childhood favorite of mind - I can clearly remember seeing the movie at the theater.
  3. He voiced Thomas O'Malley the Alley Cat in The Aristocats. The Aristocats features Harris as alley cat Abraham de Lacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O'Malley, who joins in the film's showstopper, "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat", with Scatman Crothers.
  4. In 1989, Harris briefly returned to Disney to once again voice Baloo, this time for the cartoon series, TaleSpin. But after a few recording sessions he was replaced by Ed Gilbert.

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