Did you know that The Godfather and The Lion King are connected? It’s true! Ernie Sabella, the voice of ‘Pumbaa’ from Disney’s The Lion King, revealed for the first time today the unlikely inspiration for the warthog’s distinct voice: The Godfather. In “Watch A Disney Movie With…” – a new digital series that invites fans to rewatch iconic Disney movies with the beloved film stars – Sabella explains how Pumbaa’s voice emerged from Godfather character Frankie Pentangeli, played by Michael Gazzo.
Sabella grabs some popcorn and sits down with Oh My Disney to uncover golden nuggets from the iconic 1994 Disney film:
- 3:34: How he and ‘Timon’ voice actor Nathan Lane initially read for the roles of hyenas. (And how their undeniable chemistry won them praise from the producers.)
- 2:28: How the voice actors achieved a “Disney first,” working on each scene, each line – together.
- 4:16: The Pumbaa actor’s favorite Lion King scene and why.
- 4:40: The warthog’s more than two-decade legacy and where it’s headed.
“Watch A Disney Movie With… Pumbaa ” is the first episode in the new series produced by Disney Digital Network. The show will take a deep dive with the legendary actors of Disney films; reveal exclusive stories from filming; and capture film talent’s genuine reactions to iconic scenes.
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