Most of the time, the folks who do the voice over work look absolutely nothing like the characters they are portraying. But on some rare occasions, the person behind the voice looks exactly like what you’d expect them to. Case in point, a gentleman by the name of Dallas “Dal” McKennon. He’s the old country prospector voice you hear in your train car’s safety spiel on Big Thunder Mountain at the Disney theme parks.
Sadly, Dal McKennon passed away over a decade ago at the age of 89. But some video footage of his from an interview popped up on Twitter recently, via Attractions Magazine. And man oh man, did he look exactly like you’d want that kindly old cowboy to look like!
The voice from Big Thunder Mountain looks exactly like we expected. Here’s Dal McKennon: pic.twitter.com/M2ifhyX6ez— Attractions Magazine (@Attractions) April 7, 2020
McKennon had a long and illustrious career in voice over acting, and Big Thunder Mountain is most certainly not the first time you’ve heard his distinctive voice. McKennon was the voice of Gumby in several animated shorts, not to mention Archie Andrews in several different cartoons based on the classic Archie comics. He was also the primary voice of Buzz Buzzard in most of the old Woody Woodpecker shorts.
He came onto Disney’s radar in the ’50s, where he voiced characters in animated classics like Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Mary Poppins, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. From there, the company hired him to do hyena voices in It’s a Small World, and eventually, Big Thunder Mountain, and appropriately enough, the Country Bear Jamboree. He’s also the voice of the deaf old man in the Haunted Mansion.
The Walt Disney Company
Although Disney has never really confirmed it one way of the other, I wouldn’t be surprised if the character of Stinky Pete the Prospector from Toy Story 2 wasn’t at least physically modeled after Dal. It seems like just the kind of homage that Disney would make to honor one of their long time collaborators.
Featured Image: Disney Parks Blog