A workhorse of the Disney animated feature, Sterling Holloway voiced characters ranging from Ka the snake to Winnie the Pooh to the Cheshire Cat. He’s a voice from my childhood. He was blessed with a voice that can only be described as “cuddly.”
There is a moment in The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh wherein Pooh says, “I’m a little black rain cloud, a’course.(See 2:35 in video)” It’s probably the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.
He also served as narrator for several Disney shorts, three of my favorites being “Lambert the Sheepish Lion”:
, Peter and the Wolf (which, incidentally, introduce me to Prokofiev),
and “Susie the Little Blue Coupe”, which unfortunately I cannot embed, but you can view here.
Although, unfortunately, my Sterling Holloway experience is limited to Disney, I’m looking to change that. I’m adding a Walk in the Sun, one of his few non-comedic roles, to my queue.
Certainly, Sterling Holloway isn’t a voice chameleon like maybe Robin Williams(think his imitations, the voice of the Genie) or Hank Azaria, nor does he have a range of characters like Mel Blanc. But what he does have is entirely unique. And where did he find it? The theatre! He is quoted as saying this, “I’ve always loved the theater very much. I’ve always been in it. I hate being away from it. I’m very stubborn–I like to do what I want to do. And what I want to do most is theater.” I couldn’t agree more.
*What is a movie hero? An un or under-sung member of the filmmaking community who deserves more of the spotlight. And yet lack of such a spotlight often adds to their charm.