Despite recent theatrical renditions and upcoming remakes, Disney’s 1994 animated classic The Lion King is iconic. For adults who grew up with the film — and kids still watching the perennial hit — it would be incomplete without Rowan Atkinson’s voice as Zazu, Mufasa’s right-hand hornbill.
When the project first came across Atkinson’s desk, however, he wasn’t immediately on board.
“I didn’t want to do it, really, because voiceovers, voice work is something I generally had never done and never liked,” Atkinson reveals on the latest episode of PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing. “I’m a visual artist, if I’m anything, and it seemed to be a pointless thing to do.”
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Luckily, Mr. Bean co-writer and actor, Robin Driscoll, convinced Atkinson to give voice acting a shot, and it sure paid off.
“I didn’t realize it would turn into a really, very special film, which it did,” Atkinson says, adding how proud he now is to be a part of such an enduring film.