Why Rowan Atkinson originally didn't want to be the voice of Zazu in The Lion King
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.”
RELATED VIDEO: Watch rare Lion King recording booth footage
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.