Thurl Ravenscroft: 100 Years of Iconic Voiceovers

American Icons, Featured Article, Hometown Heroes, Odd Jobs, Where Are They Now
on February 5, 2014

We’ve all seen the commercials for products with iconic animated characters like Tony the Tiger, but have you ever wondered whose voice brings these characters to life? In the 1950s and ‘60s, you may have been listening to Thurl Ravenscroft, a man famous for voicing dozens of popular characters and hit songs. He died at age 91 in 2005, but nearly a decade later, his voice is still remembered in these 10 notable works:


The Haunted Mansion-Disney Theme Parks (1969)
One of Ravencroft’s more creepy voice dubs comes in the form of a 1969 attraction at Disneyland. In the ride Thurl sings parts of the song “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” which is featured in various parts of the rides. You can actually see Ravencroft here, too. The hit vocalist makes a cameo in the graveyard scene, allowing riders a chance to see the face behind the music.


Tony the Tiger—Kellogg’s Cereal (1952-2005)
In 1952 Ravenscroft became the sole voice of the cereal legand Tony the Tiger. With the catchy line “They’re Gr-r-r-r-r-reat!” Tony the Tiger became an instant hit kids, allowing Ravenscroft to continue this job for the next 53 years.


The Aristocats (1970)
Catch Ravenscroft voicing the bass-banging Russian feline on Disney’s hit song “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat.” His part might have been short, but this song has certainly not been short lived!


South Pacific-Film (1958)
Nominated for best motion picture at the 1959 Golden Globes, Thurl is credited  for singing the part of Stewpot, a character acted by Ken Clark.


Pirates of the Caribbean-Disney Theme Parks (1967)
Ravenscroft plays many roles at one Disney’s most popular attractions Pirates of the Caribbean. You find Thurl singing parts of the theme song “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me,” or as the drunken pirate, one of the minstrels, and even the as the dog who howls along with them.


Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Thurl Ravenscroft, along with the Mellomen (a quartet he put together after World War II), can be heard as multiple dogs in the infamous pound. They also sing background vocals for Peggy Lee’s “He’s a Tramp.”


101 Dalmatians (1961)
Sticking with the theme of dogs; in this 1961 classic Thurl does the voice of Captain, the horse who helps saves the spotted pups!


Snoopy Come Home (1972)
Ravenscroft helped bring the Peanut’s gang to life by singing “No Dogs Allowed,” the tragic song that keeps Snoopy from hanging out with the gang, in this 1972 film.


Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Working with the Mellomen, the group created the voices for the Card Painters in the song “Painting the Roses Red,” and also singing in the chorus.


You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (1966)
Perhaps Ravenscroft’s most well known work is singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the 1966 class holiday film How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Unfortunately his name was mistakenly left out of the credits. Seuss, who eventually found out about the mistake, apologized and attempted to correct the error by writing to the media nationwide.