Jodi Benson - Voice and Screen Acting

Voice and Screen Acting

Benson has become well known in popular culture for providing the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She even parodied this later when she provided the voice for the character of Ann Darrow in The Mighty Kong - Ann sang and swam through the water with her hair flowing about her. She provided the voice for a character called Aquagirl in a two-part episode of Batman Beyond. She also provided the voice of the character of Tula in the Hanna-Barbera adventure-fantasy series, Pirates of Dark Water. In an interview with Christians in Cinema, Benson said that winning the role of Ariel was God-ordained. She has also said that her work for Disney is "not just a job, it is a gift that God has given me. It is my ministry." She has also said that she never gets tired of singing her signature song, "Part of Your World".

Benson has also done voice-overs in video games. She played Ariel again in the video games Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. She was also in Grandia II where she was the American voice actress for Millenia. From its premiere in 2005 to its end in 2008, Benson did voice work for the Emmy Award-winning Cartoon Network animated series, Camp Lazlo, as the characters Patsy Smiles, Scoutmistress Jane Doe, and Almondine the Owl. She also voiced Professor Owl in an Disney educational short film.

Benson played Cloe in The Save-Ums in 2007 and had a small role as "Sam" in Disney's Enchanted (Benson's only live-action role so far) as a tribute to Ariel. She provided the voice of Barbie in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.

In non-Disney films, Benson was a voice actress for Don Bluth's version of Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina, voicing the title character. She performed many songs in this film, including a duet with Gary Imhoff in "Let Me Be Your Wings".

On the 1998 VHS edition of The Little Mermaid, Benson appeared as herself during the intro and before and after the previews, telling two CGI goldfish named Gil and Phil about then upcoming releases from Disney such as Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, Mulan, Melody Time and Lady and the Tramp on video, A Bug's Life, Disney Cruise Line and Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC.

In June 2010, Benson re-recorded "Part of Your World" for The Little Mermaid segment for the World of Color night-time show at Disney California Adventure Park park. In an interview at the World of Color premiere, Benson confirmed that she was lending her voice as Ariel for The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure attraction opened 2011 at Disney California Adventure Park and due to open 2012 in Magic Kingdom.

Benson was honored with a Disney Legend Award on August 19, 2011, for voicing Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid movie/TV series and Barbie in the Toy Story series.

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