Voice Compare » Lion King » Shenzi
Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Shenzi with sound clips and images.
EDITOR'S OPINIONWell folks its been a little while since the last time I did this but we will be having a new Disney VC and this time its from the Lion King and it will be the leader of the 3 Hyenas namely SHENZI!
In the 1994 classic movie Lion King she was voiced by known comedic actress Whoopi Goldberg. Like I said before Shenzi whom is the only female of the trio is the leader because as for actual Hyenas the Females are actually the dominant gender and Shenzi is also the "Smart One" of the group. (Though of course that's not exactly saying much...) While Shenzi is the leader of a trio of vicious carnivorous Hyenas those 3 are still at heart Comedy Relief, granted Evil Comedy Relief but Comedy Relief nevertheless anyways Whoopi's voicework certainly did fit the role overall. Whoopi's performance did certainly suit Shenzi's overall persona well and had good chemistry with Cheech "Banzai" Marin, not one of the best "Celebrity Performances" in a Animated Disney Film but a good example nevertheless.
In the Hyena's other voice-acted appearances Shenzi was voiced by VA Tress MacNeille and "Stand-In" Voices for Animated Disney characters are usually lukewarm at best and this is no exception. Now don't get me wrong Tress is by all means a fine VA and this performance is not really bad but it was kind of uneven. How so you ask, well sometimes as you can tell here Tress has done fairly good attempts at trying to make her performance in spirit with Whoopi's but also Tress did occasionally slip into her usual "Evil Grandma" voice as Shenzi before as well. But in Tress' defense when it comes to "Stand-in" voices of characters whom were originally voiced by Celebrities I have heard much worse. But still while Tress' work as Shenzi was OK but its by no means one of the best examples of her handiwork.
So overall yeah I admit I am going with Whoopi on this one for sure.