Voice Compare » Lion King » Zazu
Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Zazu with sound clips and images.
Zazu is a little bird whom is one of the secondary protagonists of the Lion King franchise. Zazu is initially known as King Mufasa's Majordomo as one of his jobs is to give the King of Pride Rock the Morning Report on Pride Rock. While Zazu's voice is depicted as a classic example of "British Stuffiness" but he is not a bad little bird whom is genuinely loyal to the likes of Mufasa and later Simba, he may come off as cowardly but to be fair there isn't much he can do against the evil Lions and Hyenas in the franchise. While Zazu has been lets just say been bothered by how reckless young Simba can be he did predict about how one day Simba and Nala will grow up to be married though.
EDITOR'S OPINIONToday on the Lion King VC section we have a little something for this little majordomo... ZAZU! We shall begin with the original Lion King movie in which he was voiced by Rowan "Mr. Bean" Atkinson. Apparently the fact that Rowan voiced Zazu has surprised people in the past (but then again plenty of US viewers mainly know Rowan as "Mr. Bean" so in other words they are not quite use to hearing him actually talk). Anyways Rowan played up Zazu's stuffiness well enough but has done a good job in trying to make Zazu likable as well (and even occasionally sympathetic). So in other words Rowan's work as Zazu is another example of the quality voice work from the original Lion King.
Now for the TV series Timon and Pumbaa in which Zazu made occasional appearances (and had an episode to star in) he was voiced by Michael Gough. While Michael's Zazu voice does sound a bit different from Rowan's Zazu voice but it still does genuinely work for the role nevertheless. Much like his celebrity counterpart did Michael Gough also played up Zazu's stuffiness well but still made him likable (and also a bit more sympathetic but to be fair that could also be due to the episode he was starring in). Anyways Michael Gough's performance as Zazu is commendable and a pretty good example of the "Stand-in" performances in Disney Productions.
Last is the Lion King II Simba's Pride in which Edward Hibbert gets to take over the role here. While Zazu has a smaller role in this movie Edward's performance as Zazu is a slight mixed bag. While Edward's voice for the role is not bad as it does have a suitably British accent however Edward's performance made Zazu seem a bit more arrogant than just plain stuffy. Granted I wouldn't necessarily call Edward's performance as Zazu to be bad per say but it was a bit overdone in certain ways. Overall I clearly liked Rowan and Michael the most here with Edward at an okay second.
(Update: Apparently Disney added in a new song called "Morning Report" for one of their re-releases of the film and Jeff Bennett is the one whom sings the song. Jeff's singing was good but I especially like on how he sounded very much like Rowan Atkinson. While Jeff only voiced Zazu for this song so far he has shown that he has excellent potential to do a regular speaking performance as Zazu rather well. I say that Jeff's work as Zazu definitely ties with Michael Gough as my 2nd place choice for the role.)