There’s more to it than just technique, says our Disney maniac. 

Our Japanese-language reporter Daiichiro Tashiro is one of the most hardcore Disney fans you will ever meet. He knows just about everything there is to know about Disney, including Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea, so he can enlighten even the most anti-Disney person with the spirit of the Most Magical Place on Earth.

On the other hand, fellow reporter P.K. Sanjun is more-or-less ambivalent about Disney. In fact, he had almost hated Disney Land until a couple of years ago, when Tashiro taught him the magic of Disney, too. Since then, Tashiro has been whittling away at the wall that blocks Disney from entering P.K.’s heart.

Today’s topic is something that P.K. himself became interested in recently when he was watching Mickey Mouse shows on TV with his daughter–who, incidentally, has also been taken under Tashiro’s magical wing. P.K. happened to accidentally change the language of the program into English, and had a shocking revelation–Mickey Mouse’s voice sounds the same in English as it does in Japanese!

▼ Hear Mickey’s Japanese voice in the Japanese trailer for Mickey and the Roadster Racers

This discovery impacted P.K. deeply. To him, Mickey had always been a character that spoke Japanese…to hear him also speaking English, and in the same voice, was nothing less than shocking. So he began to wonder, does Mickey have the same voice in every language? If so, why?

Of course, P.K. turned to our resident Disney expert, whose answers didn’t disappoint.

“Tashiro, Tashiro! Is Mickey’s voice the same all over the world?”

“Yes, it is! Each language has its own voice actor so it’s not going to be exactly the same in every language, but, generally, every language has that same recognizable voice.”

“I knew it! I thought it was a digital voice. I didn’t know there were voice actors.”

“There are. Mickey’s voice has sounded like that since the beginning, so of course they have actors who voice him. In fact, the way the voice is portrayed was actually specifically designed by Walt Disney himself. Walt was even the person who voiced Mickey when he first appeared in Steamboat Willie.”

“Really? Walt Disney even voice acted?”

“Yes, and his way of voicing Mickey has been passed down to all the Mickey voice actors around the world. Only voice actors that have undergone a strict selection process can voice Mickey. That’s why his voice sounds the same in every language.”

“I see.”



Recently, Mickey got a new Japanese voice actor. The performance of the new voice actor [Hoshino Takanori] is
especially close to Walt’s, so it feels very nostalgic.”

“Really? I had no idea. I didn’t notice anything different. And hey, isn’t Donald voiced in Japanese by [veteran voice actor and singer] Koichi Yamadera?”

“That’s right. Yamadera has done a lot of Disney characters besides Donald, too, like the Genie in Aladdin.”

“I could tell right away that the Genie was voiced by Yamadera, but I never expected Donald. His quacking voice must be hard! Yamadera must have a wide range.”

“I think Yamadera had to work very hard to learn Donald’s voice, even though he’s such a legend in the voice acting world.”

“Wow. So what’s most important for a great voice actor is definitely their level of skill and technique. That’s what makes an incredible performer, right?”

“That’s actually incorrect, P.K.”


“Well, of course it’s important for them to have skill, but what really breathes life into the voices of Mickey and his friends are their feelings of wanting to share magic and dreams with everyone☆. The most important thing for them to have is heart ☆”

So as it turns out, there are many reasons why Micky’s voice is the same in every language. But P.K. still couldn’t get over the idea of being able to recognize that Mickey’s voice changed. To be reminded of Walt Disney’s original Mickey voice because of it…Tashiro truly is a Disney maniac.

As always, talking with Tashiro showed P.K. depths of Disney fandom he never knew existed, and odds are it won’t be long until the next his coworker’s eyes light up at the opportunity to talk about his favorite subject.

Photos © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]