Tony Anselmo, the voice and animator of Disney legend Donald Duck, talked about his long career and some of his favorite memories working with Disney veterans. Check out my interview with him from this year’s MomoCon.
What made you take an interest in acting?
My interest wasn’t in acting. I wanted to be an animator and work for Disney, so I was acting with a pen.
What project did you enjoy the best?
Probably, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, because I was working with the nine old men who worked with Walt Disney. I liked the Three Musketeers with Mickey, Goofy, and Donald. There is an upcoming show we have coming out with the Disney streaming service called Legend of The Three Caballeros, which I’m really proud of.
The landscape for voiceover work has changed so much. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen or had to adapt to, as far as auditioning and the technical aspect goes?
Well, I don’t know. I got the part so I don’t have to audition anymore. I haven’t auditioned in 35 years.
Is it very freeing, to just walk in the room and work without auditioning?
It is a blessing. It’s not about the paychecks to me. It’s about the legacy that’s bigger than me. I have to honor that gift with integrity and carrying on that legacy. That’s the bottom line for me. The guys that I worked with and who worked with Walt used to say that “this is going to be around long after you’re gone, with your name on it, so do the best you can.“
Tell me who Donald Duck is.
We’re all probably a little more like Donald than Goofy or Mickey in that we all like to have fun, we like to have goals and things that we set out to accomplish, but when things get in our way then we get mad, and that’s the essence of Donald. You’ve got to control your temper. It’s a natural human thing that we can all relate to.
What is something that is important to you outside of your career?
Making sure that lunatic doesn’t get back in the White House. That affects everybody in this building, in this country, in the world. You have no idea how important that is. This isn’t the subject I’m here to talk about, but you asked the question. Honestly, the thing that is most important to me is that we hold onto democracy, love and not hate, not fear and get back to having integrity in our country.
Are there any stories that didn’t get told or animated that you wanted to see produced?
There are a few I think would be fun to do, that got picked up to storyboard but they didn’t get made. I think Donald having to deal with technology would be fun. Calling customer service would be frustrating. There was one with Goofy going through airport security. Those are two that I hope still get made.