Benson at the World of Color Premiere Disney California Adventure
|Born||Jodi Marie Marzorati
October 10, 1961
Rockford, Illinois, U.S.
|Occupation||Voice actress, actress, singer|
|Notable work||Voice of Princess Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voice of Barbie in Disney Pixar's Toy Story
|Spouse(s)||Ray Benson (m. 1984)|
|Awards||Disney Legend (2011)|
Jodi Marie Marzorati Benson (born October 10, 1961) is an American voice actress, actress and soprano singer. She is best known for providing both the speaking and the singing voice of Disney's Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid and its sequel, prequel, and television series. Benson voiced the character Barbie in the 1999 movie Toy Story 2, the 2010 Academy Award winning movie Toy Story 3 and the Toy Story toon Hawaiian Vacation. For her contributions to the Disney company, Benson was named a Disney Legend in 2011.
Benson was the original voice of Ariel in the Academy Award-winning Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film The Little Mermaid and continues to perform Ariel and the bubbly voice of "Barbie" in Disney/Pixar's Best Picture Golden Globe winner Toy Story 2 and Academy Award winner Toy Story 3. She also gave voice to the spirited "Weebo" in Disney's live action Flubber, starring Robin Williams. For Warner Bros., she created the voice of Thumbelina, a Don Bluth animated feature film with songs by Barry Manilow. Jodi's other projects include Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure, Balto II: Wolf Quest, and Balto III: Wings of Change. She appeared as Patrick Dempsey's assistant Sam, in Disney’s live-action feature film Enchanted.
Benson's debut on Broadway was in the 1983 Kenny Ortega-directed "Marilyn: An American Fable". Other Broadway credits include a starring role in the Broadway musical Smile, where she introduced a song called "Disneyland". Howard Ashman, the lyricist of Smile, would go on to write the lyrics for The Little Mermaid. She describes the song "Disneyland" at the "Smile" Reunion concert held on Sept. 22, 2014, "This is the first piece of the puzzle of my life, the first step of the journey, so to speak". Benson also sings "Disneyland" on a compilation CD called Unsung Musicals. In 1989, Benson appeared in the Broadway musical, Welcome to the Club, alongside Samuel E. Wright, who performed the voice for Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid.
In 1992, Benson received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Polly Baker in Crazy For You. She played the narrator in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1998.
She was at the 2012 SYTA conference singing her signature song Part of Your World on Monday, August 27, 2012.
Benson has been the guest artist for the Candlelight Processional for 5 years at Walt Disney World including December 10–13, 2012.
She joined the "2013 Spring Pops" on May 14–15, 2013 as a guest soloist with the Boston Pops.
Benson can be heard on over a dozen recordings and has a six-part DVD series entitled Baby Faith from the creators of Baby Einstein. Her animated TV series include the Emmy Award-winning Camp Lazlo for the Cartoon Network, The Little Mermaid, Batman Beyond, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, The Wild Thornberrys, Barbie, Hercules: Zero to Hero, P. J. Sparkles, and the series Sofia the First for Disney as well as many others.
On the concert stage, Benson has performed as a concert soloist with symphonies all over the world, including The Boston Pops, The Philly Pops (conductor: Peter Nero), The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (conductor: John Mauceri), The National Symphony (conductor: Marvin Hamlisch), Cleveland, Dallas, Tokyo, San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies, to name a few. She starred in the Kennedy Center Honors for Ginger Rogers, and in Disney's Premiere in Central Park with Pocahontas, The Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary Spectacular and Disney's 100 Years of Magic. Benson is the resident guest soloist for the Walt Disney Company/Disney Cruise Line and ambassador for feature animation.
The Little Mermaid
In the 1980s, Benson first heard of the audition for The Little Mermaid through lyricist and playwright Howard Ashman. The two had just worked together in the Broadway show Smile until its run ended early. After hearing the demo for "Part of Your World", she sang a small part of it on tape where it was later sent to Disney executives. Before her audition for The Little Mermaid, she was primarily a stage actress. It was Ashman's first Disney project.
Film and television
|1993||Disney Sing Along Songs: Friend Like Me||Princess Ariel||Voice, archive footage|
|1994||Disney Sing Along Songs: Circle of Life||Princess Ariel||Voice, archive footage|
|1995||Mickey's Fun Songs: Beach Party at Walt Disney World (voice, live action)||Princess Ariel||Voice, live action|
|1996||Guideposts Junction||Herself||A six-part Christian video series for children|
|1998||A Bug's Life||Atta|
|1999||Disney's Arcade Frenzy||Princess Ariel|
|2000||Batman Beyond||Aquagirl||The Call Parts 1 and 2|
|2000||Disney's Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge||Nasira|
|2002||Kingdom Hearts||Princess Ariel||English version|
|2004||Onimusha 3: Demon Siege||Voice of Mother|||
|2005||Kingdom Hearts II||Princess Ariel||English version|
|2007||Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey||Princess Ariel|
|2011||Kinect Disneyland Adventures||Princess Ariel|
|2012||Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure||Princess Ariel|
|2012||Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion||Princess Ariel|
|2016||Disney Magical World 2||Princess Ariel|
|1990||The Little Mermaid Soundtrack|
|1991||Precious Moments Timmy's Gift||Performed the song, Starlight Theme|
|1991||Jodi Benson Sings Songs From the Beginner's Bible I|
|1992||Jodi Benson Sings Songs From the Beginner's Bible II|
|1992||The Little Mermaid: Splash Hits|
|1992||Crazy for You Cast Recording|
|1993||The Little Mermaid: Songs from the Sea|
|1995||Songs of Guideposts Junction|
|1996||Hollywood Christmas||Various artists|
|2000||The Little Mermaid II (soundtrack)|
|2004||Disney Princess: The Ultimate Song Collection|
|2004||Disney Princess Music Hits|
|2005||Disney Princess Christmas Of Enchantment|
|2005||Disney Princess Tea Party|
|2006||Ultimate Disney Princess|
- "Jodi Benson". Hollywood.com. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- Video: Disney Princess voices, Regis Philbin, Hensons accept their Disney Legends awards at the 2011 D23 Expo Retrieved November 24, 2013
- Headley, Mauzey, Benson Lead Starry Lineup for CINDERELLA, 5/14
- Jodi Benson Candlelight 2012 at Walt Disney World
- JODI BENSON TO REPRISE HER ROLE AS ARIEL IN ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCE OF THE LITTLE MERMAID: LIVE IN CONCERT Oh My Disney, Retrieved June 8, 2016
- "An Interview with Jodi Benson, Voice of Ariel". blogs.disney.com. Disney Insider. 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- Truitt, Brian (Oct 2, 2013). "'Little Mermaid' star Jodi Benson loves life as Ariel". USA Today. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- Gaither, Gloria (August 1, 2011). "Part Of Her World: Jodi Benson". Homecoming Magazine. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- Breslauer, Jan (December 10, 1995). "Just Like a Fish to Water : Jodi Benson made a splash as the voice of Ariel in 'The Little Mermaid,' but she's really hitting her stride in musicals.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- Truitt, Brian (October 2, 2013). "'Little Mermaid' star Jodi Benson loves life as Ariel". USA Today. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- Capcom (2004-04-27). Onimusha 3: Demon Siege. Scene: Closing credits, 0:45 in, cast.
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