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NYCC 2019: Jodi Benson and Paige O'Hara on their Disney Princess group chat
When Jodi Benson's kids referred to her as an "OG Disney Princess," she had to ask them what that meant — but for her, being one of the voices of the original Disney Princesses is a title she wears proudly, even if she's just as excited for the next generation to inhabit a role she made memorable back in 1989 with the release of The Little Mermaid.
"We love to see our movies come alive in different forms and fashions. We love that. But that doesn't negate the fact that the original is always going to be there and the next generation is going to enjoy it," Benson said.
SYFY's Katie Wilson and SYFY FANGRRLS' Courtney Enlow had the chance to sit down for a chat with Benson and her fellow "OG" Princess, Paige O'Hara, who brought the voice of Belle to life in 1991's Beauty and the Beast. In a long chat on our SYFY WIRE Live Stage at New York Comic Con, Benson and O'Hara reflected on some of the early challenges that came with recording back in the post-Sleeping Beauty era.
Benson recounted an anecdote about recording "Part of Your World" for seven and a half hours, and at the end of that session the team realized she had been using the wrong microphone! But according to Benson, The Little Mermaid lyricist Howard Ashman came up with the idea to re-record in a way that called back to her Broadway roots. "[He said,] 'We're going to turn off the lights, and Jodi, you're going to do this like you're doing a Broadway show.'"
For O'Hara, working with legendary actress Angela Lansbury, who provided the voice of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, was a recording highlight for her. "She had been traveling all night and gotten stuck in another city the night before she was supposed to record ... with us. And she came in ... and she sings 'Beauty and the Beast' not only to perfection, but everyone in the whole place, we were all crying. And it's the only take she did, and it's the one that you have in the movie."
Check out the full interview with Benson and O'Hara below, in which they discuss fans cosplaying as their characters, why they always have a Kleenex box ready at their signings, and which other OG Disney Princess they have a group chat with: