Back in 1995 John Ratzenberger became a part of history as one of the voices in the first animated feature done entirely by computer. That film was Pixar’s Toy Story and ever since, Ratzenberger has made a small cameo in every single one of Pixar’s 13 feature films.
Abominable Snowman – Monsters Inc.
Toy Story was the auspicious beginning to a mutually rewarding relationship. The company since has dubbed Ratzenberger their good luck charm having him reprise his role as Hamm in Toy Story 2 and playing P.T. Flea in A Bug’s Life, the snow monster Yeti in Monsters, Inc., the monkfish school in Finding Nemo, The Underminer in The Incredibles and even Mack in Cars. This summer with the release of Up, John Ratzenburger continues his relationship with Pixar and returns as Construction Foreman Tom
Mustafa – Ratatouille / Hamm – Toy Story 1,2 & 3 / P.T. the Flea – A Bug’s Life
The actor at age 62 is best-known as Cliff Clavin from the 11 year running hit sitcom “Cheers,” but perhaps for future generations he will just as equally be remembered as one of the greatest animated voices. Pete Docter, director of “Monsters, Inc.” and “Up,” was quoted saying Ratzenberger’s vocal ability is the key to his success making him the ultimate Pixar character actor. He went on to say that Pixar uses Razenberger as their Hitchcock cameo in every film.
Mack the Truck – Cars 1 & Cars 2
No one outside Ratzenberger and Pixar know exactly what his salary is but what we have been told is that there is no legal or written contract between the two. A good old fashioned handshake from the start sealed the deal. You can however say that Ratzenberger sports a strong grip. The success of the string of Pixar blockbusters added on to his previous work in other films such as The Empire Strikes Back and Superman have placed him on The Numbers Web site ranks at No. 11 with his movies taking in more than $3 billion.
The tradition continues next year as Ratzenberger returns as Hamm for “Toy Story 3,” due out next summer. The question on everyone’s mind is will Toy Story 3 be the start of the downfall of Pixar or will their winning streak continue?
John – Wall-E