Paul Frees


Just came across your site. I have actually been trying to find out Paul Frees’s name for years, and just recently did on a Stan Freberg CD. Frees was the narrator for the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, as well as Pirates of the Caribbean. Since these opened (Pirates in 1966 and Mansion in 1969), his voice has stuck with me, and I get a jar whenever I hear it in another venue, be it cartoon, TV show, or movie. Very nice to see such a great writeup on him (and the rest of the gang).

Your writeup on him mentioned that you have not been on these rides. I highly recommend that you take the time to do so one day, especially the Haunted Mansion. He is doing his narrator voice, with just a little bit of “sinister” thrown in, and it is excellent. Also with Pirates. Going to Disneyland as a kid burned that voice into my head, and I have wondered since who did it.

Your comments, here, kind of remind me what Bill Clinton said about Black politician, Barbara Jordan, after she died (even if you never liked Bill Clinton, I am sure that you can appreciate this). He said that he once had to give a speech, with Barbara Jordan sitting there in the audience. He indicated that, having to give a speech, with Barbara Jordan right in view, was kind of like a minister giving a sermon, with God seated in the front row. It sounds like Frees had a really POWERFUL and MESMERIZING voice for you, on that ride.

Part of the problem is that Frees seems to be one who did not look for the spotlight. When I have heard his voice in TV or movies, I have been unable to find him in the credits. On the Freberg CD (with Frees’s voice in many bits), he is never credited as narrator, and I only found his name from one character listed (in fairness, he may be credited in other spots where I didn’t recognize his voice, but not for any of the narrations). BTW, the Freberg CD (a boxed set) is excellent, comes partly from his radio show and from commercials he did. And the talent he used: not only Frees, but Daws Butler and June Foray (recognized her voice right off!) and others. Excellent showcase of talent!

I almost always have seen his voice credited, in things that he has done. I do know that he often did not receive credit, if he did dubbing in movies, for people with bad accents or speaking voices. I often allude to the imdb website, which gives a nearly complete list of most actors’ work. I know that you will find at least some of his work, where it says “uncredited”, however.

As far as not seeking the spotlight goes—-of course you know, if you perused The Incredible Magic of Paul Frees article, that he did not like on-camera acting (though he did do some of that, during his many years in Hollywood).

Anyway, kudos on your site, and thank you for so much information on a supremely talented bunch of folks.

Cheers, Ken

Don’t think that I do not really appreciate your very interesting and nice missive. I do!


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