John James "Jimmy" MacDonald (May 19, 1906 - February 1, 1991) was a Scottish voice actor and the original head of the Disney sound effects department, and the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1947 to 1977.
In addition to directing sounds for animated shorts as aurally complicated as Mickey's Trailer (1938), he developed many original inventions and contraptions to achieve expressive sounds for characters like Casey Jr., the circus train engine from Dumbo (1941); Evinrude the dragonfly from The Rescuers (1977); the bees in Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966); and Buzz-buzz (later called "Spike"), the bee who gets the best of Donald Duck in his 1950s short films.
MacDonald also added voice effects, like on-screen humming for Kirk Douglas in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), and chipmunk chatter from various Chip & Dale cartoons, starting with 1943's Private Pluto.
In 1947, Walt Disney was getting too busy and too hoarse from smoking to continue voicing Mickey Mouse, so he passed the torch to MacDonald, starting with the film Fun and Fancy Free (1947). MacDonald voiced the mouse on a regular basis until 1953, and a recurring one until 1977, until passing the torch to young Disney sound effects man Wayne Allwine for Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983).
MacDonald also provided the voice of Jaq and Gus and Bruno the dog in Cinderella (1950), also the Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland (1951), the Wolf in The Sword in the Stone (1963) and Tabaqui in Tabaqui in The Jungle Book (1967), but he can be seen in deleted scenes of The Jungle Book. He also appeared in the feature film Toby Tyler as the Circus Band Drummer, but was uncredited.
MacDonald also found time to play drums in the famous Firehouse Five Plus Two jazz band. He played with the band on and off from its inception until it disbanded in the early 1970s.
MacDonald died of heart failure in 1991. He was buried in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.
- The Disney Channel's "Disney Family Album: James MacDonald", circa 1985
- Some of his SFX can be heard in non-Disney cartoons like Rocko's Modern Life, CatDog, Ed Edd n Eddy and Spongebob Squarepants and also various UPA cartoons
- Disney-related SFX are included in Cartoon Trax, the Hanna-Barbera Sound FX Library and the International Sound Effects Library
- James MacDonald at the Internet Movie Database
- Biography at Disney Legends website
- Jimmy MacDonald (sound effects artist) at Find a Grave
- The Voice of Mickey Mouse at The Scotsman website
- The Voice of Mickey Mouse at BBC Radio Scotland
- Dundee honours the voice of Mickey Mouse at The Times
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