Pixar’s Soul Director Comments On John Ratzenberger’s Mysterious Voice Cameo

22, Joe and Moonwind in Soul (2020

When going into a Pixar movie, there are several elements one should expect – beautiful animation, humor and a cameo from John Ratzenberger. The veteran actor has been with the animation studio since its debut film, Toy Story, in which he voiced sarcastic piggy bank Hamm. So many were surprised when it appeared that Ratzenberger was not featured in Pixar’s latest film, Soul. However, director Pete Docter has commented on the matter, and it seems this actually isn’t the case.

John Ratzenberger has a very distinct voice that any Pixar fan can recognize, so it was quite unusual to seemingly not hear him among Soul’s all-star voice talent. When CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell had a chance to speak with director Pete Docter, he revealed that Ratzenberger actually did have a cameo in the film, but the filmmaker remained mum on the details:

He’s… I don’t want to give (it away), I don’t want to be too specific. But John Ratzenberger does make a cameo in the film.

That mysterious answer from Pete Docter is sure to get everyone wondering where John Ratzenberger might have popped up. Though there are a number of possibilities, as the film takes viewers to a number of different places. My personal guess would be that he voiced someone in the “Great Before,” as it featured numerous characters with different voices. And because Ratzenberger didn’t seem to be immediately recognizable, he may have intentionally used a different voice for the part.

While Ratzenberger’s Pixar roles have varied in length, they’re almost always memorable. Many can probably remember the first time they heard his loud and humorously arrogant performance as P.T Flea in A Bug’s Life or when he memorably showed up at the tail end of The Incredibles, playing the villainous Underminer, a role he even reprised for the 2018 sequel.

Pixar knows people have come to expect John Ratzenberger to show up in its films at this point, and the studio has even poked fun at itself for reusing him. During the end credits of Cars, Mack the truck (a character voiced by Ratzenberger) watches several parodies of Pixar films at a drive-in theater and eventually notices that certain characters are voiced by the same actor (the actor being him, of course).

Despite having been with the studio for so long, John Ratzenberger isn’t breaking with them yet. He’ll next be heard in Disney+’s Monsters Inc. spinoff show, Monsters at Work. The show will see Ratzenberger reprise his role as the boisterous and banished Abominable Snowman.

John Ratzenberger has definitely become beloved by Pixar fans for his many performances and, after hearing Pete Docter’s comments, they now have another great reason to rewatch the largely well-received Soul. We’ll see how long it takes for someone to find out where the actor was featured.

Soul is now available to stream on Disney+.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.