'Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer': Meet the Voices Behind the Animated Characters
by Adam Yuster / Hollywood Reporter
The Christmas-themed film features the voices of Josh Hutcherson, Samantha Bee, Martin Short and more. A number of Hollywood A-listers lend their voices to Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer, an animated underdog story about a miniature horse who longs to be part of the team that pulls Santa's sleigh.
When Blitzen announces his retirement from Santa's team, Elliot travels to the North Pole for a chance to prove himself. But in order to be chosen as Blitzen's replacement, he has to compete against the world's top reindeer in a grand sporting event. The Christmas-themed family film features the voice talents of Josh Hutcherson, Samantha Bee, John Cleese, Martin Short, Jeff Dunham and Morena Baccarin.
Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer hits select theaters on Nov. 30 and will expand to theaters nationwide for one day only on Dec. 1. Read more about the actors and the characters they voice below.
Josh Hutcherson Elliot
Hutcherson stars as Elliot, the eponymous miniature horse who dreams of working for Santa. As a child and teen actor, Hutcherson starred in a number of high-profile movies during the mid-2000s, including Zathura: A Space Adventure, Bridge to Terabithia and Journey to the Center of the Earth. In 2010, he played Laser in theThe Kids Are All Right, which scored a best picture Oscar nomination. Two years later, he was cast as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games. He reprised his role as Mellark for each of The Hunger Games' three sequels.
Though Hutcherson is best known for his live-action roles, he has also participated in a handful of animated projects over the years. Most notably, Hutcherson provided the voice of the unnamed Hero Boy in The Polar Express. He also voiced Young Bruce Wayne in Justice League Unlimited, Markl in the English dub of Howl's Moving Castle and Nod in 2013's Epic.
Samantha Bee Hazel
Bee co-stars as Hazel, a spunky goat who is Elliot's best friend and coach. Born and raised in Canada, Bee was The Daily Show's first non-US-native correspondent. She holds the title of longest-serving correspondent for her 2002-2015 stint on the show.
In 2016, Bee co-created TBS' The Detour with her husband, fellow ex-Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones. That same year, she launched her own late -night news satire show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. The show has earned critical acclaim since its debut, securing Bee 10 Emmy nominations over the course of two seasons. Like Hutcherson, Bee is best known for her live-action roles, but she has also ventured into animation. Bee previously voiced characters in the adult animated sitcom Bob's Burgers and the Amazon Prime educational children's series Creative Galaxy.
John Cleese Donner
Cleese plays Donner, a dignified, revered reindeer on Santa's sleigh team. Alongside the other members of his comedy troupe Monty Python, Cleese co-created and starred in the influential sketch comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus. Monty Python was also responsible for multiple classic comedy films throughout the '70s and '80s, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python's The Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
Outside of Monty Python, Cleese's achievements include creating and starring in the cult comedy series Fawlty Towers and co-writing and starring in A Fish Called Wanda. Cleese was nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay in 1988 for his contributions to A Fish Called Wanda. Aside from his live-action roles, Cleese provided the voice for King Harold in the second, third and fourth installments of the Shrek series.
Martin Short Lemondrop/Ludzinka/Blitzen
Short's versatile voice brings a trio of animated characters to life in Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer. The veteran comedian plays Lemondrop, Santa's assistant; Ms. Ludzinka, the sinister business owner plotting to purchase the farm where Elliot was raised; and Blitzen, the reindeer whose retirement from Santa's team sets the film in motion.
Short was discovered by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels in the early 1980s. Michaels recruited Short for SNL's 1984-1985 season, after which Short left the show to become a movie star. One of his most memorable film roles came in 1991, with his performance as flamboyant wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer in Father of the Bride.
Short is currently on a nationwide comedy tour with Father of the Bride co-star Steve Martin. A special based on the tour, An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, was released on Netflix in May. Prior to lending his voice to Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer, Short voiced Stefan in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Mr. Frankenstein in Frankenweenie. He also voiced The Cat in the Hat in the PBS Kids series The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! from 2010 to 2013.
Jeff Dunham Clyde/Peanutbutter
Dunham voices Clyde, the assistant coach of Elliot's farm's reindeer team, and Peanutbutter, a miniature horse. As a ventriloquist, Dunham has built a career around crafting voices for eccentric characters. One of the best-selling comedians of all time, Dunham holds the Guiness world record for most tickets sold for a stand-up tour. He has released seven comedy specials to date, the most recent of which, Jeff Dunham: Relative Disaster, debuted on Netflix in 2017.
Dunham has cameoed in countless films and shows over the years, including 30 Rock and Angie Tribeca. He has also voiced animated characters in Smurfs: The Lost Village, The Nut Job and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature.
Morena Baccarin Corkie
Baccarin voices Corkie, a determined journalist assigned to cover the competition at the North Pole. Baccarin's breakout role came when she played Inara Serra in Joss Whedon's beloved but short-lived series Firefly and its follow-up film, Serenity. In 2011, Baccarin was cast as Jessica Brody in Homeland. Her performance as Brody landed her an Emmy nomination in 2013. In 2016, Baccarin booked another high-profile role when she was cast as Wade Wilson's fiancee Vanessa in Deadpool. Baccarin played Vanessa again in this year's Deadpool 2. Since 2015, she has also starred in the Batman prequel series Gotham as medical examiner Leslie Thompkins.
As with the other actors on this list, Baccarin has occasionally worked as a voice actor. Her voice credits include Black Canary in Justice League Unlimited, Cheetah in Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Sagira in the video game Destiny 2.
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