Voice Over Actor, Walt Disney Studios
In 1969, Disneyland Records released a title called "The Story and Song From the Haunted Mansion," which was the company's official soundtrack recording for the new wildly-popular Disneyland attraction. The role of the "Ghost Host" was not reprised by Paul Frees, as is heard in the ride. Rather, it was re-interpreted by vocal talent Pete Renoudet, who also worked on other Disney attractions such as Country Bear Jamboree and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Jesse Guiher spoke with Mr. Renoudet about his role for DoomBuggies.com.
Jesse Guiher: Around what time were you contacted to do the "Ghost Host" voice for the haunted mansion record?
Pete Renoudet: Gosh, I don't know - seems like it was shortly after the ride was opened, if I remember right, but I could be completely wrong about that.
So you think it was after the ride opened?
I think it was yeah, because they tried to get Paul Frees, and I guess
he wanted too much money (laughs.) You know the stuff for the original
ride of course?
Hmmm... I wondered about that, because the
record is considerably different in many aspects.
Right. It was produced by Tutti Camarata, who did all of the Disneyland
records in those days.
Was the recording session all in one day?
All in one shot?
Were you in the studio with a bunch of other people,
or did they mix it together later?
No, I was all by myself.
Were there a lot of re-takes for it?
No. very very little. I think the whole thing didnt take probably more than an hour and a half I guess.
Was the script pretty well put together for
The script was nailed down. There were no changes at all.
So you didnt do any kind of outtakes
Did you have to do anything special for the
ghost host for that? Because I know it has sort of an echo...
That was added. Yeah, they added that echo. At the time we were doing it , they played a little samples back and forth so we could see if it was too much echo, or how it was going.
I heard at one point that you were actually approached to do the ghost host voice for the attraction itself? True?
I dont think that is true - you know that record they put out? That cd? [Ed. note: Hes referring to the 30th anniversary CD.] It had a clip on there saying there was an audition, but I dont remember it being that way. I dont remember auditioning for the actual voice at all. I think that was all decided that it would be Paul from the beginning. To my knowledge there really were no auditions.
There are some things described on the record that arent in the attraction. Do you know why it was written that way?
I think they were just trying to do a story for the kids - give them something to identify with... with two kids going through the ride. Thats why Ronny Howard and uh..the other little girl.. uh... Robie Lester? She became a kind of a sometime star for a little while - the girl that was on the record, the young girls voice.
What did you think when you first heard it after it was all put together?
I thought it was pretty cute. didnt know that there was going
to be as much of a story about the kids going through because,
I mean, all I had basically was the lines that I had to do. I really
didnt have - I dont remember having a complete script with
everybody elses lines so much, it was just my "ghost host"
narration stuff. I didnt really get any interplay with the kids
- it would have been fun to do that, but very few things, especially
animation is done like that. It's all primarily done one voice at a
time. Except for the Saturday morning cartoons.. now those we did like
old radio shows, except of course, we cant overlap. Oooh, thats
a big no-no... never overlap, never overlap.
Thats interesting. I would have thought childrens records would have been done more like old time radio?
No, no. I think because that was Disneys (way) and they were so locked into animation recording - they did almost all of the things individually and then cut them together. Now and then if there is a couple working together like Pumba and Timon, they probably use those together, and I remember hearing that the characters in Song of the South were working together. Sounds like it too - I mean it sounds like they are having such a good time.
(Jesse Guiher publishes an audio theme park fanzine on CD titled "Magic Memories." For more information, email Jesse.)
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