This isn’t the first time that John Ratzenberger has been lauded for what he’s done for Pixar, but it’s still impressive to think that he’s been a part of every Pixar movie in some way, even if he didn’t have a speaking role in Soul. He was still given a character that looked like him apparently, which is a nice thank you for the work he’s done over the years, as it includes him even if it didn’t utilize his voice. He’s been a part of every Pixar movie since the beginning since his role as Hamm in Toy Story was his very first, and he’s been showing up ever since. There was even a gag made of this in the post-credit scenes of a Car Story movie in which his character is heard to exclaim that the movies are using the same character for different roles, which was pretty funny. He’s taken on so many different characters using his own voice, or slight variations thereof, from the start, and it’s been a lot of fun to listen to him since John has a voice that is so easy to listen to since he sounds like he could be your best buddy or that guy at the bar that thinks he knows a little bit about everything and has a bit of advice to give you whether you want it or not.
His time as Cliff Clavin on Cheers is of course where a lot of us that were growing up in the 80s remember him from, since he and Norm were two of the regulars at the bar that everyone counted on seeing with every episode or nearly every episode. John and George Wendt were two of the best parts of the show since they were both the kind of characters that one can see at any given tavern just sitting down at the end of the day to enjoy a brew or three and talking about the world and what’s wrong with it. While they both went their own ways after the end of Cheers, John stuck with Pixar for the duration and has been kind of a good luck charm as some folks would put it. The funny thing is that there are roles that he’s completed that are absolutely important and then there are those that could possibly be taken out and things wouldn’t change much. But at this point taking John out of Pixar at all would be kind of a shock to a lot of fans that have grown used to him in such a big way. From Mack on Cars to the Abominable Snowman on Monsters Inc., John has been a welcome voice in each movie he’s been given a role. There are some roles that have utilized him far more, such as in Cars, A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story, but the point is that having him there is kind of expected at this point since he’s become a big part of the Pixar experience and is someone that people expect to hear at some point.
The future that John might have with Pixar is going to last until he can no longer voice the characters no doubt, but until that happens it kind of feels that they’ll end up keeping him around somehow since after so long it’s easy to imagine that people might actually have an issue if he wasn’t included. Why he wasn’t in Soul is kind of a moot question since the director of the movie has admitted that John does have a small cameo that people would have to be paying attention to notice. His roles have always varied in length so it’s fair to say that he’s been in every Pixar movie, but he hasn’t always been one of the most noticeable roles simply because his character might not be one of the most prominent. But trying to think of any other voice actor that’s been seen to ply their trade with the same company this many times, for different projects, is a bit difficult. There are many others that have been a part of Pixar’s stable of actors for a while, such as Bonnie Hunt, who has managed to take part in around 8 movies, while several other actors took on other roles in various movies. Pixar has managed to secure a wealth of talent over the years to fill the cast of each movie, and it’s been kind of impressive to see who they’ve managed to pick up at times. But for every new cast and movie that comes along, John has been there, and hopefully he’ll be there for a while to come since he’s fun to listen to when he comes up with another character.
Admit it, you’ll be sad when the day comes and he’s no longer there.