Ron Clements & John Musker talk Princess and the Frog and Jim Cummings

Ultimate Disney did a great article with Interview with John Musker and Ron Clements: The writing-directing duo behind The Princess and the Frog where they said some wonderful things about working with Jim Cummings. I’ve just pulled out the quotes specifically about Jim Cummings below but I do encourage you to read the whole article here. It is a great read!

Q: I had the pleasure of interviewing Ray’s animator Mike Surrey a few months back. He said Jim Cummings made his job easy. What made you choose him for Ray? 

John Musker: Jim Cummings was a riot to work with. We have worked with him in the past but what we didn’t know was that he had spent years in New Orleans where he worked alongside Cajuns whose speech patterns he picked up.

Q: Being a Louisiana native, it’s eerie and extremely entertaining how well you got the Cajun character down. Was there a lot of research involved in Raymond and the film as a whole?

John Musker: We wanted to do right by Louisiana and the culture there including the great Cajun populace. John Lasseter really wanted authenticity, so we took several trips down there. We met with a number of people including a man named Reggie who was our bayou tour guide. We noted his speech patterns, and picked up more phrases at jazz Fest. We also did research where we read stories written in a “Cajun” voice and found Cajun glossaries online. Best of all though, we cast Jim Cummings as our firefly. When he auditioned, he did a great Cajun accent and we learned he had a home there for several years and had worked with Cajuns in the Merchant marines. He was able to improvise in his Cajun speak, so he added a lot of flavor to our gumbo.

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