Seinfeld is one of the biggest and most popular sitcoms of the 1990s, running for a total of nine seasons. With its eclectic yet strangely lovable cast of characters getting into all kinds of self-inflicted misadventures, Seinfeld still remains popular with audiences to this day.
Because of this large cast, full of brilliant and memorable characters, it is perhaps inevitable that some of Seinfeld‘s actors would appear in a Disney movie, television show, or maybe even both, especially as the 1990s was one of Disney’s greatest eras. These are the Seinfeld characters who have some fun and beloved Disney characters to put to their name.
Puddy – Kronk (The Emperor’s New Groove) – Patrick Warburton
David Puddy is Elaine’s on-again-off-again boyfriend. Although he is not the smartest character on the show, Puddy is sweet and lovable and proved himself to be the most likable of Elaine’s exes on Seinfeld.
His likability is partially down to the fact that he is played by the iconic Patrick Warburton. As a result, there are key similarities between Puddy and Patrick Warburton’s most famous Disney role, Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove. Both characters are genuinely good at heart but are dimwitted and do not live up to the expectations of the women in their lives, whether it’s Elaine or Yzma. Warburton also played Buzz Lightyear in the Buzz Lightyear animated TV series.
Nina – Screenslaver (Incredibles 2) – Catherine Keener
Jerry had a number of girlfriends across the show’s nine seasons. One was Nina, played by Catherine Keener. In the episode “The Letter,” Nina is an artist who paints a portrait of Kramer, and from whom George begrudgingly buys a $500 piece of art. He later tries to flog the piece for $10.
Whilst she only appeared in one episode of Seinfeld, Catherine Keener made her mark in the House of Mouse by providing the voice of Evelyn Deavor, who is later revealed to be the supervillain Screenslaver in Incredibles 2.
Ada – Deb/Flo (Finding Nemo) – Viki Lewis
The episode “The Secretary” sees George choosing to hire a dowdy secretary so he could focus on his work and not be inclined to sleep with her. He hires Ada, who is plain but efficient and hard-working. However, George becomes attracted to her just from spending time with her and they end up sleeping together regardless.
Ada is played by Vicki Lewis, and Disney fans will recognize the Pixar character she also played. In Finding Nemo, the little clownfish befriends a number of unusual fish in the Tank Gang, and one such fish was Deb, who claimed that her reflection was her twin sister, Flo.
J. Peterman – Roger Doofenshmirtz (Phineas And Ferb) – Jon O’Hurley
Elaine’s final job during the last three seasons of Seinfeld was working for the J. Peterman Company. The fictionalized version of J. Peterman traveled often and at one point left Elaine in charge of the company, which resulted in one of Elaine’s funniest storylines in Seinfeld when she revealed her awful dancing to the company employees.
When he was on screen, J. Peterman was played by Jon O’Hurley. As well as Elaine’s boss, O’Hurley also took on the role of Roger Doofenshmirtz, the younger, more handsome, and more successful brother of Phineas and Ferb’s beloved villain, Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
Mike Moffit – Pintel (Pirates Of The Caribbean) – Lee Arenberg
In one of Seinfeld‘s most underrated episodes, “The Parking Space,” George gets into a heated argument in regards to a parking space with Mike Moffit, a friend of Kramer’s who also called Jerry a phony.
Whilst a minor yet memorable character in Seinfeld, Lee Arenberg is perhaps more widely recognized as playing Pintel the pirate from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Along with his friend and fellow crewmate, Ragetti, Pintel provided a number of comedic moments throughout the first three movies.
Frank – Uncle Max (The Lion King 1 1/2) – Jerry Stiller
One of the most beloved and recurring supporting characters in Seinfeld is Frank, George’s hot-tempered father. Bought to life by the legendary Jerry Stiller, Frank Costanza and his wife, Estelle, had some great moments throughout Seinfeld.
Frank wasn’t the only eccentric relative that Jerry Stiller played. Disney’s The Lion King soon launched the spin-off movie, The Lion King 1 1/2, which is the story of the original movie but told from meerkat Timon’s perspective. As a result, audiences are introduced to Timon’s mother and his paranoid Uncle Max, the latter of whom was voiced by Frank himself.
Estelle – Mrs. Potato Head (Toy Story 3) – Estelle Harris
Estelle (Estelle Harris) is George’s over-the-top mother who frequently argues with both her son and her husband, Frank. Despite her obnoxious personality and being unafraid to take Frank or George down a peg, Estelle has remained a beloved addition to the cast.
Estelle Harris’s Disney counterpart is another matriarchal figure, and that is Mrs. Potato Head in the iconic Toy Story franchise. Like her Seinfeld character, Mrs. Potato Head is a motherly figure who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Both Estelle and Mrs. Potato Head are beloved members of their supporting casts.
Newman – Tantor (Tarzan) – Wayne Knight
As the nemesis of Jerry and roommate and friend of Kramer, mailman Newman has ended up becoming one of the most popular characters in the show, as well as the most recurring supporting character in Seinfeld. His seemingly evil nature is so enjoyable to watch, and that’s partially down to Wayne Knight’s brilliant character acting.
From Jurassic Park to 3rd Rock from the Sun, Wayne Knight has a number of notable roles under his belt. But when it comes to Disney, his most notable role is arguably Tantor, the neurotic elephant from the hit movie Tarzan. Seinfeld fans can also find Newman as Al the toy collector in Toy Story 2 and the Evil Emperor Zurg in the Buzz Lightyear animated series.
George – Hugo (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame) – Jason Alexander
Although he is arguably Jerry’s closest friend in the show, George is a very flawed individual. Neurotic, selfish, and ultimately repellant, George is still a very hilarious character to watch and has a number of iconic moments in the scene.
Whilst George is one of his more morally ambiguous characters, Jason Alexander also played a more well-meaning friend in the dark Disney classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame. As the main source of comic relief, gargoyle Hugo was always on hand to cheer up Quasimodo and look out for him, something George perhaps wasn’t as good at with Jerry. Jason Alexander was also the villain Abis Mal in the Aladdin sequel, The Return of Jafar.
Elaine – Princess Atta (A Bug’s Life) – Julia Louis-Dreyfus
As the only female of the main four characters, as well as Jerry’s ex, Elaine had to be a strong character in her own right. And whilst she does have her faults, Elaine has more than proven to be a staple character in Seinfeld.
Elaine is not the only female protagonist played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Pixar’s underrated classic, A Bug’s Life, partially focused on the struggles of queen-ant-to-be Princess Atta as she struggled to help lead the colony, as well as deal with the villainous grasshoppers and her feelings for the worker ant and hero, Flik. It is fair to say whilst both are strong and feisty women, Atta is a lot nobler in her actions than Elaine.