Two chunks of animation film news arrived over the Bank Holiday weekend, so we thought I’d distil them down into one handy chunk for you.

First up, Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid films was out and about at the junket for the latest straight-to-DVD release and got to talking up one of her other jobs. Seems she’s reprising another of her famous roles, Barbie in Toy Story for the third film, which will see Woody and Buzz dumped at a kids’ day care centre when owner Andy heads off to college. Benson revealed that we’d get to meet Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken in the movie. And that Ken would be voiced by… Michael Keaton! Yes, the man behind Batman and Beetlejuice will be shaving his genitals off in preparation for the plastic role. Or maybe he’s just been in the voice studio… And trivia fans will know it’s hardly his first time working for Pixar – his tones were heard as Chick Hicks in Cars.

Secondly today, Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell has signed on to the CG ‘toon adaptation of Astro Boy, playing an unnamed leading female voice. She’s joining the likes of Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland and Freddie Highmore.

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