Narrator Jim Dale got his inspiration from the early days of radio, the 1940s and ‘50s. “Arturo the parrot has a voice very similar to an English comedian, Terry Scott. It’s an attractive, expressive voice, and I can do lots of things with it, hit high notes and low notes.” Dale’s vocal characterizations blend with the score seamlessly — all the more astonishing considering that he often lays down his tracks in only one take.
Dale, who holds a Guinness world record for the 146 voices he brought to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had never heard his own work until The Shoe Bird. “It’s the only one I’ve ever listened to,” he admits. “I was so thrilled with the music, I played it back. And I sent my five grandchildren copies. They adore it.”