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Super Mario's Toad Offer Shocked Keegan-Michael Key After Being Typecast As A Bird

It's no secret that the voice cast for "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" has been under some heavy scrutiny from fans ever since it was first announced that Chris Pratt would be voicing the iconic Italian plumber — though for what it's worth, the actors themselves seem to have embraced their roles wholeheartedly. Jack Black and Anya Taylor Joy in particular made headlines by attending the premiere in cosplay of their respective characters, Bowser and Princess Peach, and seem absolutely delighted by the opportunity to bring those characters to life. Black said the movie was an "instant yes" for him.

Keegan-Michael Key also seems incredibly enthusiastic about portraying Toad, the anthropomorphic mushroom servant who assists Peach throughout her castle — particularly because he has almost exclusively voiced birds in the past, and was finally given the chance to take on a different sort of animated character. "I usually voice birds when I do animated stuff," the actor explained during an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." "'Angry Birds,' 'Storks,' 'Toy Story 4,' bird, bird, bird, bird. I've been typecast to do birds, folks."

Key went on to say he was shocked to get an offer to play a mushroom instead of a bird, and jumped eagerly at the chance to expand his "repertoire" and "range" in this exciting new voice acting opportunity.

Key has played plenty of birds, but his voice acting career is much more than that

True to his word, a large chunk of Keegan-Michael Key's past work as a voice actor has transformed the "Key and Peele" star into a bird — playing a toy duckling in "Toy Story 4," Judge Peckinpah in "The Angry Birds Movie," Dave the Dove in the Sony Pictures Animation film "The Star," and even portraying a malevolent birdlike creature called a "Skeksis" in "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance."

Although he might joke about how many times he's been hired to play a bird, Key has also portrayed a wide variety of other characters (and animals) across different animated films. His most notable non-bird voice roles include Murray the Mummy from the "Hotel Transylvania" franchise, Bjornson the Cheesemonger in "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers," Honest John in "Pinocchio," and Kamari the Hyena in 2019's "The Lion King."

Key has also voice acted in several adult animated television series, including "American Dad!," "Archer," and "Rick and Morty." Even in the movie "Storks," which he named during his interview with Jimmy Fallon, he actually plays a wolf. Though it is hilarious that Key has been typecast as a bird on four separate occasions, it does nothing to diminish the prolific voice-acting work he's done in the past — even if he was shocked to earn the role of "Toad" in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie."