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Why Brook From Elemental Sounds So Familiar

In Pixar's newest film, "Elemental," fire, air, water, and earth beings live side by side in the thriving Element City. Despite this camaraderie, there is one cardinal rule: elements don't mix. Though the fiery Ember and ripply Wade come from two very different worlds, they can't help but be drawn to one another. Throughout the film, Ember's and Wade's parents are featured and play a role in their complicated relationship.

Wade's mother, Brook, is a translucent water being and a successful architect. Like her son, and the rest of her family, she wears her heart on her sleeve, and because people can see right through her, she gets emotional from time to time. She is voiced by Catherine O'Hara, a Canadian actress who has had a very successful and prolific career.

From quirky movies to award-winning television shows, O'Hara is a powerhouse in the industry. She also has a very distinctive voice, so if you've wondered if you have heard her before, you most certainly have. Here are some productions you probably have seen and heard her in.

She rode the Banana Boat

Catherine O'Hara got her start in the '70s by appearing in several notable Canadian programs. These include the sketch show "SCTV" and various cartoons, such as "Please Don't Eat the Planet" and "Easter Fever." In 1988, the actor was given her chance to shine on the international stage by appearing in Tim Burton's cult classic, "Beetlejuice."

Stuffy and artistic, Delia Deetz isn't crazy about moving to the middle of nowhere, into a home where Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) once lived before their tragic deaths. However, this gruesome detail doesn't deter her, and Delia is determined to make her new home as chic as the one in New York. From tearing down wallpaper to displaying her odd sculptures, she angers the Maitlands' ghosts. Despite them trying to scare her family out — with a fun dance number at the dinner table — they are only enthralled by the fact that the house is haunted.

Though her stepdaughter, Lydia (Winona Ryder), would much rather leave the Maitlands in peace, Delia, her husband, Charles (Jeffrey Jones), and her friend, Otho (Glenn Shadix), exploit the ghosts for their gain. Things go awry when Adam and Barbara are nearly turned to dust, but Lydia enlists the help of bio-exorcist Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton). 

After thwarting Beetlejuice's forced marriage to Lydia, the Maitlands and the Deetzes live in the house together, showing that the dead and living can, indeed, get along.

You might remember KEVIN!

Every holiday season, you've heard, "KEVIN!" in a loud and panicked voice. Well, it turns out that the owner of that scream is none other than Catherine O'Hara in "Home Alone" and its sequel, "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." 

In these classic Christmas films, O'Hara portrays Kate McCallister, the mother of Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin). She is a loving mother to her five kids, but she can be a bit strict when her children act up. This is seen when she sends Kevin — in both movies — to the attic bedroom as a punishment for fighting with his older brother, Buzz (Devin Ratray). 

When the McCallisters go on vacation — Paris in "Home Alone" and Florida in the sequel — they are almost late for their flights. They frantically get ready, and in the process, forget Kevin, either in the attic or in the airport itself. In both films, Kate, along with the rest of the family, realizes Kevin is missing when it's too late.

Kate's love for Kevin is truly exhibited during these moments. She throws away her entire vacation to make sure he is okay and even hitchhikes with strangers to get home to Chicago. In both films, she is the one who is reunited with Kevin first, and despite their differences, they run into each other's arms and celebrate Christmas together. 

She voices an iconic animated ragdoll

Fans of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" may recognize Catherine O'Hara as the voice behind the heroine, Sally. Beautiful, lonely, and heavily stitched, this ragdoll is the creation of Dr. Finklestein (William Hickey). Locked up, she is restless and craves both adventure and the love of Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon/Danny Elfman). Sally is soft, but headstrong, and doesn't accept her situation without fighting. She constantly slips Dr. Finklestein Deadly Nightshade and sneaks out of the lab to join the lively townspeople as they watch Jack perform the yearly Halloween celebration. 

When Jack discovers Christmas, Sally has a vision of a Christmas tree burning and knows something terrible will happen. When she tries to convince Jack that he's the Pumpkin King —  and Halloween is his domain — he brushes her off. She fills the town's fountain with fog juice, making it nearly impossible for Jack's reindeer to see. However, Zero, Jack's ghost dog, lights the way with his jack-o-lantern nose. O'Hara performs a beautiful, yet heart-wrenching song, simply titled "Sally's Song," detailing the character's wavering strength after she cannot get through to Jack. 

However, Sally doesn't stay disheartened for long, and even when it seems Jack is dead, she continues strong. She goes against Oogie Boogie (Ken Page) to save Sandy Claws (Ed Ivory), and though they are both rescued by Jack, her efforts don't go unnoticed. The skeleton finally realizes his own feelings and they share a sweet moment on the snowy spiral hill.

Who else can say they played a porcupine?

After "The Nightmare Before Christmas," Catherine O'Hara continued to add more voiceover work to her resume. In 2006, she was in the Dreamworks movie, "Over the Hedge," which follows the lives of woodland animals as they come against suburban development. O'Hara plays Penny, a porcupine who is married to Lou, played by her friend and frequent collaborator, Eugene Levy. 

Penny and Lou are a good-natured and loving couple who always help each other out when it comes to their three kids, Bucky, Quillo, and Spike (Shane Baumel, Sami Kirkpatrick, and Madison Davenport). They immediately trust the newcomer, R.J. (Bruce Willis), and are generally enthusiastic about the raccoon's plans. Despite their easy-going personalities, Penny and Lou are upset when the turtle, Verne (Garry Shandling), challenges their intelligence. However, like their friends, they are quick to forgive him and become a family once again. 

In addition to "Over the Hedge," O'Hara has been in several other animated productions over the years, for both television and film. These include "Chicken Little," "Frankenweenie," "The Addams Family," "Glenn Martin DDS," and "Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses." O'Hara also had recurring roles as Kaossandra in the "Skylanders Academy" and as Skaelka in "The Last Kids on Earth."

Catherine O'Hara won an Emmy for Schitt's Creek

Catherine O'Hara made an even bigger name for herself in "Schitt's Creek" as Moira Rose. She is one of the few cast members to appear in every single episode. After the Rose family loses their wealth, they are forced to live in a motel in the town that Johnny — played by O'Hara's frequent co-star, Eugene Levy — bought for their son, David (Dan Levy). Along with their pampered daughter, Alexis (Annie Murphy), the Roses must come to terms with their situation. 

Though the whole family can be rather dramatic, Moira takes the cake. Because she is a former soap opera star, she ironically goes through life as though she is a television character. She brings a theatrical flair to everything she does, from promoting "The Crows Have Eyes 3," to attending the town council, to even babysitting. 

O'Hara has been highly praised for her performance, winning the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2020 — where the series impressively swept up every award category it was nominated for. Everything she puts into this role is hysterical, from the way she panics over folding cheese into an enchilada, to the way she can emit a cackling laugh, without even opening her mouth.  It is no wonder she has impressed many viewers and critics over the years.