In 1998, Murphy made his Disney debut as Mushu in the animated feature film Mulan, which gained him praise for his naturally comedic voice work. In 2003, he starred in The Haunted Mansion as Jim Evers. He also played Thomas Jefferson Johnson in The Distinguished Gentleman, Inspector Scott Roper in the 1997 Touchstone Pictures film Metro and G in the 1998 Touchstone Pictures film Holy Man. A caricature of him appears in The Muppets Take Manhattan.
- He was originally considered for the role of Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit along with several other actors. But turned down the role afterwards, and he later regretted it.
- He was also considered for the role of the Genie in Aladdin, but the role was later given to Robin Williams.