I’ve lived in Los Angeles/Orange County for 21 years of my life and I’ve never been to Olvera Street. As I stepped off the shuttle, I heard a mariachi band playing in the courtyard…the sound drawing me close. Bright colors and sounds filled the street. I loved looking at all the goods the people had to sell.
At the end of the street was the El Paseo Inn were we were invited in for dinner, drinks and Q&A with Anthony Gonzalez (voice of “Miguel”).
Anthony greeted us as we all walked in. He graciously took photos with us, only to surprise us with singing two songs: Remember Me and Un Poco Loco.
He had a beautiful voice and it was accompanied by a mariachi band and dancers.
Afterwards we had a chance to ask Anthony questions. For a young child, he was very confident and easy to talk to. He really found a connection with his character Miguel…not only do they both have a love for music, but they both have a great strength with their family. Though Anthony’s family have always supported his musical career. Anthony actually used to sing on the streets of Olvera. Anthony told us, “Well, when I first went to audition for Miguel, I really wanted to do this role because well I identified myself so much with him. And that is because we both have this passion for music. I grew up with music, singing with my brothers here in La Placita Olvera. And just to be part of a movie where I can sing because I’ve been doing that since I was four years old, is amazing. So that’s one way I identify with Miguel.” Besides family, tradition is very important to Anthony.
Anthony loved that the movie shared the tradition of Day of the Dead. He has always celebrated Day of the Dead, but learned more through doing the movie. Day of the Dead is a celebration of life. It’s more than just remembering those who have passed on. You can celebrate their memories through photos on an alter and serving their favorite foods.
Family is most important!
Anthony had a lot of favorite scenes from the movie. “One is like I love all the scenes where Miguel is interacting with Mama Coco, I think that’s just so sweet, like I used to go like this and now we’re like this which is way faster, I love that. [We all laughed] I also love when Mama Imelda agrees to tell give Miguel his blessing. But the only condition is that he can never play music ever again, and then he says okay. But then right when he goes back he gets a guitar and then he goes straight back to Mama again.” The movie has just too many amazing scenes…he couldn’t pick just one. “And another one I love is when Miguel is getting ready to sing Un Poco Loco and then Hector teases him about the grito and then the first time he tries it, he does horrible but then when he does it on stage, he nails it.”
Out of the many experiences that Anthony had through his adventures with Coco, he relishes the opportunity to have sung with the “one and only Benjamin Bratt” at D23. He definitely thought that was cool!
Being so young and having the opportunity to become a Disney/Pixar voice… we wanted to know how he felt about that. He exclaimed, “Oh my gosh that’s just like a dream come true, that’s an honor, because I grew up watching these Disney movies, like Toy Story, I have the Woody toy and I have like a Buzz Lightyear blanket and just to be part of Disney Pixar movie is a big deal and at my age it’s just a dream come true. And all I can do is just thank god for all the blessings he’s given me.”
COCO is available today on Digital HD and Blu-ray & DVD 2/27!
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
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Disclosure: I am a Disney Blogger. This was an all-expense paid trip. All opinions are 100% my own.