Dinner and Chat With Anthony Gonzalez to Celebrate In Home Release of Coco
If you’ve been waiting to bring Coco home, so you can watch it over and over again, today is a day to celebrate. Coco is available on Digital HD today. Last month during the #BlackPantherEvent we had the opportunity to chat with Anthony Gonzalez, the voice of Miguel. We started our night exploring the historic Olvera Street in Los Angeles. It gave us the opportunity to explore and dive into some of the cultural treasures before heading to our dinner.
I headed down the pathways on Olvera Street with Christine of Moms N Charge, Kira of The Afropolitan Mom, and Kimberly of Fit Disney Mom. We were blown away by all the color and handcrafted products that lined the carts on the street. Everything was so bold and vibrant.
I just loved looking at these hand-sewn wrestling masks. There were hundreds of them all over Olvera Street, each created to differently. I was amazed that I couldn’t find two that were exactly the same. After our walk, we headed to the restaurant for dinner.
We walked and was greeted by a lovely mariachi band playing music, and our server was passing out margaritas. The music added so much ambiance to our experience. I shared a bit of the welcome reception on my Instagram profile.
Shortly after the opening number Anthony Gonzalez was introduced and he started to serenade us. It was simply beautiful watching him sing the songs we had all fallen in love with from the movie Coco. After he sang to us, we had the opportunity to chat with him about his role in Coco and the significance of the film to Mexican culture.
On Identifying With The Character Miguel
Within the first few minutes of the meeting Anthony and his family, it was clear they were very close. His whole family attended the event to support the young actor. He even stated knowing the importance is one of the ways he feels like he identifies with Miguel.
When I first went to audition for Miguel, I really wanted to do this role because 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.
On Day of the Dead
When I first saw the teaser trailer for this movie I was excited. I had shared before in the past how it made me think of my own childhood where we celebrated All Saints and All Souls day instead of Halloween. Anthony talked about the things he learned about the Mexican Day of the Dead from the film.
Yeah in fact I think it’s made a big change in our community because there’s some people who tell me, wow I didn’t even know this was a holiday. Now I’m going to start celebrating it, because my father and my uncle passed away and I can be with them again and connect with them, it’s a celebration. And yeah that’s actually my home school teacher told me that her daughter didn’t even know this happened. And her friend passed away and then now that she knows about the Day of the Dead she can be with her friend again, which is amazing. And I think that has been a really good change in the community.
Anthony talked to us about all the great things he’s gotten to do because of his role in the film. He recalled being on stage with Benjamin Bratt during D23 Animation Panel for a performance. I remember being in the arena that day and sharing about the experience. You’ll never guess where Anthony said he loved getting to visit. Canada, he said he loved visiting because it was cold.
“I actually never thought I would go to Pixar and I just love going to Pixar so much, because there’s like a soccer field and I love soccer so I get to play soccer every time I go there, every time on my break I got to play soccer,” stated Anthony. He also talked about how amazing he thought the food was on the Pixar campus.
On What He Hopes Other Kids Take Away from the Film
There are so many great lessons in Coco, we wanted to know from Anthony what was he hoping kids would take away after seeing the film. I have to honestly say I loved his response because he’s very proud of his heritage and to know he wanted to make sure people understood his culture says a lot about the star.
Well I hope that they take really that the Day of the Dead is not like Halloween, it’s a time for a celebration, it’s a wonderful celebration that anyone can celebrate, not just Mexicans can celebrate but anyone can celebrate it. Because it’s a day where you can connect and really remember your family members that passed away. And I think that’s what I hope that people take away from the movie.
On Being a Disney Voice Actor
Any child who has dreams of becoming an actor or actress probably has Disney high on this list of dream jobs. It was the same for Anthony. He shared with us how it felt for him being a Disney voice.
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.
On What Got Him Into Acting
Anthony has a beautiful voice. For his age, he has great control over his voice, seeing him perform songs from his culture in his performance outfit was so much fun. We asked about how he got into acting, and he was happy to share, he even dropped a plug for his older siblings who are currently on Univision reading books in Spanish.
Well actually it all started with singing. So I started doing street performance, I started singing here. And also my older sister auditioned for like reading in Spanish on this television show on Univision. And she started reading books in Spanish there and then my other sister started reading books in Spanish as well. And then my brother started doing it and it all came out Thursdays in the morning at six AM on channel thirty four Univision.
And then well I would just see them on the TV reading books and I wanted to do it too. So the reason I’m here is because my older brothers they inspired me, they inspired me to sing, they inspired me to do things I never thought I would do without them. And well I started reading books in Spanish as well, like when I was four years old as well [LAUGHS] yes. And one day, when we were reading books in Spanish, a director came to the show and she told my parents, she thought we’d be very good actors, because she saw how we would do our facial expressions and everything.
On Remembering His Grandfather
One of the bloggers asked a question from her daughter. She wanted to know if Anthony had any special memories with his grandmother or aunt like Miguel did in Coco. He shared about his grandfather.
Yeah well actually one of the reasons I also wanted to do this movie was because of my grandfather. I saw that Miguel had Mama Coco, she was always there. And for me the one who was always there for me was my grandfather. And since I was very little, he was always there for me, he would tell jokes, he would make me laugh, he would just he would make me be a better person in life. And I will thank him for that for eternity because I also wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him.
He gave me confidence, when my brother would go singing somewhere, he would tell my mom, take Anthony too because he can do it. And he was the person that was always there for me.
On Coco’s Oscar Nominations
Coco is nominated for two Oscars, so we had to ask Anthony how it felt being apart of a film that was winning so many different awards and nominations. He was super excited when he shared how it made it feel learning about those nominations.
Oh my god that’s amazing. I actually woke up at four in the morning to see the nominations and when I see Coco is nominated for best animated feature and also for the song Remember Me, that’s just – Oh My God, it’s just amazing I’m speechless. And I’m just so happy that it’s nominated, and I can’t wait to see if it wins.
On Working with Benjamin Bratt
Anthony had so many great things to say about working with Benjamin Bratt. We actually talked about this twice because one of the bloggers asked the question and shortly after Anthony’s own brother asked also. It was so cool to see his family involved and eager to be a part of the whole process. Both times Anthony spoke on working with Bratt his face lit up as recalled the experience.
Oh my gosh that was amazing, because like I have seen his movies. The first time I saw him was actually in Miss Congeniality and so be able to work next to someone that’s very big like he is and has a lot of experience in his career, I was just so happy. And I couldn’t have had a better costar than him. Also Gael Garcia Bernal yes.
I’m just so happy to be part of this amazing cast. And also Renee Victor, who plays Abuelita and what’s so weird is that we actually filmed a commercial together before Coco, which is so cool. And then when I see the person who’s playing Abuelita I was like, wait, she’s the one who played my grandma in the commercial so then I was just that was so cool.
We ended the chat talking to Anthony about the importance of the film on Mexican culture. We asked did he realize how much it impacted how others viewed the culture.
Yes I did because really what this movie is about is like celebrating this wonderful tradition that Mexicans celebrate. And it’s a wonderful celebration, a lot of colors, a lot of food, a lot of like it’s happy, it’s a happy celebration. And I did know it was going to make a wonderful impact, but I didn’t know it was going to make that big of an impact, and just to see that a lot of people really took the message and learned a lot about this wonderful tradition, I thought was amazing. And yes I’m still shocked and speechless. Thank you so much.
About Disney/Pixar Coco
Disney•Pixar’s “Coco”—the story of a 12-year-old aspiring musician’s extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors—won a 2018 Golden Globe Award® for Best Animated Motion Picture, topped the domestic box office Thanksgiving holiday weekend, became the highest grossing film of all time in Mexico, broke records in China and earned widespread praise, receiving 96 percent from critics and 97 percent from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. Now this vibrant tale filled with love and laughter arrives home Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ and on Movies Anywhere on Feb. 13, and on 4K Ultra HD,™ Blu-ray,™ DVD and On-Demand on Feb. 27.
Through fresh and fascinating bonus material, adventurers of all ages will tag along with filmmakers as they soak in Día de los Muertos in Mexico; explore the essential role of music in “Coco;” and learn how the cast and crew personally connect with the film’s message. They’ll step behind the scenes to discover the inspiration behind the film’s creative costuming; Miguel’s beautifully complicated family; Dante the loyal Xolo dog; and the stunning worlds of both the dead and the living. Features also include deleted scenes, insightful filmmaker commentary, the music of Coco and more.