‘COCO’ hits theaters this Wednesday, just in time for the holidays. ‘COCO’ is Pixar’s 19th animated feature, and Monkeys Fighting Robots spoke with the star of the film Anthony Gonzalez during the Miami Press Day.
Gonzalez could not contain his excitement and passion for music and acting. Watch the interview below and or read the full transcript.
MFR: Anthony, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
Anthony Gonzalez: Thank you.
MFR: Working on a Pixar film is a big deal, can you talk about that moment when you found out you got the part of Miguel?
Anthony Gonzalez: Oh my gosh, it was just like one of the best moments ever. Well, I got the part when I was 11-years-old and I went to Pixar in Oakland to do a scratch voice for Miguel and I’ve been doing that since 10. It was like a routine going to Pixar and doing scratches for Miguel. And finally when I was 11, it was near Christmas and the director, Lee Unkrich told me that they had a Christmas present for me and I couldn’t wait to see what it was. I was just so excited. And the producer, Darla Anderson brought the present and I opened this wonderful, big box and it was this big poster with colors and papel picado and it said you got the part. And I just couldn’t believe it. I was just so shocked and all I could do there was just thank God because I couldn’t believe I was going to be part of the Disney Pixar movie.
MFR: What is a scratch voice?
Anthony Gonzalez: Oh, a scratch voice is where they get my voice and they put it in Miguel so like they put in the character it’s like a test.
MFR: Voice acting isn’t as easy as it looks, what was the hardest part to bringing Miguel to life?
Anthony Gonzalez: Well, in my opinion, it wasn’t really hard because me and Miguel are very similar but the challenges that people face with voice acting is that you can’t use your facial expressions and you can’t use your arms and you can’t use your legs. Even though it was just my voice that was being used even in the booth I was still using my arms and my body and my facial expressions. What’s so cool is that they (Pixar) told me that they actually used some of my movements in the character Miguel which was so cool. And I was just so happy.
MFR: What I love about ‘COCO’ is the vibrant colors, it’s so different compared to other animated films. What do you love about ‘COCO?’
Anthony Gonzalez: Oh my gosh. I love, first of all, the music, it is amazing. I’ve been singing and acting since I was four years old and I knew since then that I wanted to sing and act for the rest of my life and to be in a movie where I can do both of these things is just incredible and I’m just blessed to be in this wonderful movie. And I also love that it celebrates this wonderful celebration, the Day of the Dead. It’s specifically Mexican culture but this celebration can be universal because who doesn’t have ancestors that have passed away, and in the Day of the Dead you can be with them and connect with them once again.
MFR: Anthony, you are a singer and an actor. Where does this creative passion come from?
Anthony Gonzalez: Well, actually it comes from my siblings. So my siblings, my brother, and my two older sisters would start singing in La Placita Olvera. They would do street performance. And I just looked up to them and I was like, ‘Oh wow, they’re having so much fun.’ And I just thought like if they’re having fun I will have fun too if I try singing. And I started singing and from the moment I stepped on the stage I knew that I wanted to sing for the rest of my life. So the singing passion comes from my siblings. My acting passion, a director discovered me when I went to a show on Univision. And well, ever since I went to my first audition, I knew that I wanted to act because it was just so much fun.
MFR: If ‘COCO’ could crossover with another Pixar film, which one would it be and why?
Anthony Gonzalez: I grew up with ‘Toy Story.’ I grew up watching all three movies and it would really be cool to see Miguel react with toys. I think it would be so cool and fun.
MFR: Anthony, thank you for your time and best of luck with ‘COCO.’
Anthony Gonzalez: Thank you so much.
What did you think of Gonzalez comments? What Pixar film do you want to see crossover? Sound of in the comment section below.