As a part of celebrating the release of Coco, we were able to explore more of the culture and check out Olvera Street.  Olvera Street, known as “the birthplace of Los Angeles,” is a Mexican Marketplace that recreates a romantic “Old Los Angeles” with a block-long narrow, tree-shaded, brick-lined market with old structures, painted stalls, street vendors, cafes, restaurants and gift shops. Olvera Street was created in 1930 “to preserve and present the customs and trades of early California." Many of the merchants on Olvera Street today are descended from the original vendors.

I was so excited to explore and have fun! For holidays the merchants go all out with Mexican music, dancing and celebrations on such days as: Los Tres Reyes, Blessing of the Animals, Los Angeles City Birthday, Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence Day, Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Las Posadas. It was amazing getting to see the culture and the vendors and the atmosphere was just AMAZING!

After we explored, we went to Dinner, drinks and a Q+A with Anthony Gonzalez (voice of “Miguel”) at El Paseo Inn! This was to celebrate the release of Coco on Bluray! As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by Anthony and a Mariachi Band!

Anthony also sang to us! It was so sweet! We were also able to interview him! I will share with you a few of my favorite questions and answers!

Question: How do you identify yourself with your character?
"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. Another way I identify myself with Miguel is we both know how important our family is and we know to really do our traditions. Just like Miguel’s tradition is to celebrate the Day of the Dead. And I actually have celebrated the Day of the Dead as well because my grandfather- my grandfather passed away when I was six years old, but well in the Day of the Dead it was a chance for me to be with him again and connect with him. And that's another way me and Miguel connect."

Question : Now that the movie has come out, how do you feel it's changed perspective on the Day of the Dead?
"Yeah in fact I think it's made a big change in our community because there's some people like people tell me, wow I didn't even know this was a holiday. Now I'm going to start celebrating it, because well, 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."

Question: What was your favorite scene from the movie?
"Well that's a good question. I have a lot of favorite scenes. 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. I also love when Mama and 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. ] And another one I love is when Miguel is getting ready to sing 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."

Question: I know you shared what you learned from the experience, but what do you hope other kids take from this film?
"Well I hope that they take really the 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 like from where- 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."

Question: While you were recording as Miguel, did you ever think before the movie came out that it would turn out the way it did?
"Oh so like when I first watched the movie, it was like fifty percent animated fifty percent scratch it was like images and pictures. And I actually had no idea I was going to be part of- I had no idea when I first saw it like wow, I'm in this movie, it's a big deal it's amazing I love it, but I still didn't know how other people would react to it. And once the movie came out, I was just so amazed and shocked that everyone was loving it. And even my director, Lee Unkrich, told me that there's people telling him that they're watching it eight nine times, like and like before like a week it came out, and it's just amazing how people are really taking it very well. And I had no idea it was going to go this far and I'm so happy. And again I always thank God for all the blessings he gives me."

Question: With the impact of this film on your culture, did you know that going into the project?

"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."

I am SO THRILLED with how this day went and getting to meet Anthony! 

I Coco is now available Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ as well as Movies Anywhere! 
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