On a recent Disney Press Trip, I had the pleasure of getting to know Carlos Alazraqui and I think it’s safe to say, it was one of the most interesting interviews I have ever conducted. While you may not recognize the name, with a career dating back to the early 90′s, you will definitely recognize some of the features he has lent his voice to. Including almost 200 titles such as Sofia the First, Wow Wow Wubsy, Phineas and Ferb, Pound Puppies, House of Mouse and more. His most recent work, and the whole reason I was able to chat with him, is as El Chupacabra of Disney’s PLANES.
I had such a great time speaking with Carlos but what I couldn’t get use to was the way he could seamlessly start speaking in a character. It was fascinating, at one point he was telling about his first work as a voice over actor, in 1991, and just like that he slipped into the voice of Rocko. Then he slipped into a monologue where he switched voices at least a half a dozen times. Even more incredible is his ability mimic other actors. He slipped into Billy Crystal a few times and if I hadn’t known better, I may just have started looking around for Billy Crystal himself.
Despite what we had thought, Carlos’ ability to “do voices” did not come from voice lessons. He grew up in a diverse family atmosphere and his ability stems from learning to mimic the people around him. He continues to perfect his craft by watching other voice over actors. When he has difficulty “getting” a voice, he watches film of the person he wants to mimic and often reverts back to Billy Crystal.
Some of the scenes Carlos found most fun to voice were those involving wooing Rochelle. He really liked saying “I must win the heart of Rrrrrrochelle. My heart!” Rolling the R was fun. He didn’t do a lot of improvisation while filming PLANES ,but he definitely pulled on his Argentinian heritage and substituted a word or two. El Chupacabra was one of his favorite characters thus far because he is an honorable, noble character with a soft heart. He pretends to be courageous but underneath he is a cowardly lion. El Chupacabra is unsure about certain aspects of himself but he is confident in that he is alive! It’s one of the things that makes him so engaging and instantly likable in the film.
It was all of these things that endeared him to my heart as well. El Chupacabra ended up being one of my favorite characters and I’m pretty sure he’ll steal your hearts too. Disney PLANES has already touched down in theaters, fly over now!