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5 amazing actors who got their breakthroughs with Disney #Coco


Early reviews from across the pond of Pixar’s latest film, Coco (set to arrive in Cineworld on 19th January), are proudly declaring it to be another awe-inspiring masterpiece full of heart and emotion.

A large part of Coco’s success is credited to its young lead, Anthony Gonzalez (who puts in a heartfelt vocal performance as young hero Miguel), for his heartfelt performance. At just 12 years old, it looks like Gonzalez (pictured below at the Cars 3 world premiere) could have a successful career ahead of him.

The future looks bright for young Gonzalez. After all, he isn’t the first young star to get his big break with Disney; many successful Oscar-winning actors began their careers with Disney when they were little. Here are five amazing actors who got their Disney breakthrough with Disney...

1. Anne Hathaway

Winning an Oscar for her rendition of 'I Dreamed a Dream' in Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables, Hathaway has also delivered memorable turns in the likes of The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar. But can you believe this was all thanks to Disney?

Hathaway got her big-screen break in Disney's The Princess Diaries when she was only 19 years old, in which she plays royalty-in-waiting Mia Thermopolis. Due to the success of the movie, Hathaway soon began to work alongside greats like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain. Hathaway’s career is going from strength to strength and we can’t wait to see her opposite Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in caper movie reboot Ocean’s Eight, released in June 2018.

2. Ryan Gosling

Blade Runner 2049, La La Land, Drive... With a portfolio like this to his name, Ryan Gosling has become one of the most successful actors working today. Some believe his on-screen acting debut was in the Canadian anthology TV series Are You Afraid of the Dark? (made in 1995 before he starred in Young Hercules). But Gosling’s debut appearance was actually back in 1993 at the age of 12 when he was a fully-fledged Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club.

Gosling wasn’t the only budding star on the show, however. During his time as a Mouseketeer, Gosling would appear alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Though Gosling never got that much time on-screen back then, his signature charm and charisma were already evident even then. Who says Disney doesn’t make magic happen?

3. Zac Efron

Though Zac Efron’s first screen performance was in an episode of the cult TV sensation Firefly, he didn’t get his big break until he landed the role of Troy Bolton in the Disney TV movie High School Musical in 2006. Love it or hate it, the musical was a pop-culture phenomenon at the time and formed the soundtrack of many childhoods. 'We’re All in This Together', 'Status Quo' and 'Breaking Free' are still songs we find ourselves humming today.

We'll witness his musical talents once more when The Greatest Showman arrives in Cineworld on Boxing Day.

4. Auli'i Cravalho

What young actor doesn’t dream of being in a Disney movie? For 14-year-old Auli’I Cravalho, this was a dream that came true when she was cast as Disney’s plucky hero in Moana, her movie debut. As the eponymous voyager, Cravalho took us on an unforgettable adventure with even more unforgettable songs and powerful cinematic moments.

Since then, Cravalho has been lending her voice to the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph sequel and has even performed her signature song from Moana at the Oscars. At this point in her career, there’s no telling just how far Cravalho will go, but we’re bound to be by her side cheering for her every step of the way.

5. Shia LaBeouf

Star of Hollywood blockbusters such as Transformers, Fury and Lawless, as well as grittier art-house projects including Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and American Honey, Shia LaBeouf has become best known for his surreal performance art pieces – one of which involved him reacting to all of his films.

We never know what to expect from him next, but we do know we may never have seen anything of him if it wasn't for Disney. Long before LaBeouf was Sam Witwicky in Transformers, he was Louis Stevens in the hit Disney TV show Even Stevens that ran from 2000 to 2003 and concluded with The Even Stevens Movie in 2003. A favourite for everyone who grew up watching the Disney Channel, LaBeouf will always be remembered fondly for his endearing performance as Louis.

All these actors got their big breakthroughs with Disney. Will Coco’s Anthony Gonzalez go as far as the aforementioned stars? Only time will tell, but you can see what all the buzz is about when the movie arrives in Cineworld on 19th January.

Andy Murray is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.