Francisco Colmenero (1932) is a voice actor and dubbing director of Mexican origin. His most important works have been done for Disney, being the official voice of Goofy for many Spanish-speaking countries. In addition, Colmenero served as a dubbing director on several animated films.
It started dubbing in 1954 thanks to the series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Since 1977 he has been one of the most recurrent vocal actors in Disney projects, being the voice in Spanish of endearing characters such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Pumbaa, Papa Smurf or Pluto..
Despite his age, he is still active, being the Spanish voice of Pedro El Malo in the programs that are broadcast on the Disney Channel. He is cataloged by many as “the voice of Disney”, although his works cover areas such as advertising and films of all genres.
In addition to being a renowned vocal actor, he also served in his more than 60 years of artistic career as a director, translator, director of the musical area and even as a singer.
José Francisco Colmenero y Villanueva, born on February 28, 1932 in Mexico City, is one of the most important figures in the world of Spanish dubbing. This is supported by more than 60 years as a professional.
He began his career as a dubbing actor in 1954 and during his professional life he has fulfilled various roles in artistic productions. He has worked on more than 40 projects that have to do with commercial speech.
As a translator he has participated in works such as Mary Poppins, Bernardo and Bianca, as well as several films of the character Mickey Mouse. He has dubbed documentaries, anime, animated series, shorts, films and Brazilian novels.
In addition, his voice has been part of more than ten video games and has even been in charge of the dubbing direction of a large number of productions.
He dubbed characters from important television series into Spanish, such as the award-winning Lost , where he voiced John Locke. He worked in shows like CSI: At the Crime Scene, Dallas, Desperate Wives, Hannah Montana, The Munster Family, Miami Vice or Zack and Cody.
Since 1977, he became a shareholder of the Mexican dubbing company Grabaciones y Doblajes SA, which was founded in 1961 by his brother-in-law Edmundo Santos. It is currently known by the name of New Art Dub.
But if something has marked Colmenero’s career, it has been his link with the Disney company. His work will always be remembered thanks to the many characters he voiced such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy or Pedro El Malo. As well as his participation in the Spanish versions ofBeauty and the Beast in 1991 and 2017.
Colmenero has two sisters, Alicia and Gloria. He married María Teresa Colmenero, also an adapter and translator of Disney scripts into Spanish.
One of his brothers-in-law, Edmundo Santos, was also a renowned voice actor. Santos joined Walt Disney in 1943 and, from Los Angeles, in the United States, was in charge of dubbing the production company’s films into Spanish.
When Santos died in 1977, Colmenero took over the dubbing direction for almost all of Disney’s works for about ten years.
A family affair
Dubbing and voice over has been a family tradition for those closest to Colmenero. Several members of his family group dedicated themselves to this area of the artistic medium. His brothers-in-law Edmundo Santos and José Manuel Rosano were recognized vocal actors, as was his niece Cristina Camargo.
His two nephews, María Antonieta “Tony” Santos and Edmundo Santos, had a brief foray into the world of dubbing when they were very young. Like Tony Assael, who hasn’t worked as a vocal actress since 1982.
His great-niece, Diana Galván Santos, has followed in the footsteps of the family clan. He participated in the versions of films such as Aladdin and Dumbo , which were released in 2019. While Colmenero’s grandson, Francisco “Paco” Colmenero, stood out when he dubbed Chip’s voice, the famous porcelain mug ofBeauty and the Beast.
Colmenero is also the uncle of Alicia Diana Santos Colmenero, a voice actress and broadcaster with almost 60 years of experience. She has also worked for various Disney productions. Among her works stands out having been the official voice of Minnie Mouse and Bella, the protagonist of.Beauty and the Beast.
Walt Disney chose Edmundo Santos himself to be the voice of Mickey Mouse in Spanish. When Disney decided to move his Spanish dubbing studios to Mexico (after years in Los Angeles, California), Santos decided to hand over the role of the famous mouse to his brother-in-law, Francisco Colmenero.
For 20 years, Colmenero was in charge of being the voice in Spanish of the most iconic Disney character, in fact, he did the dubbing of almost all the main characters that participate in the Mickey Mouse stories (except Donald, Minnie and Daisy).
In 1988 he left the dubbing of Mickey due to a Disney decision. The same happened with his dubbing of Goofy, which he did until 1995. A curious fact is that he has been the only person to lend his voice for the Spanish dubbing of Pedro El Malo.
Debt with Mexico
In 2017 Colmenero was part of Coco , a Disney film that was inspired by the tradition of the Day of the Dead in Mexico. For Colmenero, this film was a great tribute from the company to the Latin American country. Don Hidalgo did the voice in the Spanish version.
In addition, the dubbing actor considered that it was a good form of payment by Disney for the debt it had with Mexico. For Colmenero, Disney owed this recognition to Mexico for being the country where the dubbing of its productions has been made for many years.
In 2012, as a celebration for his 80 years, a tribute was held to honor Colmenero. It happened on February 28 in Mexico City and was attended by many voice actors.
In April 2019, he captured his footprints in the Plaza Galerías las Estrellas, better known as the Paseo de las Luminarias in Mexico City.
- The activities parallel to “Mexico and Walt Disney: A magical encounter” with a talk about dubbing conclude. (2018). Recovered from cinetecanacional.net
- The most Latin American announcer. Recovered from elbuenhablante.com
- The legend of dubbing in Mexico. (2015). Recovered from ejecentral.com.mx
- They pay tribute to voice dubbing in the exhibition “México y Walt Disney”. (2017). Recovered from 20minutos.com.mx
- Zapata, G. (2016). Getting ready, the essentials to be an announcer: Francisco Colmenero. Recovered from radionotas.com