One of the best parts of Dora the Explorer is the manner in which, when you think about it, we’re all a part of it in our own way. Who among us hasn’t been a living backpack whose sole purpose was as a repository for the possessions of a child who keeps pointing out everything that she sees? Or does no one else have nieces?
And for a select and blessed few, the connection runs even deeper. Some people – and this is true – actually helped make Dora the Explorer. People with ambition, drive, and agents who booked things for them. People like Nicolas Cantu.
Today, Cantu is 20, and known for so many things – voicing Leonardo in 2023’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, for example, or his popular YouTube presence as a Minecraft content creator, or his ongoing beef with fellow Minecraft content creator Dream.
But everyone needs to start somewhere, and Cantu started with the Dora the Explorer franchise. In fact, it also marked his voice acting debut as it was the first time, back in 2016, that he was lending his 13-year-old voice to a popular fictional character i.e., Diego in the Dora the Explorer follow-up series, Dora and Friends: Into the City. In the original series, Diego was voiced by many different actors, but the spinoff brought in Cantu as his voice, even if it’s only for one episode. Additionally, he is credited as having voiced a polar bear, a crocodile, and “clowns,” none of which belong in a city. None.
Still, he must have done a good job, and it wasn’t long before he was picking up new gigs. That same year, he started voicing Rowan Freemaker across what would be 31 episodes of Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Success continued to snowball, leading to Cantu’s career as it stands today.