In mid-November, Juan Luis Guerra shared on his social media a sneak peek of a new project that has him very excited: An animated movie called Capitán Avispa. The film, scheduled to hit theaters in the United States and Latin America sometime in 2024, according to Guerra, will feature old and new songs by the Dominican music master.
“In addition to the fact that I am going to write songs specifically for the character, you will hear everything from ‘Rosalía’ to ‘La Bilirrubina,’” Guerra told Billboard Español in a recent interview in New York, in which he revealed details of the movie for the first time. “He is a very beautiful character,” he added enthusiastically about Capitán Avispa (Captain Wasp in English). “He is a Latin hero, we could say, and everyone will like him.”
“Strong and brave, he never lies!” the insect declares in the teaser that Guerra published last month on his Instagram account, without identifying the voice behind the courageous and sweet character.
“The main voice of the Captain is done by my dear [Luis] Fonsi,” Guerra told Billboard Español in the interview recorded for Billboard News, adding that “Joy [Huerta, from Jesse & Joy] does the voice of Honey Bee, who is Capitán Avispa’s companion.” He also excitedly announced that they both sing a “beautiful song together — they are the most beautiful voices you can ever hear.”
Helmed by his son Jean Gabriel Guerra (who has directed many of his father’s music videos) along with animation director Jonathan Meléndez, Capitán Avispa was created by Juan Luis, who has recruited other friends and colleagues to give life to the different characters: Juanes provides the voice of Sargento Picadura, he revealed, and the Colombian rocker’s wife, actress Karen Martínez (also known as La Chechi) plays Jimena. Additionally, Dominican actor José Guillermo Cortinez provides the voice of a character named Jacques Puasón, and Dominican actress Amelia Vega — Miss Universe 2003, as well as Guerra’s niece — voices Bolivia.
A four-time Grammy winner and 24-time Latin Grammy winner, Guerra has had a fruitful four-decade career, in which he’s placed dozens of songs and albums on the Billboard charts — from “Ojala Que Llueve Café,” his first entry on Hot Latin Songs, which reached No. 21 in Nov. 1989, and his iconic Bachata Rosa, which topped the Tropical Albums chart for 12 weeks in 1991; to “Mambo 23,” which reached No. 1 on the Tropical Airplay just last week (Nov. 25).
The latter song is part of his most recent production with his group 4.40, Radio Güira, a six-track EP full of humor, love and poetry, over mambo, bachata and merengue rhythms, very much in the style of Juan Luis Guerra. Each of the songs is presented as if it’s being played on the radio, with supposed calls from listeners and even a special cooking recipe.
“We wanted to put a smile on the faces of people who listened to Radio Güira,” Guerra said. “It was part of what Radio Güira is, bringing joy, bringing a message of peace, of love.”
Watch more of the interview above in the Billboard News video.