In the movie, Jennifer Kumiyama is the voice of Dahlia, the town baker who can be seen walking with a cane.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Jennifer Kumiyama says when she was 8 years old, she dreamed of voicing a character in a Disney movie. Now 43 years old, the Long Beach resident was finally able to see her wish come true on the big screen in Disney's animated movie "Wish."
In the movie, Jennifer is the voice of Dahlia, the town baker who can be seen walking with a cane. Like Dahlia, Kumiyama is also disabled and is an advocate for the disabled community in Long Beach.
"I'm actually the city-wide accessibility coordinator for the city of Long Beach, so I do a lot of work within the disability community. I think Dahlia really represents a community that doesn't get very much attention in media, let alone in cartoons," Kumiyama said.
"For her to have this role, to demonstrate that artists and performers of all kinds, including all abilities, can get up on a stage and be in a movie is an absolute treasure," said Griselda Suarez, executive director for the Long Beach Arts Council.
But Kumiyama says this isn't her first time on the big stage. For 13 years, she was a performer at Disneyland.
"I was in 'Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular' at Disney's California Adventure theme park. It was a really awesome experience and I'm still grateful to be part of the company," Kumiyama said.
"To start at Disneyland and then get all the way here to be in a Disney animated feature is a dream come true and I'm so proud of her," said Kumiyama's friend Sam Pablo.
Kumiyama says she still gets starstruck whenever she sees previews or posters of the movie, and she hopes her character inspires other people to make their wish and dream big.
"I think 'Wish' will continue to inspire people to hold their wishes tight and do the hard work to make their own wishes come true," Kumiyama said.
Disney is the parent company of ABC7.
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