The INSIDER Summary:
• “Coco” is Pixar’s only original film for the next three years.
• It’s about a young Mexican boy who wants to be a musician and enters the underworld.
• The movie has an all-Latino voice cast.
Pixar has been teasing “Coco” for about six years now. But until today, the details have been kept tightly under wraps. All we knew was that it was going to be an original film, and that it’s about the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead.”
Disney just released new details about the film, which is due to be released on November 22, 2017. Here’s what we can expect.
It’s directed by Lee Unkrich, whose first solo film was “Toy Story 3.”
Unkrich has been working on Pixar movies ever since “Toy Story.” He received co-directing credits on “Toy Story 2,” Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.” The third entry in Pixar’s signature series was a risk — no one was quite sure how a “Toy Story” sequel would turn out ten years after the previous one, and with a first-time solo director — but he proved his chops. Since then, he’s been working on “Coco.”
Out of Pixar’s next four movies, “Coco” is the only one that isn’t a sequel.
The studio’s next film is “Cars 3” on June 16, 2017, then “Coco” on November 22, 2017. Following that, we’re getting “Incredibles 2” and “Toy Story 4.” In 2020, Pixar plans to finally release two more original films, but they’re still untitled.
Miguel and his grandma.
The movie is about a young boy who wants to be a musician, and enters the underworld.
It focuses on Miguel Rivera (voiced by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez), who lives in a Mexican village and wants to be a musician.
The problem is, his family has banned music forever, because they think they’re cursed by it. According to their family history, Miguel’s great-grandfather abandoned his wife to become a musician. The tragedy led her to “declare music dead to the family forever,” according to the plot summary provided to Entertainment Weekly.
Miguel ends up entering the land of the dead in search of a famous singer who inspired him (voiced by Benjamin Bratt), and enlists the help of a trickster skeletal spirit named Hector (voiced by Gael García Bernal).
“Coco” will have an all-Latino voice cast.
Early on, Disney tried to trademark the phrase “Día de los Muertos,” which led to swift and harsh backlash from the Latino community. The filmmakers are being more careful.
“It was important to us from day one that we had an all-Latino cast,” Unkrich told Entertainment Weekly. “It focused us, and we ended up with a fantastic mix of people — some from Mexico and some from Los Angeles.”
Unkrich also did his research to make sure the film would represent its character accurately.
“I’ll be the first to say that going on a few research trips doesn’t make us experts in anything,” he told Vanity Fair. “But it would have been wrong for us not to go down. I knew from Day One, when John Lasseter gave the ok, that we had an enormous responsibility to tell this story right and to not lapse into cliché or stereotype.”
The talent pool is deep. Bernal has broken out as a major actors in recent years, with critically acclaimed starring turns in “Mozart in the Jungle,” “No,” and “Neruda.” Benjamin Bratton is a mainstay in American television. Anthony Gonzalez, however was hired after impressing Unkrich while recording temporary vocal tracks during the movie’s production.
“We actually had another kid doing scratch for Miguel who’s now 17 or 18,” Unkrich told Entertainment Weekly. “Which should tell you how long we’ve been working on the movie, but his voice changed long ago, and it was actually in trying to find a new voice for the scratch that we found Anthony.”
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