Entertainment

Here Are A Few Surprises From Pixar’s Upcoming “Coco” Movie

CREDIT: PIXAR / INSTAGRAM / LEE UnkRICH / TWITTER

Pixar’s reputation as a storytelling powerhouse is undeniable. But in 2012, when the company announced it had plans to create a Dia De Los Muertos movie, people were concerned that Pixar was just appropriating Mexican culture for a quick buck. It didn’t help when, a year later, Disney actually tried to copyright the phrase “Dia De Los Muertos.” Since that time, director Lee Unkrich, who also directed “Toy Story 3,” has put in a big effort to address concerns while also crafting a story that could live up to Pixar’s reputation.

After years of development, Pixar has finally released new details on their upcoming movie “Coco.”


“Coco” features Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old boy, who absolutely loves music. He’s obsessed with the sounds of Ernesto de la Cruz, a singer who died long before Miguel could watch him perform. Unfortunately, Migue’s family has put a ban on music because Miguel’s great-grandfather abandoned his “Abuelita” for a life of performing.  Miguel soon discovers that he has an unexpected connection with Ernesto de la Cruz, which leads him to the land of the dead, where he meets his ancestors, as well as a prankster skeleton named Hector. There are more details to read, but rather than spoil them, we’ve provided a link here.

For director Unkrich, it was important to get the cast just right.


Pixar is as well known for hiring the right actors to bring their characters to life. “Coco” looks like it will be no exception. Benjamin Bratt plays Miguel’s favorite musician, Ernesto de la Cruz. Renée Victor plays Miguel’s great-grandmother, Abuelita. In the land of the dead, Miguel meets a mischievous skeleton named Hector, who is voiced by Gael García Bernal. The selection of actors was no mistake. As Unkrich told Entertainment Weekly, “It was important to us from day one that we had an all-Latino cast.”

Oh yeah, the main character, Miguel Rivera, is voiced by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez.


Gonzalez was brought on early in the project to provide a temporary voice that animators could use to develop the Miguel’s animation. However, Gonzalez proved to be so good with the character that he was permanently offered the role of Miguel. Gonzalez’ talents don’t end with voiceover work, he actually sings every song his character performs in the movie.

Fun fact: Gael García Bernal almost didn’t make the cut.


Unkrich was a huge fan of Bernal’s acting, but his lack of comedy acting proved to be a hiccup in getting Bernal cast for the role. Thankfully Pixar’s CEO, John Lasseter, became a fan when he saw Bernal’s recent project, “Mozart in the Jungle.” After that, everyone was on team Bernal.

“We’re not trying to make the definitive Mexican movie,” director Unkrich told Vanity Fair.

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-11-05-33-am
CREDIT: PIXARSCOCO / INSTAGRAM

Early in the film making process, Lee Unkrich understood that it would be impossible to capture a culture as rich and diverse as Mexico’s in just one film. To achieve what they needed for “Coco”, additional creative help was required.

Like any great creative endeavor, Pixar and Unkrich reached out to consultants that could help them celebrate Mexican culture.


Pixar brought in Latino playwright Octavio Solís, Chicano cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and Disney’s Latino Cultural Adviser Marcela Davison Avilés to make sure the story respected the subject matter. Unkrich told Vanity Fair, “we had an enormous responsibility to tell this story right and to not lapse into cliche or stereotype.”

Alcaraz was brought on as a consultant, even after his outspoken criticism of Disney.


When Disney tried to copyright “Dia De Los Muertos,” Alcaraz quickly became one of the company’s most vocal critics. Years before the controversy, Alcaraz released a calendar featuring cartoons that called out Disney’s attempts at cultural appropriation. Rather than ignore the Alcaraz’s complaints, Unkrich and Pixar brought the cartoonist on as a consultant.

Thanks to the collaborators efforts, Unkrich has called “Coco” a “Love letter to Mexico.”


“The best way to bring people in and have them empathize with others,” Unkrich told Vanity Fair, “is through storytelling. If we can tell a good story with characters audiences can care about, I’d like to think that prejudices can fall aside and people can just experience the story and these characters for the human beings that they are.” This is arguably what Pixar is all about.

Mexico’s music plays a huge role in the film.


From “Beauty And The Beast” to “Frozen,” animated movies have a long history with music. “Coco” looks like it will be no exception; it’s major plot point hinges on Miguel’s talents as a musician. But Pixar and Unkrich have stopped short of calling it a musical. Whatever it is, we’re excited.

“Coco” is currently scheduled for a November 2017 release date.

CREDIT: ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY / YOUTUBE

Still a long way from release, mitú will be sure to provide any information on “Coco” as it arrives. Stay tuned.

READ: Disney Just Hired a Chicano Cartoonist Who Criticized Them for Years

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This Elementary School Held A Flash Mob Where Kids Dressed Up And Danced To Selena And Celia Cruz And I’m Crying At My Desk

Culture

This Elementary School Held A Flash Mob Where Kids Dressed Up And Danced To Selena And Celia Cruz And I’m Crying At My Desk

The fear of losing our Latinidad as our kids learn to assimilate to American culture is very real. As new and older generations come and go, younger Latinos born in the U.S. are less likely to speak Spanish, and know how to cook certain recipes or the moves of certain dances. Fortunately, one elementary located in the city of Los Angeles, California is taking literal steps and classes to ensure la cultura never dies.

In a recent post to the elementary school’s Facebook page, little kids are seen putting on a performance of Selena’s “La Caracha.”

[Click the image to watch the video]

In the video posted to Facebook, dozens of kindergarten students from Euclid Avenue Elementary are seen dancing along to “La Carcacha.” While the boys wear leather vests, the girls are suited up in outfits that channel Selena’s purple jumpsuit.

But the display of vida did NOT stop there.

The event soon turned into a display of Afro-Latina celebration when the school’s second graders turned up for Celia Cruz

Like just LOOK at all of those little Celia’s in training dancing to “La Vida Es Un Carnaval.”

And because the party could just not stop the school’s First Graders danced to “Un Poco Loco” from Coco.

Honestly, my heart is about to burst watching these little guys expertly dance to the “Coco” theme song. And not only are the kids wearing the sweetest traditional outfits the little boys are wearing fake guitars!!!!

Guys!! And The Third Graders Dance the Tarantela!

And there goes my heart. Bursting into a million little pieces and being simultaneously full again.

These Fans Theories About What A ‘Coco’ Sequel Would Look Like Sees Miguel At 17 And Returning To The Land Of The Dead

Fierce

These Fans Theories About What A ‘Coco’ Sequel Would Look Like Sees Miguel At 17 And Returning To The Land Of The Dead

To say our worlds were rocked when Pixar finally gave us a touching film about la cultura a few years ago would be the biggest understatement of the century. ‘Coco,’ the 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy starring Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt filled our hearts and also brought us to tears. Still, as satisfying as the film was, there’s no doubt it left us craving more. And it looks like we might just get it.

An IMDB page for Coco 2 has been created and I’m sorry but I can’t stop freaking out!!

According to IMDB user anthandsoc-95189 who appears to have long had the inside scoop on upcoming films, ‘Coco 2: Return To the Land Of the Living’ is in the works! Some digging around has also revealed that another sight might have information on the plot and characters of the sequel film. Of course, this information has yet to be confirmed and might be purely a wish, but if it is we’ll dream big!

According to IMDB ‘Coco 2’ will take place 6 years after the first film

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The IMDB page says “It’s been 6 years since the events happened for Miguel. But when Hector, Imelda, and his great grand-abuelos need Miguel’s help to come back to the Land of the Living because some mysterious sinister masked skeleton is haunting and rules their world with an iron fist and sword and hates music.”

Which means, if IMDB is correct, we haven’t seen the last of Mama Coco!

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Sweet Coco could have a really big role in the new film!!

Of course, other sites have other insights into the could-be sequel…

Because of course everyone has an opinion!

According to Fandom.com ‘Coco 2’ will take place six years after the first film.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

We’ll see Miguel’s family attempt to throw him a fiesta, but sadly Miguel, still upset about Mama Coco’s death, will be upset.

When Miguel meets a sophisticated, ghostly and well-bred skeletal spirit Miguel will attempt to return to The Land Of The Dead for a vacation.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Now that’s an insane idea for a spring break.

In this version of the sequel, Miguel will a dark black hole to go back to The Land Of The Dead, to see Papa Hector and Mamma Imelda.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Of course, Miguel will be astonished when he sees his old family members for another time and finally gets to see Mama Coco.

Soon enough, Miguel is racing against time, once again, to avoid being a skeleton.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

But this time, Marcel might not be so bothered by the idea of living amongst the dead for forever.

Of course, all of this is speculative. Who knows if Pixar has plans for a sequel in the works, but as one fan points out this clip by Pixar on the DVD release has some great hints!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VplFL0KS75s

Fingers crossed!

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