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

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.

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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A New ‘Coco’ Short Film Called ‘A Day in the Life of the Dead’ Has Just Premiered on Disney+

Entertainment

A New ‘Coco’ Short Film Called ‘A Day in the Life of the Dead’ Has Just Premiered on Disney+

Photo via Pixar/Twitter

We have exciting news for die-hard fans of the beloved Pixar movie, “Coco”. Disney+ has just premiered an adorable short film that gives audiences a glimpse into the “average day in the afterlife” in the Land of the Dead.

The 2-minute film is called “A Day in the Life of the Dead” and features various calacas going about the daily lives.

The short film is part of a series called “Pixar Popcorn” that started streaming on Friday. The series will feature a variety of short films inspired by different Pixar movies, including “Toy Story”, “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles”, and of course (and most importantly)…”Coco”.

“A Day in the Life of the Dead” is as beautifully animated as the 2017 film is.

The 2-minute film is animated with the same lush, vibrant colors of the original film and rendered with Pixar’s signature creative vision of the Land of the Dead.

And to make things more exciting, the movie is littered with cameos from fan-favorite characters like Mamá Imelda, Héctor, and the jaw-dropping arrivals agent.

In fact, one of the funniest vignettes is when the arrivals agent repeatedly loses his jaw bone, including when he tries to take an (unsuccessful) bite of cortadillo.

In other parts of the short film, we watch calacas riding a tandem bike, exercising, playing with cute animals, and attempting to keep their heads on straight–literally.

But of course, most of the humor of the short film comes from the inherent comedy of skeletons try to accomplish daily tasks when their bodies keep falling apart.

But “A Day in the Life of the Dead” isn’t the only Pixar short film that’s part of the “Pixar Popcorn” series. There’s tons of cute shorts that will keep you or the little kid in your life entertained for a while.

The series also features the short films “Dancing With the Cars”, “Soul of the City”, “Chore Day: The Incredibles Way”, “Dory Finding”, and “To Fitness and Beyond”, and more. There are eleven short films all together–the perfect amount to binge in one sitting!

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A Gay Character Is The Lead Of Pixar’s Short ‘Out’ And It Will Hit You In The Feels

Entertainment

A Gay Character Is The Lead Of Pixar’s Short ‘Out’ And It Will Hit You In The Feels

“Out” is the latest Pixar short with a heartwarming story that will make you cry buckets.

The studio-first, stars a gay male character named Greg who is struggling to come out as gay to his parents. Just when his parents come to help Greg move, a “rainbow-riding purple sparkly” cat and a pink dog, swap the dog’s body with Greg’s.

Sounds pretty adorable.

Pixar’s latest short follows Greg while he struggles to come out to his parents.

The short, which is just under 10 minutes, debuted on Friday on the Disney+ streaming service and was written and directed by Steven Clay Hunter. The filmmaker has produced various Pixar films, including “Toy Story 4” and “Finding Dory,” and has been an active part of Pixar’s SparkShorts series. If you already didn’t know, the shorts series are meant to highlight and discover new storytellers and give them space and support to experiment with different approaches to animation.

Of course, users on Twitter were quick to make the hashtag #PixarOut go viral in no time.

Many expressed their gratefulness for having a project that promotes diversity and love, while others lamented not having had access to such a film sooner when they were growing up and coming out.

The new Pixar film opens a pretty big door for Disney and its audiences.

Last year, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)revealed a study that found only 18.4% of mainstream films released in 2018 had included LGBTQ characters. At the same time it highlighted that none of Disney’s releases at the time had an LGBTQ character.

“Out” is on Disney + for you to check out!

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