Entertainment

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.

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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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Amazon Studios Pens Major Deal With Diego Luna And Gael Garcia Bernal’s Production Company

Entertainment

Amazon Studios Pens Major Deal With Diego Luna And Gael Garcia Bernal’s Production Company

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Celebrity BFFs share a special place in the collective consciousness of fans and admirers alike. Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal are no exception. While the pair once shared the “child actor” title, the two broke free of that category in their breakthrough roles in “Y Tu Mamá También.” Ever since then, the Diego Luna-and-Gael Garcia Bernal radar has remained on alert. We are happy to alert that this cute duo is working together once again.

Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal signed a deal Amazon Studios to create and produce content that will premiere on Amazon Prime Video.

Credit: @analydiamonaco / Twitter

The incredible deal means their Mexico-based production company La Corriente del Golfo, will initiate projects in Latin America. 

“We are incredibly excited to expand Amazon Studios’ relationship with the multitalented team of Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna,” said Vernon Sanders, Co-Head of Television, Amazon Studios, according to Deadline. “Their talent, creativity, and global perspective will undoubtedly result in even more compelling content for our Amazon Prime Video customers.”

The guys are equally excited about their new venture with the high-profile company.

Credit: @reeltalker / Twitter

“We are delighted and grateful at La Corriente del Golfo for our first-look deal with Amazon Studios,” Garcia Bernal said, according to Deadline. “This provides an opportunity for us and for talent in Latin America to create ambitious and interesting projects.”

Luna added: “This is an important moment for everyone at La Corriente del Golfo. We are very excited to work hand in hand with Amazon, as this will allow us to reach new audiences and to tell stories that represent us and reflect our realities.”

This is not the first time Garcia Bernal and Luna have worked together producing projects. In 2005, they launched Canana Films but left it in 2018. 

Credit: @CANANApresenta / Twitter

The Mexican production company produced at least 20 projects both for film and TV, including their 2008 film “Rudo y Cursi” and “César Chávez” starring Michael Peña in 2014. In 2019, they released Netlfix’s “Luis Miguel La Serie” and their last film “Miss Bala” starring Gina Rodriguez. 

In 2018, Luna and Garcia Bernal said they would stop producing under Canana Films to work on other projects. At the time of the announcement, we could not help but wonder if there was a rift between the two. Why would they stop working together? Did they break up! Now we know it was to start a new venture — together!

“Canana arose out of the strength that fraternity gives us when we express ourselves freely,” Garcia Bernal said in 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “That will continue to be the slogan for every project we embark on. As in every cycle that ends, now another begins.”

Soon after they split with Canana Films, the guys announced they would launch their own production company called La Corriente del Golfo, which translates to Gulfstream in English. Here’s how Garcia Bernal explained the name of his new company, “La Corriente del Golfo is an ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and travels all the way to the North Atlantic, allowing for a temperate climate – and, without which, there’d be Arctic tundra,” Garcia Bernal said according to Variety, adding: “We take up the symbol of this global current to emphasize that liberty – in all its meanings –should flow as freely as an ocean current.” He is so poetic!

We love seeing working together in this kind of capacity, which will undoubtedly give more opportunity to Latinx actors. But these two have garnered success separately in their right. 

Credit: @el_universal_mx / Twitter

Ever since their critical acclaim in 2001 with “Y Tu Mamá También,” these talented actors have been working nonstop in both film and TV. Most recently, Garcia Bernal was nominated for Best Actor Golden Globe in 2017 for his role in Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” and in 2016, he won.

Luna has also had a lot of success with roles in the 2016 film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico.” The new second season of “Narcos: Mexico” will soon be on Netflix, and we cannot wait. 

With so much growth between these two (sorry, pun intended), we cannot help but look back at how far these two have come. Let’s take a look.

Cheers to these Mexican cuties, and congrats on the new deal! We’re excited to see their latest projects. 

READ: Everyone On The Internet Is Going Crazy About Diego Luna And Gael García Bernal

Watch: Pixar’s ‘Soul’ Teaser Features It’s First Animated Film Starring A Black Character

Entertainment

Watch: Pixar’s ‘Soul’ Teaser Features It’s First Animated Film Starring A Black Character

Pixar

Breakout the tissue boxes, mi gente, Pixar has a new movie and it will totally make you lorrar.

Just when you thought the studio behind “Up” and “Inside Out” couldn’t replicate the emotions they served you when they released “Coco” they dropped a trailer that did it again within just under three minutes. The film, which is similar to “Coco” in that it will require viewers to confront their own passions and relationship with death, also presents a big time first for the production company.

It’s going to be incredibly Black. 

Pixar’s first film featuring a black lead, called “Soul,” debuted its first trailer on Thursday. 

The upcoming American fantasy adventure comedy animated film stars the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad and Daveed Diggs. Schedule to premiere in theaters on June 19 in 2020, the film will follow Foxx as Joe Gardner, a middle school music teacher, who has long been cradling a dream of being a jass performer. After impressing a set of jazz musicians during an opening act at the Half Note Club, he finally gets his chance. But when he falls through a manhole, Garner’s soul is separated from his body and taken to the “You Seminar” a center where souls develop and gain passions before being transported to newborns.Gardner’s task is to work with souls, like 22 a soul trapped in the You Seminiar, in training in order to return to Earth before time runs out.

Set for a June 2020 release date, Pixar says that the film will explore the meaning of life and what it means to have a soul.

  They may seem like big questions for a kid’s movie, but fans of Pixar will remember that is pretty much how the big time production company usually rolls.

It’s not the first time Pixar hasn’t gotten real about real issues with its audience of young and old.

In 2018, the studio produced the Oscar-winning short, “Bao,” which dived into the issues of empty nest syndrome within a Chinese-Canadian family. I n2015, it produced another short film called  “Sanjay’s Super Team” which dove into the perspective of of a first-generation Indian-American boy whose love for American super heroes conflict with the traditions and religious practices of his father. And of course, in 2017, Pixar’s Oscar-winning film “Coco” broke boundaries and our hearts with a generational tale of Día de los Muertos and Mexican culture. 

While more details about “Soul” have yet to be revealed, we’re pretty sure that if Pixar’s previous movies and shorts are any indication you’ll want a box of tissues and a trusty hand to cling to close by.

Fans of “Coco” know the movie had quite a bit of history and story packed into it. But did you know these 25 facts from behind the movie?

1. The trivia behind the movie will make you cry more than the movie.

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For instance: this bit of insight from the film’s co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina, revealed that the idea behind Miguel watching the films of Ernesto de la Cruz on videotapes to learn how to play the guitar was inspired by Molina’s own experiences as a child. During his childhood in the 1990s, Molina would record the episodes of The Wonderful World of Disney television program on ABC, CBS, and The Disney Channel on videotape. The episodes made him long for a better life.

2. The title got a name change in Brazil.

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In Portuguese “cocô” means “poop.” When the word is without the accent, “coco” it refers to the coconut fruit. To avoid confusion, creators changed the name to “Viva.”

3. The movie was too touching to be banned in China.

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“Coco” has quite a few  themes and bits of content that are typically banned in China. However, reports say that Chinese censor board members were so touched by the movie they made an exception and let it run.

4. This film opened in Mexico first.

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Three and a half weeks before it’s U.S. opening, “Coco” opened first. The film surpassed “The Avengers” as the country’s highest grossing film.

5. There’s a bit of history to that Frida appearance.

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In the movie, Frida Kahlo’s spirit calls Dante “Yolo”. In real life, Frida and her husband helped to save the Xoloitzcuintli dog breed by inserting it into their art. It didn’t take long for the breed to gain popularity around the world.

6. Speaking of Easter eggs…

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One of Pixar’s biggest and most recognizable Easter eggs also makes an appearance in the movie. In  The Land of the Dead the door to the office is labelled with “A113.” It’s a nod to the California Institute of Arts classroom where many of Disney and Pixar animators studied.

7. The movie mourns old technology.

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Pay attention and you’ll see that in the Land of The Dead there’s a quite a bit of out-dated technology use. Keep an eye out for an 80s MacIntosh computer and walkie-talkie radios. It’s actually pretty fitting considering these bits of technology are, as of today, obsolete and well dead.

8. More time and effort went into this project more than another Pixar film.

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“Coco” was in production between 2011 and 2017. The filmset a Pixar record for being a Pixar animated film with the longest production schedule.

9. The animations hit the right notes

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Musicians be ware. This one pays close attention to detail. Check out the scenes where the guitars are played, you’ll find that the character’s fingers match up to the actual chords.

10. Gael García Bernal worked double time.

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Gael García Bernal is the only actor amongst the main cast to voice his character in both the film’s English and Spanish versions. All this despite the fact he isn’t the only Latino actor in the film.

Read: Here Are 25 Pieces Of ‘Coco’ Fan Art That Will Make You Want To Watch The Movie

11. The film got #1.

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The film spent more days as #1 spot at the box office than any other animated film in the 21st century.

12. “Coco” is a Pixar last.

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“Coco” will be Disney’s last original full- length animated film of the 2010s. The upcoming films to come out before 2020 are all sequels. We’re looking at you Incredibles 2 (2018), Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (2018), Toy Story 4 (2019) and Frozen 2 (2019). Now if you were one of the characters from “Coco,” who would you be? Take this quiz to find out.

13. There’s a little bit of brown face.

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Womp womp. Guess risking Pixar’s long considered “good-luck charm” was a little too much for this studio to handle. In “Coco” John Ratzenberger plays a ghost named Juan Ortodoncia.

Read: 20 Gifts For The ‘Coco’ Fan In Your Family

14. Abuelita’s neck had some problems.

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The movie’s creators have said the one of the most difficult parts of the film to animate was Abuelita’s neck. To do her neck justice, the filmmakers flew out one of the animator’s mother-in-laws from Mexico and did their best to make her angry to see how Abuelita’s neck would move when she got upset. It took some time but eventually the movie got its material.

15. Incredibles 2 makes an appearance.

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In the scene where Miguel and Héctor arrive in Ernesto de la Cruz Plaza there is a scene of people lighting fireworks. On the right side of the screen in this scene there is a poster for Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

16. It outpaced Cars 3

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The film grossed more money worldwide in 19 days than Pixards “Cars 3”