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.

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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 Latina Threw A ‘Coco’ Themed Party For Her Quinceañera And It’s The Cutest Thing Ever

Culture

A Latina Threw A ‘Coco’ Themed Party For Her Quinceañera And It’s The Cutest Thing Ever

@rc_olivas / Amazon

It’s an understatement to say that the beloved Disney movie “Coco” has inspired a generation. Not only do the themes of family and acceptance resonate across all age groups, but the movie’s vibrant colors and catchy musical numbers make it the perfect movie to entertain the whole family. As well all know, the film was created as sort of a love letter to Mexico and Mexican culture. 

In some Latinx families, watching it has become a sort of tradition. 

Many “Coco” fans will tell you that the movie isn’t just a movie–it’s a way of life. 

Pixar

The movie has obviously hit a chord with the younger set, inspiring endless amounts of musical covers, artwork, and blog posts. And of course, the movie has also become a huge hit in the theme-party racket. A simple Pinterest search will turn up dozens of photos of children’s’ birthday parties inspired by the hit Disney musical. When it comes to throwing a “Coco”-themed party, the artistic possibilities are endless!

But the most recent act reverence for the acclaimed film may be the most exciting one yet.

While many Latinas have quinceañeras that end up being more of their mother’s vision than their own, it looks like one lucky Latina got to take the reigns on her special day.  Recently on Twitter, a super-fan shared pictures with the film’s director of  a “Coco”-themed quinceañera. The party was complete with calacas, candy, and ofrendas–all of which brought to mind specific parts of the movie.

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

The birthday girl’s cousin shared the pictures to Twitter tagging the film’s director Lee Unkrich and asking Unrich if he liked it. Olivas shared four photos (although we would love to see more), of different parts of the party’s decor.

Needless to say, the pictures are a sight to behold.

It’s obvious from how intricate the decorations are that someone put in an incredible amount of work. We all know that many Latinx families spare no expense when they’re throwing a Quinceañera, but the amount of effort put into this one may just take the cake.

Just look at this beautiful “Coco”-themed ofrenda:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

If you look closely, you can see that one ofrenda has pictures of what are (presumably) family members that have passed. But on another ofrenda, the people in the photos are all characters from the movie. 

So much thought was put into the fictional ofrendas that the only characters displayed are ones that Miguel meets in the afterlife:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

As you can see in the display, great-grandma Coco sits in the middle. Then, there are Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe in the background, and Tía Rosita on the left. And of course, we couldn’t forget the infamous torn photo of Miguel’s great-grandfather, Hector, on the right. It looks like this family didn’t leave anyone out!

And of course, it wouldn’t be a “Coco” without Miguel’s guitar being featured prominently on one display:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

You can truly tell that this quinceañera’s decorations were a labor of love. The amount of detail that was paid attention to is inspiring. We wish this movie had been around when we turned fifteen!

And of course, the true piece de resistance was the cake, that has the signature “Coco”lettering emblazoned on the top:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

We can just imagine all of the photos the birthday girl was forced to take standing in front of this. And although we know that it’s a tradition in many families, we don’t want to imagine this cake being destroyed at all! It’s truly a work of art.

As for the director, he responded to Olivas’s tweet with the perfect response:

Unkrich must be proud to know that they movie he helped create is helping Latinos truly celebrate their own culture. Latinas from generations past have not been lucky enough to have movies that starred Latinx characters with a well-rounded identity. In the past, Latinos have been sidled with watching stereotypical renditions of themselves onscreen from drug-dealers to “Mexican Spitfires”. “Coco” puts all of those stereotypes aside and simply tells a story where Latinos are shown for their humanity.

It’s moments like this prove that the movie “Coco” is more than just another children’s movie–it’s a piece of art that has touched people’s lives. This further proves that seeing art that reflects you and your culture is so important. Not only does it make  you feel seen in the world, but it can make you appreciate your culture so much more. This is especially true for marginalized groups.

‘Coco’ En Vivo Is Now A Reality As Disney And Pixar Announce A Live Production At LA’s Hollywood Bowl

Entertainment

‘Coco’ En Vivo Is Now A Reality As Disney And Pixar Announce A Live Production At LA’s Hollywood Bowl

Disney / Pixar / YouTube

Coco is one of those movies that redefined our Latinidad in the eyes of mainstream Hollywood. Not only did it make me cry my eyes out because of the all-too-relateable story line but it also made me super emotional to know that kids these days had someone they could see themselves in on the big screen. It was a huge moment and still is one of my favorite movies of the last ten years.

So news that it might be getting the en vivo treatment has me beyond excited.

According to both Disney and Pixar, the beloved Coco will be brought to life this upcoming November just in time for those of us celebrating Día de Muertos. The real life production will be coming to LA’s famed Hollywood Bowl and not only will it feature several original cast members (looking at you Benjamin Bratt) but it will also include a live orchestra, Mariachi Divas, and the voices of Eva Longoria and Miguel just to name a few.

Disney’s Coco is coming to life!

The Oscar-winning cartoon will be recreated for the stage during a special two-night run at the Hollywood Bowl. The one stage production will be brought to life for the first time on November 8 and 9. Fans, who are encouraged to dress in Día de Muertos costumes, will be able to watch the film on the Bowl’s movie screen.

Throughout the production, the film will be accompanied by a live full orchestra.

Mariachi Divas are also set to perform for guests during the event. Coco live will feature a host of star power.

Conductor Sarah Hicks will lead the full orchestra performing Michael Giacchino’s original score along with special guests performing the film’s songs including: ‘Remember Me’, ‘Un Poco Loco’, and ‘The World Es Mi Familia’.

Alongside the film’s stars, several other big name celebs will be in attendance and helping make the event extra special.

Credit: @DisneyMusic / Twitter

The film’s stars Jaime Camil, Anthony Rodriguez and Alanna Ubach will be making cameos. Benjamin Bratt, who played Ernesto de la Cruz, in the film will host the event with Eva Longoria. Other stars set to make an appearance are Lele Pons, Carlos Rivera and Rudy Mancuso. Natalia Jimenez and Miguel will also be present for the festivities. The pair performed the Oscar-winning song Remember Me during the 2018 Academy Awards.

And everyone involved seems nearly as excited as we are to be a part of this production!

Credit:

“I’m very excited to join this incredible group of exceptional talent, in the city that I’m from, to bring this very special move and message to life,” Miguel said in a statement.

Natalia Jimenez also shared her excitement for the project.

She said: “Mis raíces latinas son mi orgullo y celebrarlo sumando mi voz a la música de Coco en el Hollywood Bowl es un honor.”

Translation: “My Latin roots are my pride and celebrating it by adding my voice to Coco‘s music at the Hollywood Bowl is an honor.“

While Alex Gonzalez was thrilled to be celebrating ancestors and so much more.

“The idea of celebrating ancestors is very dear to my heart, especially after the passing of my grandparents.” Alex Gonzalez shared his excitement about the production saying: “Coco is my heart, it means everything to me. It’s ancestors, family, music, love, culture, traditions, dreams, and passion. Coco is everything that inspires, connects, and makes the world a better place. It’s a unique film.”

He added, “The Hollywood Bowl is a very special place where we can celebrate and share our love and appreciation for music and Coco! It’s a huge honor and privilege to be a part of this beautiful performance at the Hollywood Bowl. I am so excited, can’t wait!”

We can’t wait either and here’s all the info you need to get your tickets:

Tickets for the special event got on sale Friday, September 13 at 12pm PST. But you can get them on pre-sale tomorrow.

Now, excuse us, while we book our tickets to LA!