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.

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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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

Pixar

“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!

20 Movies That Came Before ‘Coco’ That Are Perfect For Latino Kids Right Now

Entertainment

20 Movies That Came Before ‘Coco’ That Are Perfect For Latino Kids Right Now

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

When it comes to Latino representation on screen, the opportunity our kids get to see characters, stories and actors that are like them are few and far between. Here’s a look at twenty great movies that were made for kids in mind and are starring, produced by, and about Latinos. 

1. The Book of Life

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

The 2014 movie is an American  3D computer-animated musical fantasy film starring Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana and Kate del Castillo. It won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film that same year.

2. Ferdinand the Bull

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

The 1938 American short was produced by Walt Disney Productions. The movie is based on The Story of Ferdinand which was published in 1936. 

3. Zootopia

CREDIT: Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

Shakira starred as Gazelle in this 2016 film about a rabbit police officer and a red fox con artist. In the film, Shakira plays a famous pop star.

4. Thumbelina

CREDIT: Warner Bros. Family Entertainment

The 1994 American animated musical fantasy film starred Charo as Mrs. Toad. The movie was based on a  book of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.

5. Shrek

CREDIT: DreamWorks Pictures

This American animated fantasy was loosely based on a William Steig fairy tale book and put out in 2001. Cameron Diaz starred as Princess Fiona.

6. Puss in Boots

CREDIT: DreamWorks Pictures

Antonio Banderas starred in this Shrek spinoff as Puss in Boots. The actors played a talking cat running from the law. 

7. The Prophet

CREDIT: GKIDS

In 2014, Salma Hayek produced this animated adaption of Kahlil Gibran’s book and took on the role of Kamila. The film did some gender swapping and was previewed at Cannes.

8. Spy Kids

CREDIT: Dimension Films

The 2001 American spy adventure comedy was produced by Robert Rodriguez and starred Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. The actors starred as a family that fights an evil mastermind together.

9. Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

CREDIT: Dimension Films

Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara joined forces again to star in this film in 2003. The movie was another spy adventure comedy that followed the Cortez family on an adventure.

10. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

CREDIT: Columbia Pictures

Benjamin Bratt starred as Manny, Sam’s Guatemalan cameraman who was also a former doctor, co-pilot, and comedian.

11. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

CREDIT: Warner Bros. Pictures

This 2005 adaptation of the book by Ann Brashares starred America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel. The movie was released in May 2004 and topped the Box office at 42.01 million.

12. Book of Dragons

CREDIT: Paramount Pictures

America Ferrera stars in this 2011 movie about a legend that pertains to new dragons.

13. Ice Age

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

John Leguizamo stars in this 2002 movie about animals migrating south to escape the winter. For his part, Leguizamo plays Sid a giant ground sloth. 

14. Home

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

Jennifer Lopez stars along side Rihana in this 2015 hit about a girl who manages to avoid capture of a space invasion. The movie includes Lopez’s ballad song “Feel The Light.”

15. Foodfight!

CREDIT: Universal Pictures

Eva Longoria stars in this 2012 animated adventure comedy alongside Charlie Sheen and Hillary Duff. Longoria plays Laxy X the character’s antagonist against a dog who is a private investigator.

16. The Cheetah Girls

CREDIT: Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

The Cheetah Girls debuted on Disney in 2005 and starred Adrienne Bailon who was a member of the girl group, 3LW.  The movie followed four teen girls living in NYC trying to score their own music label. 

17. Gotta Kick It Up

CREDIT: Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

America Ferrera starred in this film about a group of Latina girls who compete as a dance group despite the odds that are stacked up against them. 

18. La Bamba

CREDIT: Columbia Pictures

This biographical movie about the short life of singer Ritchie Valens. Esai Morales stars as Bob Morales (Ritchie’s brother).

19. Around the World in 80 Days

CREDIT: United Artists

This 1956 American epic adventure-comedy film starred Cantinflas and David Niven.

20. The Maldonado Miracle

Salma Hayek stars in this Daytime Emmy Award special. Hayek received the award for her outstanding directing in the 2004 movie about a town whose faith is tested when a statue of Jesus appears to be crying real tears of blood.

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