As promised yesterday night by director Lee Unkrich via Twitter, Entertainment Weekly and Vanity Fair have revealed our first cast and plot details on Pixar's November 22nd, 2017 release of Coco. Check out the primary cast of characters, initial plot details, interview with Director Lee Unkrich, and new piece of concept art for Pixar's Coco all after the break!
The world of Pixar is expanding in a big, dead, musical way in November 2017.
Miguel, played by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez:
Hector, played by Gael García Bernal:
Ernesto de la Cruz, played by Benjamin Bratt:
Abuelita, played by Renée Victor:
Miguel's Grandmother, Abuelita, is the daughter of Grandma Coco, who is featured in the concept art pictured below:
The most memorable characters in Pixar’s 21-year animation domination are rarely human. Usually, it’s the fish, the toys, the robots, and the cars that capture the most imaginations. And even when Pixar’s animated humans win hearts, they tend to come in cartoonish packages—like the boxy squares and cuddly spheres of Up, or the elastic and muscle-bound figures of The Incredibles. Even the remarkably realistic Riley of Inside Out plays second fiddle to the brightly-colored cartoons in her head. So it’s fitting that 2017’s Coco— Pixar’s upcoming film centering on the holiday of Día de Muertos, a 12 year-old boy named Miguel, and his journey to the Land of the Dead in search of his own heritage and history—would deliver Pixar’s most detailed and realistic human family yet. Because in the wake of an embattled election marked by hostile anti-immigrant rhetoric, America could stand to fall for the fleshed-out protagonists of a film that director Lee Unkrich is calling “a love letter to Mexico.”
All this is prologue to the real adventure: once Miguel touches the guitar, he becomes something of a living ghost. His family can no longer see him, but Miguel can now see all of his dead ancestors—who look like fantastically decorative skeletons—crossing over a bright bridge made of marigold flower petals from the Land of the Dead. Looking for help and answers, Miguel travels to the Land of the Dead—a dazzlingly vibrant, stacked metropolis inspired by the Mexican city of Guanajuato—himself and sets off an adventure with trickster skeletal companion Hector (Bernal) to find the rest of his family, de la Cruz, and the answer to how he can fix this curse.
Coco writer Adrian Molina, who was promoted to co-director in 2016, says that working alongside Solís, Aviles, and Alcaraz (among others) was “crucial” to getting Coco right. “It opened up a great conversation—to be able to meet with people—because we understood there was such a responsibility. The great thing about it is that when we talk with our consultants—or even in my experience coming from a Mexican background—it creates a conversation of what the celebration means to them,” he says. It’s also part of larger effort on Disney’s part to craft more inclusive stories and get as much cultural input as possible.
Coco is wholly unafraid to highlight highly specific aspects of Mexican culture. Whether it’s the musical influences on de la Cruz, the traditional ofrendas (offerings), a Xoloitzcuintli (a hairless Mexican dog breed) as Miguel’s pet, or the brightly-colored, over-sized Alebrijes (fantastical Mexican folk art figurines) that become guardians of a kind in the Land of the Dead, this is a film drenched in traditional culture that Unkrich and his team picked up from their own experiences and over several research trips to Mexican towns. “I’ll be the first to say that going on a few research trips doesn’t make us experts in anything,” Unkrich says, “but it would have been wrong for us not to go down. I knew from Day One, when John Lasseter gave the okay, that we had an enormous responsibility to tell this story right and to not lapse into cliche or stereotype.”
Pixar's Coco dances into theaters on November 22nd, 2017!
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