- “The celebration of a lifetime”
Coco is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on an original idea by Lee Unkrich, it is directed by him and co-directed by Adrian Molina. The film's voice cast stars Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía, and Edward James Olmos. The story follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead, where he seeks the help of his deceased musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living and to reverse his family's ban on music.
The concept for Coco is inspired by a Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos. The film was scripted by Molina and Matthew Aldrich from a story by Unkrich, Jason Katz, Aldrich, and Molina. Pixar began developing the animation in 2016; Unkrich and some of the film's crew visited Mexico for research. Composer Michael Giacchino, who had worked on prior Pixar animated features, composed the score. Coco is the first film with a nine-figure budget to feature an all-Latino principal cast, with a cost of $175 million.
Coco premiered on October 20, 2017, during the Morelia International Film Festival in Morelia, Mexico. It was theatrically released in Mexico the following week, the weekend before Día de los Muertos, and in the United States on November 22, 2017. The film was praised for its animation, voice acting, music, emotional story, and respect for Mexican culture. It grossed over $807 million worldwide, becoming the 15th highest-grossing animated film ever and was the 11th highest-grossing film of 2017. Recipient of several accolades, Coco was chosen by the National Board of Review as the Best Animated Film of 2017. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song ("Remember Me"). Additionally, it also won the Best Animated Film at the BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Critic's Choice Movie Awards, and Annie Awards. Coco is Pixar's 19th feature film and was released on November 22, 2017.
The Rivera family history is told, explaining that its matriarch Imelda was the wife of a musician who left her and her daughter Coco to pursue a career in music. To support both of them, she turned to shoemaking which became the family business, and began a tradition which to this day bans music in the Riveras. Her great-great-grandson, 12-year-old Miguel, lives with Coco, who is his elderly great-grandmother, and the rest of her descendants in the small, fictional Mexican village of Santa Cecilia. He secretly dreams of becoming a musician like his idol, the late Ernesto de la Cruz, a popular singer and film star who died in a performance when a stage worker accidentally dropped a giant bell on him. Miguel keeps a secret hideout with many memorabilia from de la Cruz and he is everyday discouraged by his family about becoming a musician. When Miguel tries to enter a talent show for the Day of the Dead, his Abuelita destroys his guitar when he tried to convince her to see him play. Hurt, Miguel runs off to the talent show to perform anyway. While finding a guitar to use, Miguel then discovers something hidden in the photo of Imelda – taken with her husband and an infant Coco – at the center of the family ofrenda: her husband (whose face is ripped out) was holding the guitar famously used by Ernesto.
Concluding that he is Ernesto's great-great-grandson, Miguel is emboldened to steal the musician's guitar from his mausoleum to use in the show, but in doing so, he plays a magic chord and finds that he is no longer visible or tangible to living people (only to Dante, a street dog he has befriended). Instead, he can see his skeletal dead relatives, who are visiting the Land of the Living on this holiday, and they can see him. They believe this is related to Imelda's inability to cross the bridge to the world of the living, and take Miguel to Land of the Dead to solve the puzzle.
They learn that Imelda cannot cross because Miguel removed her portrait from the ofrenda. Furthermore, Miguel has to be restored to the Land of the Living before sunrise, or he will become one of the dead. The curse from the Riveras, which sent him to this plane of existence, can be undone by the blessing of a family member such as Imelda; she gave Miguel her blessing with the condition of abandon his musical ambitions. Just as he received the blessing, Miguel disobeyed the condition and was sent back with Imelda, which demands him to accept her conditions, but Miguel refuses and escapes to search for Ernesto, figuring he can get a blessing from that ancestor with no such conditions.
Miguel encounters Héctor, a down-on-his-luck skeleton who says he once played with Ernesto and died eating a chorizo (Mexican-style sausage), and offers to take Miguel to him, in exchange for a favor of putting his picture on an ofrenda so he can cross the flower bridge to see his daughter which he agrees. To make the plan work, Héctor paints Miguel's face to disguise as a skeleton and goes for a guitar from his friend Chicharrón who is fading because he has no remaining living relatives to remember him. Chicharrón disappears from the Land of the Dead soon after, and Miguel realizes Héctor is in danger of being forgotten by the living, and he wants Miguel to take his photo back to his world so Héctor can use it to visit his daughter one last time before she forgets him.
Imelda and the dead Riveras are determined to find Miguel so she sends her winged jaguar alebrije Pepita to find him. Miguel and Héctor manage to meet Frida Kahlo, who tells them they can get to meet Ernesto if they win a talent show to be his opening act. Héctor is able to get a guitar from one of his neighbors, none of whom really have family to go home to. Soon they arrive at the contest Miguel decides to play "Remember Me" but after seeing the amount of performers who are also singing that song, he decides on "Un Poco Loco". At first Miguel is nervous but he manages to win the contest, but then Pepita and the Riveras find him and he has to escape, and Héctor is now angry that Miguel lied to him that Ernesto was his only relative and he could have put his photo earlier. Just as Miguel is cornered by Imelda and Pepita, he argues that he won't accept her blessing if she won't let him do something he loves deeply and she wouldn't understand how being a musician is, but she proves him wrong by singing a ranchero ballad. She tells him that she did love music and whenever her husband played it was all she needed, but after they had Coco, their daughter became more important than music. Imelda again tries to manipulate with Miguel, who refuses and runs off, feeling that his family will never support his passion.
Although it turns out that Héctor is actually no longer on speaking terms with Ernesto, Miguel manages to get into the singer's lavish party with his help. Miguel introduces himself to Ernesto, who cheerfully welcomes him as his great-great-grandson. The two bond at the party and playing together, but just as Ernesto was about to give him his blessing, Héctor gets into the party and confronts Miguel, feeling betrayed that the boy has reneged on their deal. In the confrontation, Miguel points out a detail that prompts Héctor to realize that his death had not been accidental, with a scene from one of Ernesto's movies. Miguel figures out that Ernesto and Héctor used to be partners in the music industry, but Héctor wanted to go back to his family, but Ernesto was not a song writer and couldn’t work without his songs, so Ernesto did the unthinkable: he poisoned Héctor’s tequila. After Héctor's death, Ernesto used his songs – and his guitar – to become famous. Taking Héctor's portrait, Ernesto betrays Héctor and Miguel and puts them in a cenote pit.
In the cenote, Miguel tells Héctor he was right and Miguel was worried that he should've listened to his family and that he couldn't trust Ernesto, but as Héctor starts to fade, he tells Miguel that Coco is starting to forget him. Miguel shows the picture he took from the ofrenda, and the two realize that Miguel's great-great-grandfather is Héctor. Upon knowing that Coco is dying, Héctor will fade if she dies, as she is the only living relative that still remembers him, as he also told Miguel that he wrote the song Remember Me not for the world, but for Coco. With the help of Pepita and Dante, who turns out to be a spirit guide, Imelda and the other dead Riveras find them. Although Miguel explains the circumstances of Héctor's death, Imelda still won't forgive him but agrees to help save Héctor. To retrieve Héctor's portrait from Ernesto, they infiltrate his sunrise concert with the aid of Frida. The plan fails when Ernesto recognizes them and tries to steal the picture while he sings "La Llorona" with Imelda, but Ernesto is exposed to his fans as a fraud, thief, traitor, and murderer, when the family secretly broadcasts his true colors to the audience, and is knocked into the air by Pepita, and gets crushed by the same bell that killed him, echoing his first death.
As the sun rises, Héctor begins to disappear. To save him, Imelda blesses Miguel without conditions, and he rushes to Coco's side. After failing to help Mamá Coco remember, Miguel is comforted by Luisa and Enrique, consoling that they are together now. Using Héctor's old guitar, Miguel sings "Remember Me", a song that Héctor used to sing to Coco during her childhood, which sparks her memory and revitalizes her. She retrieves from a bundle of mementos the missing part of the photo from the ofrenda, with Héctor's face. With Coco's support, Miguel's family reconciles with him and accept music into their household.
One year later, Miguel proudly presents the family ofrenda – which now features Héctor and a photo of the recently-deceased Coco – to his new baby sister. Miguel's revelations about Ernesto have left him to be condemned by the world of the living, who now honor Héctor in his place and his legacy. In the Land of the Dead, Héctor and Imelda reunite with Coco, then cross the bridge to see their living family, including Miguel, who sings and plays the guitar with his cousins who also became musicians for the living and deceased Riveras.
- Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel Rivera
- Gael García Bernal as Héctor
- Benjamin Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz
- Alanna Ubach as Imelda
- Renée Victor as Abuelita
- Ana Ofelia Murguía as Mamá Coco
- Edward James Olmos as Chicharrón
- Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Frida Kahlo
- Alfonso Arau as Papá Julio
- Selene Luna as Tía Rosita
- Dyana Ortellí as Tía Victoria
- Herbert Siguenza as Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe
- Jaime Camil as Enrique Rivera
- Sofía Espinosa as Luisa Rivera
- Roberto Donati as Papá Franco
- Carla Medina as Tía Gloria
- Luis Valdez as Tío Berto
- Polo Rojas as Abel Rivera
- Montse Hernandez as Rosa Rivera
- Lombardo Boyar as Plaza Mariachi and Gustavo
- Octavio Solís as Arrival Agent
- Carla Medina as Departure Agent
- Gabriel Iglesias as Head Clerk
- Cheech Marin as Corrections Officer
- Luis Valdez as Don Hidalgo
- Blanca Araceli as Emcee
- John Ratzenberger as Juan Ortodoncia
- Salvador Reyes as Security Guards
Coco was confirmed to be released on November 22, 2017. Pixar's very first movie, Toy Story, was released in 1995 that same day. The movie aired first in Mexico on October 27, 2017 at the Morelia International Film Festival, before being aired in theaters in North America.
The film was accompanied by Walt Disney Animation Studios featurette short Olaf's Frozen Adventure during the first three weeks of the film's release.
The team made a trip to Mexico to find many references to help to define the characters and the story. Unkrich said, "I'd seen it portrayed in folk art. It was something about the juxtaposition of skeletons with bright, festive colors that captured my imagination. It has led me down a winding path of discovery. And the more I learn about Día de los Muertos, the more it affects me deeply."
In 2015, Disney hired Lalo Alcaraz as a consultant for the film. He is a Mexican-American cartoonist who drew a satire film poster depicting a skeletal gigantic Mickey Mouse with a line "It's coming to trademark your culture."
Coco received universal acclaim. The film received an approval rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 178 reviews, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly—and deeply affecting—approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death."
Coco won the Academy Award for the Best Animated Feature and Academy Award for Best Original Song (for the song "Remember Me") at the 90th Academy Awards. At the 75th Golden Globes Awards, it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, while the song "Remember Me" was nominated in the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, losing it to The Greatest Showman for its song "This Is Me".
Trailers and Clips
Behind the Scenes
- The film is inspired by La Calavera Catrina ('Dapper Skeleton', 'Elegant Skull') on the 1910–1913 zinc etching by famous Mexican printmaker, cartoon illustrator, and lithographer José Guadalupe Posada. The image depicts a female skeleton dressed only in a hat, her chapeau en attende is related to European styles of the early 20th century. She is offered as a satirical portrait of those Mexican natives who, Posada felt, were aspiring to adopt European aristocratic traditions in the pre-revolution era. She, in particular, has become an icon of the Mexican Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
- In a scene from the film, a similar character appears with a Mexican hat, winking at the work of José Guadalupe Posada as La Calavera Catrina.
- This is Lee Unkrich's second and last Pixar feature film as a director, the first was Toy Story 3. However, this is Lee Unkrich's first and only feature for an original property.
- This is Pixar's second film to focus mostly on cast members with a specific nationality, the first one was Brave which focused on actors with a Scottish nationality while Coco emphasizes on actors with a Mexican nationality.
- Coco is the second Pixar film to have a release date on November 22, after Toy Story.
- Thus, it is also the first Pixar theatrical feature film since Toy Story to be accompanied by a non-Pixar short (which was theatrically accompanied by a reissue of 1990's Roger Rabbit short Roller Coaster Rabbit in 1995). The next one to do so would be Onward (which would be preceded by The Simpsons short, Playdate with Destiny).
- The sixth Pixar film to be scored by Michael Giacchino, after The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Cars 2, and Inside Out.
- In Brazil, the title name was changed to "Viva - A Vida é uma Festa" ("Viva - Life is a Party"), because the original title "Coco" could easily be mistaken for the Portuguese word "cocô", which translates to poop.
- Coco's name was also translated in order to adapt to the language. In the Brazilian adaptation of the film, Miguel's abuelita is called 'Inês'.
- This is the first Pixar film to be a musical fantasy.
- This is the second Disney musical film released in 2017, the first being the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
- This is the first Pixar film to feature a song composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
- This is the first Disney film to be theatrically accompanied by a half-hour featurette since 1990's The Rescuers Down Under (which was theatrically accompanied by the Mickey Mouse short The Prince and the Pauper).
- This is the fourth Pixar film where John Ratzenberger plays an unrecognizable role after Ratatouille, Brave, and The Good Dinosaur.
- This is the fifth Pixar film to have opening music during the opening logos after Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Inside Out.
- This is the seventh Pixar film with the closing music of Disney and Pixar logos since A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 3, Finding Dory, and Cars 3.
- This is Pixar's third film to feature the full 2011 Disney opening logo as a closing logo after Finding Dory and Cars 3.
- This is the final Pixar film Lee Unkrich directed and worked with altogether before his retirement in 2019.
- This movie has similarities with the 2014 20th Century Fox film The Book of Life as both involve the protagonists going to the land of the death, although the ways are not the same.
- This is the third Pixar film with a predominant human cast after The Incredibles and Brave.
- This is the only Pixar original film to be released in the late 2010s (2016-2019), all the rest are sequels: Finding Dory, Cars 3, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4.
- When Miguel is walking down the streets at the beginning of the movie, piñatas of Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Mike Wazowski can be spotted.
- The orchestra conductor that appears during Ernesto De La Cruz's Sunrise Spectacular concert is based on the film's composer Michael Giacchino.
- When Miguel is drumming a stall selling alebrije sculptures, alebrije sculptures of Marlin and Nemo (which also appears on the Riveras' family ofrenda) were spotted. Ironically, an alebrije sculpture of Pepita appeared on the stall long before she was properly introduced during the film's second act.
- The Luxo Ball appears in Frida Kahlo's art studio.
- A113 is seen in one of Ernesto De La Cruz's albums and on the door entrance of the "Department of Family Reunions" in the Land of the Dead's Grand Central Station.
- The Pizza Planet truck (known as Pizza Planeta in Mexico) passes by the Riveras' house down the road during the montage of Elena's enforcement of the ban of music in the family.
- Many real-life Mexican celebrities appeared in the film as a tribute to Mexico. They are Frida Kahlo (famous Mexican painter and self-portrait artist), El Santo (famous Mexican wrestler and movie actor), Cantinflas (famous actor and comedian), Pedro Infante (famous Mexican singer and actor), and Jorge Negrete (famous Mexican singer and actor) of which the last two inspired Ernesto De La Cruz.
- A participant resembling Skrillex during the "Battle of the Bands" contest in the Land of the Dead wears the same t-shirt as Sid Phillips from Toy Story.
- Miguel's younger cousins Benny and Manny are usually seen wearing Cars-themed clogs.
- A clerk in the Land of the Dead's Grand Central station is seen using a Macintosh Plus computer in which Mama Imelda destroys with her boot in anger.
- A poster of The Incredibles can be seen when Miguel and Héctor are on the way to the "Battle of the Bands" competition, possible as an Easter egg for Pixar's next film, Incredibles 2.
- The Constitution from "The Lone Ranger" made a cameo appearance in the movie the locomotive sits idle at the station when Héctor and Ernesto de la Cruz are walking to the train station and Héctor dies.
- Coco (film) on Wikipedia
- Coco (film) at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Lee Unkrich announcing his next film on Twitter
- CinemaCon 2012: Pixar’s Dinosaur Film Gets A Title, New Lee Unkrich Project Announced
- New Art From Pixar's Upcoming Films!
- Del Valle, Luis (June 8, 2017). "24 Secretos que Pixar nos contó sobre 'Coco'" (Article) (Spanish). BuzzFeed. Retrieved on June 10, 2017.
- Unkrich, Lee. "Awesome poster for Coco’s opening night screening at the Morelia International Film Festival! #PixarCoco" (Tweet). Twitter.
- Rodriguez, Cindy (May 11, 2013). "Day of the Dead trademark request draws backlash for Disney". CNN.
- Taylor, Drew (August 14, 2015). "Meet the newest Disney•Pixar marvel, Coco". Oh My Disney.