Héctor's Guitar (previously known as Ernestode la Cruz's Guitar) is a guitar owned by Héctor Rivera from the 2017Disney/Pixar animated feature film Coco. It was used by Miguel who was transported to the Land of the Dead. The headstock which is located on top of the guitar looks similar to a skull, with a gold tooth like its original owner.
In earlier drafts of the film, Héctor's guitar was originally carried over in the Land of the Dead with Miguel (who was named Marco) when he was cursed. It had to be protected by Miguel as it was his ticket to go back to the Land of the Living. It was destroyed by Ernesto de la Cruz in the original climax but was repaired by the Riveras after Ernesto was reviled by the dead in his Sunrise Spectecular. This was altered as getting a family blessing made more sense so the guitar remained intact in the final cut.
This guitar was a gift given to Héctor by Imelda and went on to become Héctor's instrument during his tour across Mexico. However, his former partner Ernesto de la Cruz stole it along with Héctor's songbook after poisoning and killing him. This guitar would be continuously used by the vile murderer in his rise to the top, becoming his iconic instrument, until his performance of "Remember Me" in 1942 where he was crushed to death by a giant heavy bell. The guitar, which survived as it had been placed aside seconds prior to the incident, was then stored in Ernesto's mausoleum in Santa Cecilia's cemetery.
Much later in the present day, after accidentally breaking the photo frame of Imelda's old family photo, Miguel discovers a hidden part of the photo which showed the guitar in his faceless great-great grandfather's hand and assumed him to be Ernesto De La Cruz, later, an angry Miguel Rivera breaks into Ernesto's mausoleum on the night of Día de los Muertos, in need of an instrument so he can participate in a talent competition taking place that night. Miguel takes the guitar from its wall mountings and gives it a strum after apologizing to Ernesto's painting. However, stealing the guitar curses Miguel and he is turned into a spirit, forcing him to seek the blessing of his late family in the Land of the Dead. After Mama Imelda gives him the blessing, he is transported back to the Land of the Living but tries to take the guitar which broke the condition of the blessing - never to play music again - thus transporting him back to the Land of the Dead.
Following the film's climax, Miguel runs back home with Héctor's guitar the next morning after being transported back to the Land of the Living after being given a blessing by both Imelda and an almost forgotten Héctor. He uses it to play "Remember Me" which rejuvenates Mamá Coco's memories of Héctor, thus saving her father from his 'final death'. Since then, the guitar was placed on display with Héctor's framed letters to Coco at the Rivera residence as Santa Cecilia's new attraction, following the reveal of Ernesto's crimes. On the following Día de Los Muertos, it is used by Miguel to celebrate the holiday. Héctor plays a spiritual version of his guitar in a guitar duet with Miguel.
Héctor's Guitar appears in Cars 3 as a decoration in Thomasville's Cotton Pin Bar & Grill and in Toy Story 4 as a carnival toy (specifically as a ukulele).
Miguel had made a replica of the guitar, in which he plays while watching one of the Ernesto's films before it was destroyed by his grandmother.
The large guitar-shaped swimming pool in Ernesto's mansion deeply resembles the guitar that he took from Héctor.
In a few of the deleted scenes, the guitar was with Miguel during his time in the Land of the Dead.
In one where the guitar is Miguel's way home, it was destroyed by Ernesto to prevent him from returning back to the land of the living, with many of his un-living fans watching him do it. It was latter given a patch job by the deceased members of the Riveras, it wasn't excellent but it still gave Miguel a chance to return home.
In one of the original plots of Coco, Miguel (when he was known as Marco) had cursed the deceased Riveras with endless singing every time they speak when he took it, which led to them hunting him down for the guitar so they could destroy it to break the curse.
When the guitar was seen in Toy Story 4 as a carnival toy there are 3 different colored versions a blue one, a pink one, and a white one. (The white one is seen in one of the trailers).
Though Ernesto had been dead for at least forty years and the guitar residing in the mausoleum likely as long, it works perfectly the first time Miguel strums it as the strings don't break and it sounds good as new. However, it is likely that the guitar was maintained and kept tuned by those who looked after the mausoleum itself, which would explain why it is in perfect condition.
At the end of the movie, the Riveras' ofrenda now features a model of the guitar.
The Guitar stolen by Ernesto de la Cruz.
Ernesto plays the guitar to entertain people on a train.
Ernesto de la Cruz playing the Guitar during his final song before his death.
Ernesto had placed the guitar aside. (This is how the guitar survived)
The Guitar placed inside the mausoleum
Miguel notices in the picture that his great-great-grandfather holding the guitar.
The Guitar hanging on the wall of the mausoleum
Miguel apologizes to Ernesto to explain his reasons for taking the guitar.
Miguel playing the guitar.
"Mariachi Plaza, here I come!"
A swimming pool in the shape of Héctor's guitar.
Héctor playing the Guitar while singing "Remember Me" to Coco.
"Here. This was his guitar, right? He used to play it to you?"
Miguel plays the Guitar to Mamá Coco.
Mamá Coco told Miguel that Héctor that used to sing her "Remember Me" while playing the guitar.
Héctor's Guitar with his letters to Coco.
A model of the guitar is seen on the upgraded version on the ofrenda.
Héctor playing the spiritual version of his guitar
Miguel playing the guitar and singing Proud Corazón for his living and deceased relatives