A tightly-knit group, the Riveras are humble people who collectively run the Rivera Family Shoemakers line. Unfortunately, they are known in their home as being the only family who despise music in an otherwise musical town, due to a family tiff that happened between the family's former matriarch Imelda and her husband Héctor back in the past. Since then, the family has only grown and still carries the taboo on music. Nowadays, Elena (currently known as Abuelita) acts as Imelda's successor and upholds her maternal grandmother's rules, notably no music, with passion.
In the present day, Miguel learns and reveals to his family, living and deceased, that Héctor had every intention of returning to Imelda and Coco, but was tragically murdered on his way back by his friend Ernesto de la Cruz. With Miguel's findings and Mama Coco's evidence, the family forgives Héctor and the ban towards music is blighted. As a result, Héctor's reputation is restored and his family welcomes him back into the clan. Because of these events, some of the Riveras start pursuing music themselves.
In earlier drafts, the deceased Riveras were cursed in the Land of the Dead to sing strangely whenever they open their mouths as a result of hating music in their lifetime. They originally saw Héctor's guitar as a source of their curse. They were originally more relentless as they would go to great lengths to pursue Miguel in order to break Héctor's guitar in order to break that curse. When the film was originally to be a musical like Disney's style, the Riveras would originally perform a pointless musical number to educate Miguel on Día de Los Muertos which contradicts their nature as a music-hating family.
- Main article: Imelda
- Main article: Héctor
Óscar and Felipe (Herbert Siguenza), also known as Tío Óscar and Tío Felipe, were the younger twin brothers of Imelda and are Miguel's great-great-great-uncles. They were very close to each other, to the point they finished each other's sentences, and even died at the same time. During the battle against Ernesto's security, Felipe uses his brother's arms as nunchucks whilst Oscar headbutts his opponents.
- Main article: Mamá Coco
Julio (Alfonso Arau), also known as Papá Julio, was the husband of Mamá Coco, and the father of Elena and Victoria. He gets very frantic easily, but he has his family's best interests at heart. Due to her advancing age, Coco tends to mistake her great-grandson Miguel for Julio. Despite being the shortest and easily unnerved member of the family, he is brave when it counts as he was the first to charge into battle against Ernesto's security guards despite being at least a head shorter than them.
Rosita (Selene Luna), also known as Tía Rosita, was the sister of Julio. She has a hefty build, and loves to give hugs, marking her out as a very sweet and caring woman. She wears pink flowers in her hair, which may or may not be a wig since she hides her face behind her hair when Miguel asks her for her blessing. She and Victoria are often seen together despite being opposites and are the ones who expose Ernesto as a fraud to the Land of the Dead, Rosita positioning the camera to catch him in the act.
- Main article: Abuelita (Coco)
Victoria (Dyana Ortellí) , also known as Tía Victoria, was the eldest daughter of Julio and Coco, and the older sister of Elena. She is one of the taller members of the family and is very composed and severe, in contrast to her more outgoing aunt Rosita. She is the first to realise that Miguel is not quite dead and also deduces that he must have something to do with Imelda being unable to cross over. When Miguel asks her for her blessing, in contrast to her other family's terrified reactions she simply shakes her head. Along with Rosita, she is surprised when Imelda starts singing on stage and helps to expose Ernesto as a fraud by switching on a nearby camera which records his confession.
Franco Rivera (Roberto Donati) is the husband of Abuelita, the grandfather of Miguel, and the father of Berto, Gloria, and Enrique. Unlike his wife, Franco is relaxing and calm; he is the one who can keep Abuelita's temper in check.
Gloria Rivera, also known as Tía Gloria, is the daughter of Franco and Elena and the sister of Berto and Enrique. Unlike her brothers, Gloria never married or had children. However, she is still very close with her family.
- Main article: Enrique Rivera
- Main article: Luisa Rivera
- Main article: Miguel Rivera
Socorro Rivera is the second child of Enrique and Luisa, and the younger sister of Miguel. She was born some time after the death of Mamá Coco, so she was named in honor of her paternal great-grandmother.
Berto Rivera (Luis Valdez), also known as Tío Berto, is the first son of Franco and Abuelita, and the brother of Gloria and Enrique. He is also the husband of Carmen, and the father of Abel, Rosa, Benny and Manny.
Carmen Rivera (Carla Medina), also known as Tía Carmen, is the wife of Berto, and the mother of Abel, Rosa, Benny and Manny.
Abel Rivera (Polo Rojas), also known as Primo Abel, is the oldest son of Berto and Carmen. He is 19 years old. Although he is the tallest among the current Riveras and the oldest among their latest generation, Abel has a goofy, humorous demeanor and enjoys fútbol (soccer). He is a good shoemaker, but his tendency to get easily distracted means his shoes often get stuck in the ceiling when buffing them.
At the end of the film, he learns to play the accordion.
Rosa Rivera (Montse Hernandez), also known as Prima Rosa is the only daughter of Berto and Carmen, the younger sister of Abel, and the older sister of Benny and Manny. She is around 13 or 14 years old. Rosa is an adventurous girl, and acts stern towards her little brothers and cousins (including Miguel).
At the end of the film, she learns to play the violin.
Benny and Manny are the twin sons of Berto and Carmen, and the younger brothers of Abel and Rosa. Before Socorro's birth, they were the youngest members of the Rivera family.
Role in the film
The Rivera family is introduced as a prosperous family business with a strong prohibition of music. The only members who still like music are Coco, the eldest member of the family, and her great-grandson, Miguel. At Mariachi Plaza, Miguel shines a mariachi's shoes who tells him about a talent show tonight as Abuelita, Berto, and Rosa confront them and Miguel is later taken home after Abuelita scares off the mariachi. Scolded by his parents (and teased by his elder cousins), he taken to the family ofrenda as preparations for Dia de los Muertos. After sneaking away frokm his grandmother's lectures, Miguel hides in a secret attic where he finishes a makeshift guitar and listens to de la Cruz on a recording, which inspires him to perform in the talent show. He tries to sneak out of the family residence, but after close calls, his parents and Abuelita have decided to promote him from shining shoes to making them. He is deeply dismayed as this means his hidden musical activities will be nearly obsolete. When Dante knocks Imelda's photo off the ofrenda, Miguel sees that his great-great-grandfather had the same guitar as Ernesto and comes to the conclusion the late musician is the infamous ancestor. He reveals this to the family and they disappointed with his secret involvement with music. Miguel tries to explain what he found out, but Abuelita, fearing he will lose sight of his family like his great-great-grandfather did, smashes his guitar. Crushed, Miguel runs away into the night, prompting his frantic family to search for him. Unbeknownst to the living Riveras, Miguel is turned into a spirit and finds out he is unable to commune wit them. Following Dante, Miguel runs into a trio of skeletons. They turn out to be his late relatives; his great-grandfather Julio and great-aunts, Rosita and Victoria. They are stunned he is on the same plane of existence as they are before Imelda's twin brothers, Felipe and Oscar, catch up and inform Imelda couldn't cross. To solve these problems, the deceased Riveras take Miguel to the Land of the Dead, a realm where the dead reside.
At the Department of Family Grievances, the family finds Imelda angrily accosting a clerk for her inability to cross, blaming misinformation on part of the latter's desktop computer. She is shocked to see one of her living descendants in her presence before another clerk comes in. He then explains that Miguel has a curse because he stole from the departed on the night it was to do the opposite to the latter. Imelda is outraged with the trouble Miguel is in, which then turns to horror when she learns he has her photo that he took off the ofrenda. Fortunately, the clerk reveals that, "since it's family a matter", the way to lift Miguel's curse is for him to get a relative's blessing. But he also warns that it must be done before the sunrise or else Miguel's life will be taken; which Julio points out is beginning on his great-grandson's finger. Miguel takes a petal with Imelda's blessing and is returned to life in the exact place he was before cursed. Despite this, he quickly goes back when trying to take the guitar which broke the condition on Imelda's blessing to never do anything out of music, much to her chagrin. He tries to ask one from Julio, but the old man cowers under his shirt. Rosita fearfully refuses by hiding under her hair bun while Felipe and Oscar hide behind each other and Victoria follows by stoically shaking her head.
Imelda tries to tenderly reason with Miguel to go home on her requests, not wanting him to end up like her husband. Miguel then gets an idea and sneaks off to find his great-great-grandfather, who he still assumes is Ernesto de la Cruz. After Miguel overhears Héctor, state to a corrections officer that he knows Ernesto, Miguel takes Héctor's aid (and arm) and bolts through the exit as Imelda catches sight of him. By the time the late family members are able push through the revolving door, Miguel is out of sight in the Land of the Dead. Imelda then summons her spirit guide, Pepita, to track him down.
The past Riveras then locate Miguel, Héctor, and Dante at Plaza de la Cruz where the talent show is hosted. While Miguel performs the musical number "Un Poco Loco" with Héctor, the past Rivera family members arrive and ask several audience members to know if they saw him. Miguel notices his aunts and uncles in the crowd after finishing the performance. He drags Héctor offstage as the hostess announces the search party for him after Julio alerted her thus blowing his cover.
Héctor then realizes Miguel has other relatives besides Ernesto and scolds him for lying and leaving his family. Not wanting to miss his one opportunity to cross the Marigold Bridge, Héctor tries to bring Miguel to his folks, but Miguel distracts him by discarding his photo and runs off to find de la Cruz on his own.
Imelda, with the help of Dante and Pepita, manages to trace Miguel to a cenote with a sheepish Héctor, both having discovered the truth behind their heritage. Riding Pepita (Héctor clinging on her tail for dear life), Dante assumes his alebrije form as Miguel proclaims he's a spirit guide. Landing, Miguel embraces his ancestors, who are joyful he's safe. Imelda, after hugging Miguel, angrily chews out Héctor, believing he preyed on Miguel's desires and endangered him in the first place. Miguel defends him, taking the blame that Héctor tried to get him to return but he didn't listen. Finally understanding the importance in family, Miguel is ready to take Imelda's conditions to return home if he's allowed to retrieve Héctor's confiscated photo from Ernesto, explaining that Héctor didn't return because he was murdered by the man. Imelda is shocked at this, but is still bitter until her husband comes closer to being forgotten due to Coco's decreasing memory. Not able to hate him enough for this to happen, she finally relents and the entire deceased family come up with a plan.
Arriving at the coliseum, Miguel and his late family get backstage thanks to the real Frida Kahlo. They run into Ernesto, who Imelda slaps with her boots for his murderous actions on her family. The cowardly musician flees at the sight of the family ganging up on him, calling his security guards to keep them from getting the photo. After Imelda sings her favorite, "La Llorona", when ending up on stage and secures the photo, she tries to give Miguel a new blessing (now revitalized with her former love of music) to never forget his family's love for him. Suddenly, Ernesto kidnaps Miguel, desperate to keep up his reputation in both in the living and dead. While the family plead for him to show mercy, Rosita and Victoria covertly turn the cameras on Ernesto. As this goes on, Miguel voices his newfound hatred towards his former idol for tearing his family apart all those years ago. Ernesto doesn't care, willing to do whatever it takes to be and remain famous. He tosses the child to his death and returns to the stage, expecting the audience to be asking for more. The crowd is not happy to see anymore, disgusted and outraged with his selfish murders on the Riveras.
In this time, Pepita and Dante save Miguel from death. The family embraces while Pepita goes to execute punishment on Ernesto de la Cruz for everything his actions have put them through when he murdered Héctor. Despite this, Miguel lost the photo and Héctor slowly fades as sunrise nears. His great-great-grandparents give him their blessing with no conditions included.
Awaking, Miguel takes his great-great-grandfather's guitar and races back home to help him and Coco before it's too late. The rest of the family is alerted by the Miguel rushing home, and find Miguel attempting to help Coco remember. Miguel proceeds sings "Remember Me" to Coco and she comes to her senses. While confused, the living Riveras are touched by the loving song from their disgraced ancestor. Lucid, Coco shows letters Héctor wrote her when she was little and the torn piece of the family photo that has his face before telling more about him.
One year later, by the next Dia de los Muertos, Ernesto's legacy is destroyed for his crimes on the Riveras, who now appreciate Héctor and inherit his guitar while spreading Héctor's legacy. Finally able to cross the Marigold Bridge, Héctor is accepted back into the clan and reunited with his daughter Coco (now deceased and the namesake of Miguel's new baby sister, Sorocco). Miguel, Abel, and Rosa play "Proud Corazon" for their family (living and deceased), celebrating having music back in the household and displaying their familial love for one another as the film ends.
- ↑ Unkrich, Lee (December 1, 2017). "They passed away at the same time. (reply to @ShortgameLLC Thanks for answering! Not to dig too deep, but should we assume Oscar/Felipe died of the same accident/illness?They both look the same age)". (Tweet) Twitter.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Unkrich, Lee (December 15,2017). "Rosa is 13 or 14. Abel is 19. #AskAboutPixarCoco". Twitter.