10 Things That You Didn’t Know about Disney Pixar’s Coco
Coco, the latest film from Disney Pixar, is being released into theaters everywhere on November 22, 2017. The soon to be animated classic arrives just in time for Thanksgiving which is the perfect time to see the film with family members. I recently attended an advance screening of the film and am happy to report that Coco is without question, the best-animated film of 2017. Coco is not only is a beautiful film which celebrates the importance of family and culture but one that will educate those who may not be too familiar with the history of Mexican traditions.
Along with the opportunity to see the film early, I was invited to attend a press conference the following afternoon. At the press conference, Benjamin Bratt (Ernesto de la Cruz), Gael Garcia Bernal (Hector), Anthony Gonzalez (Miguel), Edward James Olmos (Chicharron), Alanna Ubach (Mama Imelda), director Lee Unkrich, co-director Adrian Molina, and producer Darla K. Anderson spoke in great detail about the film and how important it was for everyone involved to share a film that celebrates the importance of Mexican ancestry and the rituals and reasons as to why Dia de los Muertos is considered such an important holiday to those of Mexican descent.
The press conference was filled with a lot of interesting facts and takeaways and I personally feel like I learned a thing or two during the conversation. Below are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Disney Pixar’s Coco.
10. Darla K. Anderson, Adrian Molina, and Lee Unkrich worked together on Toy Story 3 prior to Coco. Unkrich began talking about the idea of Coco shortly after production wrapped on Toy Story 3. Unkrich added that he was very interested in learning and exploring Dia de los Muertos and upon doing initial research decided to dig in deeper which involved taking a trip down to Mexico to build the story after learning about Mexican tradition.
9. Anthony Gonzalez, the voice of Miguel, was hired when he was ten years old. During his audition, Gonzalez brought a CD with him to show off his singing abilities. However, there was no CD player available which lead to Gonzalez singing Cappella for about 10 minutes straight. His passion and dedication to the audition wound up sealing the deal for Gonzalez to voice Miguel.
8. Gael Garcia Bernal says that the film “transcended” all his expectations. He is very proud of the film and felt lucky to be part of a film that shines such a bright light on Mexican traditions.
7. Benjamin Bratt felt that even though his father wasn’t exactly like Ernesto de la Cruz, he still looked back on his time with him to draw some inspiration for the character. He said that playing a character like Cruz felt very familiar to him and was what sold him on voicing the role.
6. Edward James Olmos felt very privileged to be offered a part in the film, however, he never read the script so he didn’t know what the film was ultimately about. Olmos recorded his lines over two years ago and didn’t see anything from the film until he watched the film at Disney, a few days prior to the press conference. He absolutely loved the film and stated: “as Chicharron, doing that one scene, it’s one of my proudest moments in the art form.”
5. There were multiple ideas for the story. At first, Miguel wasn’t going to sing but instead was only suppose to play the guitar. However, after learning that Anthony Gonzalez could sing, Unkrich wanted to “take advantage of his talents.”
4. Alanna Ubach watched the film with her husband and her mom by her side. She mentioned that the song “La Llorona” which is performed in the film was a song that her mother used to sing to her at bedtime as a child. When the song played in the film, her mother broke down crying because she was so moved by it.
3. Edward James Olmos believes that Coco has put Mexicans and their culture in a very strong position for the future. He believes it will add context to their culture to those who are unfamiliar with their traditions and will allow those in the United States see how Halloween was inspired by Day of the Dead which is a day to “celebrate in the memory of, and pass the stories on, and celebrate life at its fullest.”
2. Co-director Adrian Molina is of Mexican descent and says that Coco is a highlight of his career thus far.
- Gael Garcia Bernal believes that the film is geared towards the Latino children growing up in the United States. Coco is going to give kids a way to feel confident of where they come from, where their parents, great-grandparents, grandparents come from, to know that they come from a very sophisticated culture, and to know that they have the possibility to always have access to that hive, to that colmena of life, and that they can come up with new answers to what’s needed in life that we, as humanity, need right now.”
Be sure to check out Coco in theaters on Wednesday, November 22, 2017.
The highly anticipated film will also feature the Pixar Short film, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, which is a 21-minute short featuring many of your favorite characters from Disney’s Frozen.