Few things in Hollywood have elicited a bigger consensual groan than the string of remakes and sequels currently taking up our screens. Still, recent releases like Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo that smashed the box office on its opening weekend, prove that sequels aren't all doomed to serving mediocre reheated ingredients — they can be great, too!
But #Pixar has seemingly made a point of distancing themselves from the sequel trend, declaring that all of the studio's unannounced projects would be original stories. This is in stark contrast to the upcoming Pixar movies that have been scheduled so far, which include #animatedmovies Cars 3, Toy Story 4, The Incredibles 2... and Coco. So if the spotlight is on original content, what is #Coco all about? Turn to this page for regular updates on everything you need to know about Coco ahead of its release.
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'Coco' News, Rumors, And Updates
- First picture of Coco:
After the gorgeous artwork for Pixar's Mexican adventure, we finally got a first look at an actual scene in Coco, featuring Miguel and his beloved guitar. Unsurprisingly, the movie looks nothing short of magical!
- Artwork for Coco:
A first visual for Coco was released by Pixar on December 6, along with details of the plot and the cast. Read below for the full story and the details on the characters!
- Coco starts production:
Coco started production on April 12.
While we got a visual for Coco, there is no trailer yet. As soon as it'll be released, you'll find it on this page — so stay tuned!
'Coco' Release Date
Cars 3 is coming June 16, 2017, while Coco is scheduled for release on November 22, 2017 — shortly after the actual festivities in Mexico. It'll be the second time Pixar releases two movies the same year, after Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur in 2015.
The plot of Coco is quite the roller coaster: It centers around Miguel, a young boy born in a family of shoemakers who have decided to ban music ever since Miguel's great-great-grandfather left his wife to become a musician. Obviously, Miguel develops a secret passion for music, his favorite singer being the late Ernesto de la Cruz.
When he accidentally finds himself in the Land of the Dead after a strange attempt at imitating his idol, he meets his ancestors, including the lady who blamed her couple's misfortune on music, and decides to find De la Cruz with the help of a spirit named Hector. However, he's only got limited time to return to the Land of the Living — can he make it back with his family's blessing to perform once more?
The main inspiration for Coco is Día de Muertos (or Dia De Los Muertos, as North Americans call it), a traditional Mexican holiday that takes place every year at the end of October to honor the dead. You're probably familiar with festival goers painting their faces like skeletons, but that doesn't make Día de Muertos gloomy in the slightest — it's a colorful celebration that is central to Mexican culture, and has been acknowledged in many other countries.
Lee Unkrich, the director of Coco, spoke at #Disney's D23 Expo 2015 about how he quickly got absorbed by the many themes intertwined in Día de Muertos:
"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 Dia De Los Muertos, the more it affects me deeply."
Coco will be Lee Unkrich's second feature film as director after Toy Story 3, but he's also gained plenty of Pixar experience as co-director on Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Toy Story 2. The script was penned by Adrian Molina, who's worked in the animation department on Monsters University and Ratatouille.
Coco attracted controversy in 2013 when Disney tried to file a trademark request for "Día de los Muertos," a move that drew plenty of criticism as the significance of the phrase goes way beyond the movie itself. Among the critics was Lalo Alcaraz, a Mexican-American writer and cartoonist. Two years later, the Coco team included Alcaraz as a consultant, showing more attentiveness from the studio's side to portray the Mexican tradition accurately.
The voice cast:
Coco can praise itself on boasting an all-Latino voice cast. As Unkrich explained to Entertainment Weekly:
"It was important to us from day one that we had an all-Latino cast. It focused us, and we ended up with a fantastic mix of people — some from Mexico and some from Los Angeles."
- Anthony Gonzalez as Coco:
Big animation projects use a temporary soundtrack called a "scratch track" containing only voices to set the animation to the rhythm of the music and the songs — and while the animators are hard at work, a full soundtrack is produced. Gonzalez was initially just a scratch voice, but he was doing so well that Pixar kept him for the final version!
- Gael García Bernal as Hector:
Bernal is a Mexican actor, director and producer.
- Benjamin Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz:
American actor Benjamin Bratt is probably most popularly known as Detective Rey Curtis on NBC's Law & Order. This year, you might have seen him in Marvel's Doctor Strange.
- Renee Victor as Abuelita:
"Abuelita" means "granny" in Spanish, and it's Renee Victor, who played Lupita on the crime drama Weeds, who will be voicing Miguel's great-great-grandmother.
While we don't have extensive descriptions of all the characters yet, we know who the main players of the story will be. And we can't wait to see more of the mysterious spirits of the Land of the Dead!
- Miguel: The 12-year-old Miguel can't help being tempted by the one thing his family has forbidden: music. His curiosity will take him on a wild journey where he'll meet both his idol and his ancestors.
- Hector: Hector comes from the Land of the Dead and decides to join Miguel in his search.
- Ernesto De la Cruz: De la Cruz is Miguel's favorite singer. He's passed away, so the young boy decides to try to find him among the souls of the dead.
- Abuelita: Miguel's Abuelita is the first to have declared music shall be banned — can she undo the restriction the family has imposed on itself for many years?
Where To Watch 'Coco' Online
Since it hasn't been released in theaters yet, there's no way to watch Coco online. However, you'll be able to find a number of Pixar movies on Netflix, or you can buy them on DVD and Blu-ray.
Are you looking forward to Coco? Do you agree that Pixar should make more original movies?
Watch the video below for 10 insane facts about Disney Pixar movies, and click here for more original Movie Pilot video content.