From Toy Story to Inside Out, Pixar has a long-line of fantastic films. Think their best is behind them? Think again.
With the likes of The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 scheduled for release in the coming years, Pixar
Coco follows a 12-year-old boy called Miguel. He has a great passion for playing music and wants to follow his idol Ernesto de la Cruz at becoming a renowned musician. Unfortunately, Miguel’s family has a generation-old ban on music, which restrains Miguel from pursuing his passion. But once Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead, he discovers a few secrets from his family’s past.
Like any other Pixar film, Miguel will be accompanied by some wacky characters on his journey including his pet dog and the prankster Hector, who is in the form of a skeletal spirit. Such an adventure is sure to have nostalgic echoes of past Pixar classics – and that's enough of a reason to be excited.
The lead actor is only 12 years old
There’s been a lot of big name actors in Pixar films, from Tom Hanks as Woody, to Ellen DeGeneres as Dory. The lead actor in Coco, on the other hand, is newcomer Anthony Gonzalez who is only 12. Fittingly, he will play a character of the same age.
Originally Gonzalez was only expected to provide a scratch voice for his character (a vocal performance used as a reference when crafting a song), but he impressed the producers so much that they ended up giving him the main role. In fact, Gonzalez even does all of his own singing in Coco.
It’s not the first time Pixar has cast a child actor in the starring role though, as Jordan Naigai voiced the adorable UP
It has the same director as Toy Story 3
When Toy Story 3 was announced, few expected it to reach the dizzying heights of the previous two
This was largely thanks to director Lee Unkrich, who has worked for Pixar for over 20 years, co-directing films such as Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. It wasn’t until Toy Story 3 that Unkrich directed a film all by himself, yet he still managed to lead the film to an Academy Award win. With this success in mind, we’re delighted to know that Unkrich will also be directing Coco. Looking at his track record, Coco is likely to be another Pixar smash hit.
Music will play a bigger part than usual
Miguel’s passion for music will be a big driving force for the film’s story – especially considering that it’s a guitar that acts as the portal for Miguel to get to The Land of the Dead -- but music will feature more heavily than merely being a plot device.
This is not a new concept for Disney, with the heavy focus on musical numbers going as far back as Snow White, but this is a new area for Pixar to explore. However, director Lee Unkrich has warned fans that Coco is not "a break-out-into-song musical". Instead, he described it as a film "set against the backdrop of musical performance."
It's inspired by the Day of the Dead
The story is based on Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations. During the holiday, people will commemorate their friends and family who have passed away. It is thought that by praying, they will help their loved ones on their spiritual journey. Coco was originally going to be called 'Día de Muertos'– which is English for Day of the Dead – but due to copyright issues, Disney was forced to change the title.
Nevertheless, the film’s close connection to Day of the Dead remains, as we’ll see protagonist Miguel go on a spiritual journey of his own. It will be interesting to see Pixar tackle such a mature theme as death considering all of their films are family friendly, but it’s not the first time they’ve tackled such an adult topic. Inside Out was extremely successful at portraying the workings of human emotions, and so we have no doubt that they’ll experience similar success with Coco.
All the signs are pointing towards Coco being another big success for Pixar and Disney. We personally can’t wait to see it, as we count down the days to its release in January 2018.
Ryan Jones is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.