The Rivera family history is told, explaining that its matriarch Imelda was the wife of a musician who left her and her child Coco to pursue a career in music. She turned to shoemaking which became the family business, and began a tradition which to this day bans music in the Riveras. Her great-great-grandson, 12-year-old Miguel, lives with his elderly great-grandmother Coco and the rest of her descendants in the small, fictional Mexican village of Santa Cecilia. He secretly dreams of becoming a musician like his idol, the late Ernesto de la Cruz, a popular singer and film star who died in a performance when a stage worker accidently drops a giant bell on him. Miguel keeps a secret hideout with many memorabilia from de la Cruz and he is everyday discouraged by his family about becoming a musician. When Miguel tries to enter a talent show for the Day of the Dead, his Abuelita destroys his guitar when he tried to convince her to see him play. Miguel then discovers something hidden in the photo of Imelda – taken with her husband and an infant Coco – at the center of the family ofrenda: her husband (whose face is ripped out) was holding the guitar famously used by Ernesto.
Concluding that he is Ernesto's great-great-grandson, Miguel is emboldened to steal the musician's guitar from his mausoleum to use in the show, but in doing so, he played a magic chord and finds that he is no longer visible or tangible to living people (only to Dante, a street dog he has befriended). Instead he can see his skeletal dead relatives, who are visiting the Land of the Living on this holiday, and they can see him. They believe this is related to Imelda's inability to cross the bridge to the world of the living, and take Miguel to Land of the Dead to solve the puzzle.
They learn that Imelda cannot cross because Miguel removed her portrait from the ofrenda. Furthermore, Miguel has to be restored to the Land of the Living before sunrise or he will become one of the dead. The curse from the Riveras which sent him to this plane of existence can be undone by the blessing of a family member such as Imelda; she gave Miguel her blessing with the condition of abandon his musical ambitions. Just as he received the blessing, Miguel disobeyed the condition and was sent back with Imelda which now forces him to accept her conditions but Miguel refuses and escapes to search for Ernesto, figuring he can get a blessing from that ancestor with no such conditions.
Miguel encounters Héctor, a down-on-his-luck skeleton who says he once played with Ernesto and died eating a chorizo (Mexican styled sausage), and offers to take Miguel to him, in exchange for a favor of putting his picture on an ofrenda so he can cross the flower bridge to see his daughter which he agrees. To make the plan work, Hector paints Miguel's face to disguise as a skeleton and goes for a guitar from his friend Chicharrón who is fading because he has no remaining living relatives to remember him. Chicharrón disappears from the Land of the Dead soon after, as Miguel realizes Héctor is in danger of being forgotten by the living, and he wants Miguel to take his photo back to his world so Héctor can use it to visit his daughter one last time before she forgets him.
Imelda and the dead Riveras are determined to find Miguel so she sends her winged jaguar alebrije Pepita to find him. Miguel and Hector managed to meet Frida Kahlo, whom she tell them they can get to meet Ernesto if they win a talent show to be his opening act. At first Miguel was nervous but he managed to win the contest, but then Pepita and the Riveras find him and he has to escape, as well that Hector is now angry that Miguel lied to him that Ernesto was his only relative and he could have put his photo earlier. Just as Miguel was cornered by Imelda and Pepita, he argues that he won't accept her blessing if she won't let him do something he loves deeply and she wouldn't understand how being a musician is, but she proves him wrong with singing a rachero ballad.
Although it turns out that Héctor is actually no longer on speaking terms with Ernesto, Miguel manages to get into the singer's lavish party with his help. Miguel introduces himself to Ernesto, who cheerfully welcomes him as his great-great-grandson, the two bond at the party and playing together, but just as Ernesto was about to give him his blessing, Héctor gets into the party and confronts Miguel, feeling betrayed that the boy has reneged on their deal. In the confrontation, Miguel points out a detail that prompts Héctor to realize that his death had not been accidental, with a scene of one of Ernesto's movies, Miguel figured out that Ernesto and Hector used to be partners in the music industry but Hector wanted to go back to his family so Ernesto poisoned his tequila. After Héctor's death, Ernesto used his songs – and his guitar – to become famous. Taking Héctor's portrait, Ernesto detains Héctor and Miguel in a cenote pit.
In the cenote, Miguel told Hector he was right and Miguel was worried that he should've listened to his family and that he couldn't trust Ernesto, but Hector started to fade, who tells Miguel that Coco is starting to forget him. Miguel shows the picture he took from the ofrenda, and the two realize that Miguel's great-great-grandfather is Héctor. Upon knowing that Coco is dying, Hector will fade if she dies, who is the only living relative that knew him, as he also told Miguel that he wrote the song Remember Me not for the world, but for Coco. With the help of Pepita and Dante, who turns out to be a spirit guide, Imelda and the other dead Riveras find them. Although Miguel explains the circumstances of Héctor's death, Imelda still won't forgive him but will help save Hector. To retrieve Héctor's portrait from Ernesto, they infiltrate his sunrise concert with the aid of Frida. The plan fails when Ernesto recognizes them and tries to steal the picture while he sings La Llorona with Imelda, but Ernesto is exposed to his fans as a fraud, traitor and killer, when the family secretly reveals his true colors to the audience, and is knocked into the air by Pepita, and gets crushed by the same bell that killed him, echoing his first death.
As the sun rises, Héctor begins to disappear. To save him, Imelda blesses Miguel without conditions, and he rushes to Coco's side. Using Héctor's old guitar, Miguel sings "Remember Me", a song that Héctor used to sing to Coco during her childhood, which sparks her memory and revitalizes her. She retrieves from a bundle of mementos the missing part of the photo from the ofrenda, with Héctor's face. With Coco's support for him, Miguel reconciles with the living Riveras, who accept him and music into their household.
One year later, Miguel proudly presents the family ofrenda – which now features a photo of the recently-deceased Coco – to his new baby sister. Miguel's revelations about Ernesto have left him to be forgotten by the world of the living, who now honor Héctor in his place as well his legacy. In the Land of the Dead, Héctor and Imelda reunite with Coco, then cross the bridge to see their living family, including Miguel, who sings and plays the guitar for the living and deceased Riveras.
- Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel Rivera
- Gael García Bernal as Héctor
- Benjamin Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz
- Alanna Ubach as Imelda
- Renée Victor as Abuelita
- Ana Ofelia Murguía as Mamá Coco
- Edward James Olmos as Chicharrón
- Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Frida Kahlo
- Alfonso Arau as Papá Julio
- Selene Luna as Tía Rosita
- Dyana Ortellí as Tía Victoria
- Herbert Siguenza as Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe
- Jaime Camil as Enrique Rivera
- Sofía Espinosa as Luisa Rivera
- Roberto Donati as Papá Franco
- Carla Medina as Tía Gloria
- Luis Valdez as Tío Berto
- Polo Rojas as Abel Rivera
- Montse Hernandez as Rosa Rivera
- Lombardo Boyar as Mariachi
- Octavio Solís as Arrival Agent
- Gabriel Iglesias as Head Clerk
- Cheech Marin as Corrections Officer
- Blanca Araceli as Emcee
- John Ratzenberger as Juan Ortodoncia
Disney/Pixar announced Lee Unkrich's next film at CinemaCon on April 24, 2012. At the time , it was referred to as The Untitled Pixar Movie About Día de los Muertos. The official synopsis is:
Coco was confirmed to be released on November 22, 2017. Pixar's very first movie, Toy Story, was released in 1995 that same day. The movie aired first in Mexico on October 27, 2017 at the Morelia International Film Festival, before being aired in theaters in North America.
The film was accompanied by Walt Disney Animation Studios featurette short Olaf's Frozen Adventure during the first three weeks of the film's release.
Director Lee Unkrich pitched the idea of the film in 2010 after the completion of Toy Story 3.
On May 11, 2013, The Walt Disney Company requested a trademark the phrase "Dia de los Muertos" for various merchandise. This caused criticism from the Latino community.
The team made a trip to Mexico to find many references to help defining the characters and the story. Unkrich said, "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 Día de los Muertos, the more it affects me deeply."
In 2015, Disney hired Lalo Alcaraz as a consultant for the film. He is a Mexican-American cartoonist who drew a satire film poster depicting a skeletal gigantic Mickey Mouse with a line "It's coming to trademark your culture."
On April 13, 2016, Disney and Pixar announced that they started the animation process.
Coco was universally acclaimed. The film received an approval rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 178 reviews, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly—and deeply affecting—approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death."
Trailers and Clips
Behind the Scenes
- The film is inspired by La Calavera Catrina ('Dapper Skeleton', 'Elegant Skull') on the 1910–1913 zinc etching by famous Mexican printmaker, cartoon illustrator and lithographer José Guadalupe Posada. The image depicts a female skeleton dressed only in a hat, her chapeau en attende is related to European styles of the early 20th century. She is offered as a satirical portrait of those Mexican natives who, Posada felt, were aspiring to adopt European aristocratic traditions in the pre-revolution era. She, in particular, has become an icon of the Mexican Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
- In a scene from the film, a similar character appears with a Mexican hat, winking at the work of José Guadalupe Posada as La Calavera Catrina.
- This is Lee Unkrich's second Pixar feature film as a director, the first was Toy Story 3. However, this is Lee Unkrich's first feature for an original property.
- This is Pixar's second film to focus mostly on cast members with a specific nationality, the first one was Brave which focused on actors with a Scottish nationality while Coco emphasizes on actors with a Mexican nationality.
- Coco is the second Pixar film to have a release date on November 22, after Toy Story.
- Thus, it is also be the second Pixar film to be theatrically accompanied by a non-Pixar short after Toy Story (which was theatrically accompanied by a reissue of 1990's Roger Rabbit short Roller Coaster Rabbit in 1995).
- The sixth Pixar film to be scored by Michael Giacchino, after The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Cars 2 and Inside Out.
- This is the first Pixar full-length film to be a musical.
- Overall, this is also Disney's second musical film to be released in 2017 within the same year after the live-action musical adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
- In Brazil, the title name was changed to "Viva", because the original title "Coco" could easily be mistaken for the Portuguese word "cocô", which translates to poop.
- This is the first Pixar film to feature a song composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
- This is the first Disney film to be theatrically accompanied by a half-hour featurette since 1990's The Rescuers Down Under (which was theatrically accompanied by the Mickey Mouse short The Prince and the Pauper).
- This is the fourth Pixar film where John Ratzenberger plays an unrecognizable role after Ratatouille, Brave and The Good Dinosaur.
- This is the fifth Pixar film to have opening music during the opening logos after Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Inside Out.
- This is the seventh Pixar film with the closing music of Disney and Pixar logos since A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 3, Finding Dory and Cars 3.
- This is Pixar's third film to feature the full 2011 Disney opening logo as a closing logo after Finding Dory and Cars 3.
- When Miguel is walking down the streets at the beginning of the movie, piñatas of Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Mike Wazowski can be spotted.
- The orchestra conductor that appears during Ernesto De La Cruz's Sunrise Spectacular concert is based on the film's composer Michael Giacchino.
- When Miguel is drumming a stall selling alebrije sculptures, alebrije sculptures of Marlin and Nemo (which also appears on the Riveras' family ofrenda) were spotted. Ironically, an alebrije sculpture of Pepita appeared on the stall long before she was properly introduced during the film's second act.
- The Luxo Ball appears in Frida Kahlo's art studio.
- A113 is seen on the door entrance of the "Department of Family Reunions" in the Land of the Dead's Grand Central Station.
- The Pizza Planet Truck (known as Pizza Planeta in Mexico) passes by the Riveras' house down the road during the montage of Elena's enforcement of the ban of music in the family.
- Many real-life Mexican celebrities appeared in the film. They are Frida Kahlo (famous Mexican painter and self-portrait artist), Santo (famous Mexican wrestler and movie actor), Cantinflas (famous actor and comedian), Pedro Infante (famous Mexican singer and actor), and Jorge Negrete (famous Mexican singer and actor) of which the last two inspired Ernesto De La Cruz.
- A participant resembling Skrillex during the "Battle of the Bands" contest in the Land of the Dead wears the same t-shirt as Sid Phillips from Toy Story.
- Miguel's younger cousins Benny and Manny are usually seen wearing Cars-themed clogs.
- A clerk in the Land of the Dead's Grand Central station is seen using a Macintosh Plus computer in which Mama Imelda destroys with her boot in anger.
- A poster of The Incredibles can be seen when Miguel and Hector are the on the way to the "Battle of the Bands" competition.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Del Valle, Luis (June 8, 2017). "24 Secretos que Pixar nos contó sobre 'Coco'". (Article) (Spanish) BuzzFeed. Retrieved on June 10, 2017.
- ↑ Unkrich, Lee. "Awesome poster for Coco’s opening night screening at the Morelia International Film Festival! #PixarCoco". (Tweet) Twitter.
- ↑ Rodriguez, Cindy (May 11, 2013). "Day of the Dead trademark request draws backlash for Disney". CNN.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Taylor, Drew (August 14, 2015). "Meet the newest Disney•Pixar marvel, Coco". Oh My Disney.
- Lee Unkrich announcing his next film on Twitter
- CinemaCon 2012: Pixar’s Dinosaur Film Gets A Title, New Lee Unkrich Project Announced
- New Art From Pixar's Upcoming Films!
- Día de los Muertos