Beyond the gorgeous colors, animation, and music, Coco is going to be breaking ground for Pixar for another important reason: it's its first-ever film featuring an all-Latino cast.
Coco — set for release on November 22 this year — follows 12-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), who dreams of becoming a performer despite his family's generations-long ban on music. Miguel visits the resting place of his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), and finds himself in the Land of the Dead after strumming the singer's famous guitar. Among the spirits, Miguel meets his ancestors and discovers more about his family's mystery.
Also starring in the film are Gael García Bernal as Hector, a trickster skeleton in the Land of the Dead, and Renee Victor as Abuelita, Miguel's grandmother. As for Coco's creative team, Lee Unkrich — who has been in the director's chair for Toy Story 2, Monster's, Inc., Finding Nemo, and Toy Story 3 — and Adrian Molina — who also wrote the film — will be co-directing.
Check out the full trailer here:
Not only is this welcome new territory for Pixar, but it's also a positive thing considering the current state of the film industry. A number of high-profile movies these days catching a lot of slack — and rightfully so — for whitewashing roles that should call for an actor or actress of a specific heritage to portray characters onscreen. Considering the fact that Coco centers on the tradition of Día de Muertos, it's only right that the cast features those of Latin descent.
"The day John Lasseter [Disney's chief creative officer] gave the thumbs up for this movie, I immediately felt this huge weight drop onto my shoulders because I knew that we were doing something different than we had ever made at the studio," Unkrich told Entertainment Weekly. "And that for the first time, we were going to have this enormous responsibility to do right by this culture and not lapse into stereotype or cliché."
Día de Muertos (aka Day of the Dead) is a multi-day Mexican holiday that sees families and friends gathering together to pray for and honor friends and family members who have died in an effort to assist them in the spiritual world. While it used to be celebrated during the summertime, it now begins on October 31 and ending on November 2.
We can't wait for this movie and to experience a culture (hopefully) the way it deserves to be depicted.