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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lee Unkrich|
|Produced by||Darla K. Anderson|
|Screenplay by||Adrian Molina|
|Story by||Lee Unkrich|
|Edited by||Steve Bloom|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
Coco is an upcoming 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on an original idea by Lee Unkrich, it is being directed by Unkrich, and co-directed and written by Adrian Molina. It is scheduled to be released on November 22, 2017.
Despite his family's generation-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.
On April 25, 2012, Pixar announced a film inspired by Día de Muertos (English: Day of the Dead). On May 11, 2013, The Walt Disney Company filed a request to trademark the phrase "Día de los Muertos" for various merchandising applications. This move was met with criticism on social media from the Mexican American community in the United States. One of them was Lalo Alcaraz, a Mexican American cartoonist, who drew a film poster, titled "Muerto Mouse," depicting a skeletal Godzilla-sized Mickey Mouse with the byline "It's coming to trademark your cultura." More than 21,000 people signed a petition on Change.org stating that the trademark was "cultural appropriation and exploitation at its worst." A week later, Disney cancelled its attempt, with the official statement saying that the "trademark filing was intended to protect any title for our film and related activities. It has since been determined that the title of the film will change, and therefore we are withdrawing our trademark filing." In 2015, Pixar hired Alcaraz to consult on the film, joining playwright Octavio Solis, and former CEO of the Mexican Heritage Corp. Marcela Davison Aviles to form a cultural consultant group.
The Pixar team made several trips to Mexico to help define the characters and story of Coco. 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 [el] Día de los Muertos, the more it affects me deeply."
On March 31, 2017, comedian Conan O'Brien jokingly criticized Disney on his talk show Conan for naming the film and trademarking the name "Coco", despite the fact that the name "Coco" is associated with his show, including its official website, and demanded that Disney change the film's name.
Coco is scheduled for release in the United States and Canada on November 22, 2017, during the Thanksgiving weekend and three weeks after the Day of the Dead celebration, and will be released in UK cinemas on January 19, 2018. The film is being released in a crowded market. It is preceeded by Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League and another animated film The Star, followed by Star Wars: The Last Jedi three weeks after Thanksgiving. It is one of three Disney properties being released in the November–December corridor. It is the second Pixar offering of the year following Cars 3, making 2017 the second year Pixar is releasing two films after 2015 (with Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur). The film will be accompanied in theaters by Walt Disney Animation Studios' Olaf's Frozen Adventure, featuring the characters from Frozen.
A two-minute short film, titled Dante's Lunch—A Short Tail was released on March 29, 2017, on the internet. It introduces the film's supporting character, a Xoloitzcuintle named Dante. The short was created early in the animation process by Unkrich and his team to get a better sense of the character.
The first teaser trailer was released on March 15, 2017, two days before Disney's Beauty and the Beast opened worldwide. The teaser trailer introduced the basic concept of the film while highlighting its focus on music. Scott Mendelson of Forbes praised the trailer as "a terrific old-school Pixar sell, mostly consisting of a single sequence and offering just the barest hint of what's to come." The film's themes and imagery drew comparison to another animated film that centered around Day of the Dead, The Book of Life (2014). However, Marissa Martinelli of Slate pointed out that the plot of the film as well as the protagonist being mesmerized by a deceased figure is more similar to Pixar's other film, Ratatouille (2007), comparing the character of Miguel to that of Remy the rat. She further drew allusion of the scene where Miguel passes through a living person and realizes he's no longer in the same realm to that of Spirited Away (2001).