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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lee Unkrich|
|Produced by||Darla K. Anderson|
|Music by||Michael Giacchino|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|109 minutes |
Coco is an upcoming American computer-animated musical fantasy 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 co-written by Adrian Molina. The story follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion.
The concept of the film is based on the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead. The screenplay was penned by Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich, and the story by Unkrich, Jason Katz, Aldrich & Molina. Pixar began developing animation in 2016. Unkrich and some of the film's crew members also visited Mexico for inspiration. The skeletons in the film were redesigned to be more appealing. Composer Michael Giacchino, who had worked on prior Pixar animated features, will compose the score.
Coco is scheduled to be released on November 22, 2017. It will premiere on October 20, 2017 during the Morelia International Film Festival in Morelia, Mexico , and will premiere in theaters in Mexico on October 27, the weekend before Dia de Muertos, as Day of the Dead is called in Spanish.
Despite his family's generation-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (who is also his late and long-lost great-great grandfather). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel and his dog Dante find themselves in the Land of the Dead. Along the way, they meet charming trickster Hector and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.
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 Muertos, the more it affects me deeply." The team found it difficult working with skeletal creatures as they lacked any muscular system and as such it was discovered that they had to be animated differently from their human counterparts.
Disney made a request to trademark the phrase "Día de los Muertos" (note, in Spanish the holiday is properly called Día de Muertos) for various merchandising applications. This was met with criticism 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.
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.
The film's score was composed by Michael Giacchino. Germaine Franco, Robert Lopez, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez will write the songs. Recording for the score began on August 14, 2017. The score will be released on November 10, 2017.
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.
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, in which the protagonist is mesmerized by a deceased figure, is more like the plot of another Pixar film, Ratatouille (2007), comparing the character of Miguel to that of Remy the rat. She further noted how the scene where Miguel passes through a living person and realizes he's in a different realm resembles similar scenes in Spirited Away (2001). 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 official trailer was released on June 7, 2017, followed by a second trailer on September 13. The movie was marketed extensively in Mexico, including traditional wall-painted advertising usually done for local events and never for movies. A movie chain in the country held a contest for dubbing a character in the film, and another movie chain held a contest to become an interviewer for the cast and crew of the film.
The movie will also have its own VR game. It will be Pixar's first VR development.