Any new Pixar movie is a big deal. They have released some of the best reviewed films over the past decade and almost everything they touch is certain to be another hit. Which is why it has been so surprising that Pixar has been remained so quiet for one of their next big films due out next year, Coco. However, it seems that wait is over as Pixar have finally started to talk about the movie and have revealed some images and details about what we can expect from their next original story.
Pixar gave the following reveal to Entertainment Weekly where they have finally given us a plot synopsis of what the film will be about:
Coco follows the secret musical ambitions of 12-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), who resides in a lively, loud Mexican village but comes from a family of shoemakers that may be the town’s only music-hating household. For generations, the Riveras have banned music because they believe they’ve been cursed by it; as their family history goes, Miguel’s great-grandfather abandoned his wife decades earlier to follow his own dreams of performing, leaving Imelda (Renée Victor), Miguel’s great-grandmother, to take control as the matriarch of the now-thriving Rivera line and declare music dead to the family forever.
But Miguel harbors a secret desire to seize his musical moment, inspired by his favorite singer of all time, the late Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). It’s only after Miguel discovers an amazing link between himself and De la Cruz that he takes action to emulate the famous singer and, in doing so, accidentally enters the Land of the Dead.
In the beautiful underworld, it’s not long until Miguel encounters the souls of his own family — generations’ worth of long-dead but no less vivacious Rivera ancestors, including great-grandmother Imelda. Still, given the opportunity to roam around the Land of the Dead, Miguel decides to track down De la Cruz himself. He teams up with another friendly (and skeletal) spirit — a trickster named Hector, voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal — to find De la Cruz, earn his family’s blessing to perform, and return to the Land of the Living before time runs out.
Now that certainly sounds like a crazy trip of a movie which we have come to expect from Pixar. Its not conventional and tackles some deep topics for an animated movie. It also sounds similar to some of the plot from that 1995 epic game Grim Fandango, which to this day is one of the most revered adventures titles ever released. Yes, I know I’m stretching some of those similarities, but if they can tap into that same spirit that made the game so popular while maintaining the Pixar quality of strong storytelling depth, this could be another classic in the making.
Coco is to be directed by Lee Unkrich who also directed Toy Story 2 and 3, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc and was written by Adrian Molina who also wrote – er, The Good Dinosaur. So, it’s a mixture of some of Pixar’s best and perhaps not so greatest talent working on this one. Although, its not fair to judge Molina based on his writing of one movie. I think.
And just in case you think Pixar is simply trying to cash in on the big Mexican viewing audience in the US with its theme, they want you to know that they are approaching the Mexican culture as respectfully as possible, according to this article from Vanity Fair:
Coco writer Adrian Molina, who was promoted to co-director in 2016, says that working alongside Solís, Aviles, and Alcaraz (among others) was “crucial” to getting Coco right. “It opened up a great conversation—to be able to meet with people—because we understood there was such a responsibility. The great thing about it is that when we talk with our consultants—or even in my experience coming from a Mexican background—it creates a conversation of what the celebration means to them,” he says. It’s also part of larger effort on Disney’s part to craft more inclusive stories and get as much cultural input as possible.
While Cars 3 is next on Pixar’s list and looked potentially quite good based on the brief glimpse of it they’ve shared thus far, Coco is by far the most anticipated movie they have in development for me, because its wholly original and something different. The film is due out on November 22, 2017, so we have another year of waiting to find out if we have another Pixar classic in the making.
Last Updated: December 7, 2016