One of Pixar’s best films of the last 10 years is 2010’s Toy Story 3, which was directed by Lee Unkrich. The incredible story, action, and heart in the film raised interest in what Unkrich’s next project would be. A few years ago, the studio announced his next film would be centered around the Dia de los Muertos holiday. When the film’s title, Coco, was revealed last year, few other details about the film’s story were laid out. Today, we learned significantly more about what to expect from the plot. Read more about Coco‘s story, see gorgeous concept art as well as some of the voice cast after the jump.
Pixar provided concept art and a synopsis to EW, which is quoted below:
Coco follows the secret musical ambitions of Miguel, 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-great-grandfather abandoned his wife decades earlier to follow his own dreams of performing, leaving Imelda (Miguel’s great-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… 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.
The article linked above goes on to share even more about the story, including Miguel’s search for De la Cruz in the Land of the Dead. A highlight of the interview EW has with Unkrich is the director’s discussion about the voice cast. Benjamin Bratt is voicing De la Cruz, while Gael García Bernal is the voice behind a spirit named Hector that Miguel encounters in the underworld. Anthony Gonzalez, a newcomer to the industry, is the voice of the main character. That group is part of an “all-Latino cast,” as stated by Unkrich, which he believed was important for the film. Given how much controversy there is about films (both live-action and animated) being disrespectful to certain cultures by casting celebrities who may not best embody those cultures, it is a sigh of relief to see Unkrich and Pixar standing firm on cultural sensitivity.
Music seems to be an important piece to the film, as seen by the synopsis. Gonzalez, as detailed by EW, will be doing all his own singing. De la Cruz will also likely be heard singing in the film, although the article does not make it clear whether it will be Bratt’s voice.
With Pixar’s secrecy, it seems that we have learned a great deal about the film today. Still, due to that secrecy, most of the story details that have been announced are probably from the first third of the film. We will find out more in the coming months, as we approach the release date of the film, November 22nd, 2017.