Disney Pixar has released its first teaser for Coco, and it has apparent links to the Toy Story 3 ending. Coco tells the story of a 12-year-old boy named Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), whose obsession with music contradicts his family’s generations-long ban on the craft.
The director of the new Pixar animated feature, Lee Unkrich, who also happened to be the director of Toy Story 3, teased in his interview with Entertainment Weekly that Coco is “something different than we had ever made” at Disney Pixar.
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The Coco cast boasts all-Latinx power and is comprised of only four voice actors: Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Renee Victor. While Coco’s director is not the first director to explore the Mexican tradition Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in the movie industry, he’s certainly the first one to make it the theme of a Disney Pixar animated film.
Speaking to EW, Unkrich revealed that the Toy Story 3 ending featured a precursor to Coco, which is set to be released on November 22.
“At the end of Toy Story 3, we had this moment where Jessie turns on the boom-box and the Gipsy Kings do a Spanish language version of ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me.'”
While Unkrich confesses that it became “a real precursor” for Coco, the Toy Story 3 director added that he, Coco‘s co-director and writer Adrian Molina (Monsters University) as well as the Coco cast had an “enormous responsibility” to “do right by this culture and not lapse into stereotype or cliché.”
In the Coco trailer released by Disney Pixar on Wednesday, Miguel is seen sitting in front of a Dia de los Muertos altar for his musical idol Ernesto de la Cruz, played by Bratt. After watching a clip of de la Cruz performing, Miguel hears the late musician say that music is not just in him, it is him.
Then viewers see the text that reads, “We are all a part… of those who came before.”
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At one point in the Coco teaser, Miguel discovers that he is related to his late musical idol despite the fact that his family has banned music for generations.
Although Coco is centered around the Land of the Dead, the teaser features only a glimpse of how Disney Pixar imagines it in an animated film. Marigold flowers, which are commonly found on Day of the Dead altars, seem to accompany Miguel on his mesmerizing adventure in the new Pixar animated film.
Although the Coco cast doesn’t boast star-studded power, the choice of actors is spot-on. With Gonzalez playing Miguel and Bratt portraying de la Cruz, Bernal plays a mischievous skeleton named Hector, while Victor portrays the main character’s grandmother.
The Day of the Dead theme seems to be becoming a hit in animated films, as 2014’s The Book of Life was centered around the Mexican tradition as well. While the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated feature was criticized for the lack of diversity, the Coco cast featuring all-Latinx actors has taken a huge step forward.
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Coco did, however, manage to get into a lack of diversity scandal. While The Book of Life had several Mexican producers on board, all producers attached to Coco are reportedly white, according to Polygon.
In fact, there is a heated speculation that Pixar’s Coco “ripped off” The Book of Life’s idea. Animation fans mocked Disney Pixar in 2015 when it described Coco as a “unique idea” to show one of Mexico’s most iconic celebrations.
The Book of Life was released by a major Disney Pixar competitor, Reel FX, in 2014. Coco opens in theaters in November.
[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]