Pixar Releases Trailer For ‘Coco’: Will It Incite A Cultural Controversy?

Back in 2015, Pixar Animation Studios mentioned that it was working on a new project titled Coco, an animated film set in Mexico and inspired by the country’s Dia de Muertos tradition, famously known as the “Day of the Dead.”

The company’s new project has finally come to life after Pixar released Coco’s trailer. The new movie is made by the creators of Toy Story, Finding Dory, and Inside Out and was directed by Lee Unkrich, who also directed Toy Story 3.

Coco features the voice cast of Benjamin Bratt from Ride Along 2, Gael Garcia Bernal from Mozart in the Jungle, and a newcomer who goes by the name Anthony Gonzalez.

In essence, Coco is centered around Miguel, a young Mexican boy who has big dreams of becoming a great musician despite his family’s belief that music is something so bad that it is strictly forbidden. However, despite the odds, Miguel wants to solve the mystery of the history of his family and thus seeks help from a trickster called Hector Bernal, voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal.

Pixar has kept its promise of releasing Coco’s trailer this Wednesday. Last week, it released a very colorful poster for the new movie on Twitter, adding that the trailer will be out soon. Coco will officially hit the cinemas in November.

Coco is not the end of the line for Pixar. The company will release another animated sequel in 2017; Cars 3 will be released sometime during the summer. Meanwhile, Pixar’s corporate rival, Walt Disney Animation Studios, takes a backseat during 2017 after the release of two of its animated films, Zootopia and Moana.

Having said that, is Coco a risk worth taking for Pixar? It is a fairly important question to ask, and apparently, given the release date of the new movie, the company’s answer to the question has been favorable.

It is important to remember that Coco is a new original story and not a sequel. It also seems to hold a very different kind of story compared to the stories typically incorporated in animated films. But where there is a risk, there is a leveling out of that risk as well, and here’s why.

Disney Animation is sitting this year out, which means there is no competition for Pixar’s animated movies for 2017. In addition to this, there will be two releases by Pixar in 2017, which automatically reduces the company’s risk and demonstrates that the studio isn’t putting all its eggs in one basket.

Furthermore, Cars 3 won’t be much of a contender considering the very specific audience it pertains to. As a result, Coco will be a great success, and in all probability, the movie might turn out to be an all-time favorite for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

Speaking of sequels, Coco will most likely remain Pixar’s last non-sequel original story for some years. It has been reported that the animation studio will release The Incredibles 2 in the summer of 2018, followed by Toy Story 4 in 2019. No other non-sequel Pixar animated film has so far been announced.

Coco could be a great hit, but there is also a possibility that it draws some negative attention and controversies. Disney Entertainment suffered a blowback after it attempted to trademark the phrase “Day of the Dead,” which obviously has cultural underpinnings, in connection with its movie released in 2013. Disney’s attempts outraged the Mexican-American community.

“Has anyone else heard anything about this? It has to be a hoax! How can you trademark a cultural tradition?” tweeted Kathy Cano-Murillo, an Arizona-based artist and author.

[Featured Image by Pixar]