It may not be Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at this time, but for the folks behind the Disney and Pixar’s animated film Coco, it certainly is with flying colors. The movie won the Best Animated Film award at the 75th Golden Globes held in Los Angeles on January 7. The flick outshined Dreamworks and Fox’s Ferdinand and The Boss Baby, Good Deed’s Loving Vincent, and GKids’ The Breadwinner.
During his speech at the Golden Globes obtained by EW, Coco director Lee Unkrich acknowledged and thanked the Mexican people for their Día de Los Muertos tradition, which is the film’s major inspiration. Unkrich accepted the award and also expressed his gratitude to Disney and Pixar for trusting them. The director said that the studios encouraged him and his crew to deliver the story with “respect and dignity.”
Coco was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It hit U.S. theaters on November 22, 2017, and automatically earned an overwhelming fanbase, grossing more than $589 million globally. Film critics praised the movie with its abundant visual context and the lessons that everyone learned about the importance of culture and beliefs, life and death, and family most of all. Entertainment Weekly’s film critic Leah Greenblatt also praised the movie and described it as “vibrant musical swirl of color.”
“Thank you to our loved ones who are no longer with us who in ways great and small paved the way for us to be the people that we are today. We love you, we honor you, you inspire us.”
Inspired by the Mexican holiday called Día de Muertos or sometimes called Día de Los Muertos, Coco follows the story of a young boy of 12 years named Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez), who struggles to become a successful musician. His great grandma Coco (Ana Ofelia Murguía) happened to be the daughter of Hector (Gael García Bernal), his great-great-grandfather, who promised to help him find Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Initially, he thought of Ernesto, a departed famous musician during his days, as his great-great-grandfather that his family despised.
Miguel tried to steal Ernesto’s guitar at the mausoleum so he can join the talent show during the Day of the Dead in Santa Cecilia, Mexico. Howbeit, he noticed he became invisible to living people but sees the dead ones that can also see him, including his ancestors who have departed. Together with Dante, his Xolo or Mexican hairless dog, they conquered the Land of the Dead. There, he found out that Ernesto poisoned his real great-great-grandfather, Hector, stealing his music for his name.
Coco reached out to everyone that despite the long woes, a family is still everything. It is a splendid tapestry with rich musical pleasures, tapping into the depths of vivid storytelling with class and caliber.
Coco was directed by Lee Unkrich and co-directed by Adrian Molina.