We were invited to the press conference for Disney-Pixar’s Coco, which arrives in theaters November 22nd and has already become the highest grossing animated film in Mexico after just a few weeks of being open – and I believe with adjustments for inflation, it is the #1 film of any kind there now. I am hoping Coco will bring out big crowds here too. I’ve learned a lot about Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) from Disney recently due to Coco in the various parks (including Epcot’s “Remember Me” exhibit). For the press conference, a lot of the cast was there. Those who took part are Anthony Gonzalez “Miguel”; Benjamin Bratt “Ernesto de la Cruz”; Gael García Bernal “Hector”;, Alanna Ubach “Mama Imelda”; Edward James Olmos “Chicharron”; Lee Unkrich (Director); Adrian Molina (Writer and Co-Director); and Darla K. Anderson (Producer).
Photo by B.L, Mousesteps
The press conference began with a dance performance before the actors and filmmakers took their places. Music is a big part of Coco, even though it is not a musical per se. We do have the full press conference here, minus one major spoiler that we removed before posting it.
Unkrich was asked the first question, and it really began what was a press conference that discussed a lot about family, because that is what Coco is about. More than anything, Coco is about family bonds and Unkrich said that after Toy Story 3, he started thinking about having a movie set against Dia de los Muertos, a holiday that he had an interest in. Unkrich said that Dia de los Muertos is “all about this obligation we all have to remember our loved ones, and to pass their stories along.” And with that, he and other filmmakers set off on the film research trips that Pixar is famous for.
Writer and co-director Molina was asked given his Mexican heritage what it was like to be writing and co-directing the film. He considers it “the highlight of my career up until this point”. He started on the film a couple of years into it, after storyboarding Monsters University. Molina felt he had a lot to bring to the film, and “to really bring to life this culture on screen was something I was thrilled by”.
Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz drew inspiration from a number of different places, including his father, who was the “kind of person that, no matter which room he walked into, he commanded attention – and sometimes by saying the wrong things…it was the kind of thing that I could draw on because it was familiar for me.”
Gael Garcia Bernal said that the film is “going to give kids a way to feel confident of where they come from, or where their parents, great-grandparents, grandparents come from. To know that they come from a very sophisticated culture…”. He also closed out the press conference by saying that Coco “opens up that discussion, and it is a beautiful reflection on death, and the celebration of life”.
From Denise: Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” opens the day before Thanksgiving, on November 22nd. It is a perfect time for the movie to open, as families are gathered together for Thanksgiving. Lee Unkrich has been asked online why he didn’t open it around Halloween, which is the time period Dia de los Muertos happens. Unkrich has said it has nothing to do with Halloween, which is why it is opening for Thanksgiving. We recommend Disney-Pixar “Coco” as a way to celebrate family.