Coco is one of the most creative and powerful movies from Disney Pixar. With a positive message about family and empathy, the movie also shares well-researched knowledge of Latin and Latin American culture. Today on Theresa’s Reviews, meet the creative minds behind the movie.
Coco Director Lee Unkrich, Writer & Co-Director Adrian Molina and Producer Darla K. Anderson
At Coco event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, director Lee Unkrich, writer and co-director Adrian Molina, and producer Darla K. Anderson entered the room with matching dark tee-shirts. They shared what they want to be remembered for, the inspiration behind certain scenes, and cameos in the movie.
Cameos You Can Spot
Interested in which cameos you can spot in Coco?
Adrian Molina shared with us that there are two cameos of actual living people in Coco. One is Michael Giacchino, who composed to original score for the movie. The other cameo is the movie’s music consultant, Camilo Lara, who you can see playing the DJ in the party scene.
Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina both have a line in the movie.
The guy who says “What did I miss?” at the end is Lee Unkrich.
Adrian Molina does the voice after Miguel takes the guitar when someone says, “The guitar, it’s gone!”
Receiving A Blessing
In the movie, Miguel must receive a blessing to follow his dreams of becoming a musician, and he wants his family’s acceptance.
The idea of receiving a blessing was inspired by a true moment in Adrian Molina’s life. When he was heading off to art school at Cal Arts, his parents asked to give him their blessing.
He says, “If we can convey what this feels like, it, I think it has the power to be very meaningful.”
Regarding how they conveyed that moment in the movie, he explained that you see Mama Imelda’s blessing change. At first, her blessing is conditional. Then, the blessing becomes unconditional. That transition matters. She wants to protect her family, but she need to think about what that really means.
You can spot many Mexican celebrities in Coco. Some you would easily recognize, such as Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo.
Some other famous Mexican celebrities in Cocoinclude singer/actor Pedro Infante, singer/actor Jorge Negrete, comedian/singer Cantinflas, actress/singer Maria Felix, and wrestler El Santo.
In Coco, you can spot pianist Juan Carlos Esquivel as the guy who is playing the glass harmonica before the talent show competition.
Adrian Molina explains, “Much of that was inspired by the fact that we’ve got this once in a lifetime opportunity to have characters literally go into history. Miguel is this kid who wants so much to use his music to connect, but he doesn’t have the role models to be able to help him on that path. What a wonderful opportunity to lean on these Mexican icons who used their art to change the world and let them be the kind of characters that inspire him and push him.”
The Digital Ofrenda In The Closing Scene
If you go see Coco, make sure to stay through the closing credits!
Across the screen, a picture comes up that is like a digital ofrenda. Everyone submitted a photo of someone who mattered to them who they had lost. In the picture, you can see Lee Unkrich’s grandmother, Darla K. Anderson’s mother, and Adrian Molina’s grandparents. They also put different animators they have lost over time. In the image is Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and Don Rickles.
What They Want To Be Remembered For
Adrian Molina says, “I would probably like to be remember as someone who tried to use their art to make the world a better place. ”
Lee Unkrich says, “The only thing I want for them is to be kind people. That’s always the most important thing to me, so I would like to be remembered as somebody who was kind and fair.”
Darla K. Anderson says, “I think especially as a woman who had courage to learn how to find my voice, and to set an example for others, I’m always conscious of that in the world. If you’re in any kind of a public figure, to set an example to find your voice and speak out loud about things that matter.”
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.