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Disney/Pixar's Coco (2017) - Top 5 Facts You Need to Know

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Michael Wynands Disney and Pixar are back at it again with their newest movie, “Coco”! For this list, we’re looking at the most interesting bits of information we have about the latest collaboration between Disney and Pixar. Did you know Disney tried to trademark "Día de los Muertos"? Did know that it’s a love letter to Mexico? The team behind the film decided to go straight to the source to do their research during the writing process and traveled to Mexico several times in order to get everything just right. Unkrich said that it would have been wrong to not visit the country, and did so in an effort to avoid leaning on stereotypes when crafting the characters and setting.
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Top 5 Facts About Disney/Pixar's “Coco”

When these two animation giants work together- you know the results are going to be magical. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 5 Facts About Disney/Pixar's “Coco”.

For this list, we’re looking at the most interesting bits of information we have about the latest collaboration between Disney and Pixar.

Pixar has taken us into our toy boxes, under the sea, into an ant hill and even into our own brains. This time, they’re heading to Mexico to explore a story involving the ancient tradition of Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. This holiday takes place at the end of October just like Halloween, and the two celebrations do have many commonalities though it’s important to recognize that they are distinct. In “Coco”, the main character, Miguel, will be delving into his family’s history to uncover old secrets, and it looks like Día de Muertos will be at the center of the action.

#4: Disney Tried to Trademark "Día de los Muertos"

In English speaking countries, people often use the term "Día de los Muertos" interchangeably with “Día de Muertos”. When beginning their marketing campaign for the upcoming movie, Disney made a pretty big misstep: they made an attempt to trademark the term "Día de los Muertos". They did it so it could be used for merchandising, but this received almost immediate backlash from a variety of sources who called the move, quote, "cultural appropriation and exploitation at its worst." It turns out that "Día de los Muertos" had been one of the previous titles considered for the project but since it has been changed, it looks like this issue has been put to bed.

#3: It's Not the First Animated Movie About Day of the Dead

If the plot and concept for “Coco” seem familiar, that might be because you’ve seen it before. Sort of. Disney and Pixar have a long history of competing with other production houses on projects, and while the story of what happened behind the scenes on this one is unknown, many have pointed out the similarities between “Coco” and 2014’s “The Book of Life”. The latter was produced by Fox and directed by Mexican illustrator Jorge R. Gutierrez. Both movies rely heavily on music and family history to fuel their stories, but until “Coco” arrives we don't know just how much these two films really have in common.

#2: It’s A Love Letter to Mexico

Though the movie has been somewhat mired by controversy, the producers and creators assert that the project has been in the works for a long time. Director Lee Unkrich - who also worked on the Toy Story franchise - conceptualized the idea in 2010, shortly after wrapping “Toy Story 3”. The team behind the film decided to go straight to the source to do their research during the writing process and traveled to Mexico several times in order to get everything just right. Unkrich said that it would have been wrong to not visit the country, and did so in an effort to avoid leaning on stereotypes when crafting the characters and setting.

#1: It Has an All Latino Cast

Considering the criticism it received, Pixar took a step in the right direction when they decided to cast solely latino actors in the major roles of the film. Anthony Gonzalez is starring as Miguel, and Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renée Victor and Sofía Espinosa all have significant roles. Unkrich said that some of the actors are from Mexico while others are Americans with Latin heritage. This will be the first time that Pixar and Disney have focused so heavily on being representative with their casting choices, and it’s a move that definitely won’t go unnoticed.
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