“I WAS WITH my family at the Mexican Pavilion at Disney World promoting Toy Story 3,” remembers director Lee Unkrich, “and it reminded me I’ve had this long-standing interest in Día De los Muertos. I pitched an idea to John Lasseter and within weeks I was on a plane down to Mexico on a research trip.”
Yes, Coco sees Pixar tackle the most famous Mexican holiday: the Day Of The Dead. “It’s colourful and celebratory,” Unkrich says of the film. “It’s a very music-filled movie, although not a break-out-into-song Disney-style musical.”
The story sees 12-year-old Mexican villager Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) stumbling into the Land Of The Dead. There he tries to track down his idol, a long-dead singer called Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). But while death is a key theme, Unkrich promises hearts broken by the death of Ellie in Up or Bing Bong’s demise in Inside Out won’t be traumatised afresh. “The film is not about death,” he says. “It’s about family, and how those who came before us shaped who we are.” Genealogy, the Pixar way.