COCO

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN - PHIL DE SEMLYEN

“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.

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