One of Disney•Pixar’s most highly-anticipated upcoming films is Coco, centering on the Mexican celebration of family (living and dead), and today it’s started animation:
At last year’s D23 EXPO, Unkrich, the film’s director gave us a bit more information about what we can expect from the film and its inspiration:
“I’d seen it portrayed in folk art. It was something about the juxtaposition of skeletons with bright, festive colors that captured my imagination,” Unkrich explained. But then, like most Disney•Pixar films, it took an unexpected turn. “It has led me down a winding path of discovery. And the more I learn about Dia De Los Muertos, the more it affects me deeply.”
In the process of making the movie, he began to think about his relatives, including the ones who had passed away before he was able to get to know them. “I thought – what if I could meet them, what would I ask them?”
The main character in the film is a spirited 12-year-old boy named Miguel, who somehow finds himself in the fantastical realm of dead. After the brief explanation, Unkrich and Anderson treated the D23 attendees with a “diorama,” meant to express the general feeling of Coco (even though the designs might change dramatically before the movie is done). This “diorama” was incredible and visualized as a single shot moving through the mortal version of Dia de los Muertos, with people celebrating and lighting candles for the family members who have passed on, and moving into the uproarious landscape of the dead. This is where things really take off, with skeleton mariachi bands, colorful designs, and lots and lots of fun. John Lasseter described it as “breathtaking, beautiful and fun,” and we are so excited that today animation has officially begun! We can’t wait to see art begin to emerge for the film.
Coco opens in theaters Fall 2017.