It feels like we’ve been waiting for more details on Disney•Pixar’s highly-anticipated upcoming film, Coco for years. At the D23 Expo in 2015 we learned a bit more about it and saw some stunning test animation, then we discovered–with delight–that Toy Story 3 director and Pixar vet Lee Unkrich was directing the project (with co-director Adrian Molina), and that Darla K. Anderson would produce. Today, Entertainment Weekly debuted the voice cast along with the first piece of concept art from the film, and neither disappoint.
Without further ado, we present the plot of Coco, along with its leading voice cast:
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer 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 Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Character actress Renée Victor also joins the cast as Abuelita, Miguel’s grandmother.
“It was important to us from day one that we had an all-Latino cast,” Unkrich told EW. “It focused us, and we ended up with a fantastic mix of people — some from Mexico and some from Los Angeles.”
According to EW, “Bratt was cast relatively early on — Unkrich says he was the first, in fact — but Bernal took some more internal legwork. ‘Gael was someone we were considering early on, but I didn’t know if I’d be able to sell him [to Pixar chief John Lasseter] because he’s done so many films I’ve loved through the years, but he hadn’t really done comedy … Thankfully, our casting director said, ‘Have you seen this new show that Gael’s in?’ And it was Mozart in the Jungle, and I started watching and thought, ‘Oh my God, he’s so funny, he’s so charming, and he’s perfect.’ So, thank God for Mozart. It didn’t take any convincing on John’s part.’”
Newcomer Anthony Gonzalez is described as a “triple-threat who does all his own singing in the movie and came to the filmmakers’ attention during a nationwide search for Miguel — and not just as the character’s final voice, but his scratch (or temporary) one. ‘We actually had another kid doing scratch for Miguel who’s now 17 or 18, which should tell you how long we’ve been working on the movie, but his voice changed long ago, and it was actually in trying to find a new voice for the scratch that we found Anthony,’ says Unkrich.”
All the waiting has paid off, friends! Coco‘s plot sounds unique and exciting, the cast is perfect, and the concept art is beautiful. And now, to wait some more. Coco opens in theaters November 22, 2017.