Coco officially announced as Pixar’s 2017 film

"Pixar And Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films" Presentation At Disney's D23 EXPO 2015

Fans of Pixar’s animated features received a treat at D23 Expo, when producer Darla K. Anderson (L) and director Lee Unkrich officially announced the name of the Dia de los Muertos movie, “Coco.” Attendees were treated to the official title card, some details about the plot, and the first exciting preview footage from the film.

The movie has been in development at Pixar for a few years now. At various points it was known as “Untitled Lee Unkrich Film” or “About Dia de los Muertos.” What we have known is that it focuses on the Mexican traditional Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. While it typically is observed around the same time as Halloween, it’s more of a celebration of loved ones who have passed away than an excuse to get treats.

Disney/Pixar’s “Coco” is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion. The main character of the film was revealed to be a 12-year-old boy named Miguel. Miguel finds himself in the realm of the dead and ends up exploring the meaning of family.


When Pixar first announced they were working on a film based on the Dia de los Muertos festival, some activists were concerned about Disney co-opting their culture for profit. To help combat that perception, Pixar just hired Lalo Alcaraz, the biggest critic of the move, as a cultural consultant. I’m sure Pixar had good intentions at its heart, but this move will help make sure they have the knowledge to execute their vision appropriately.

Pixar’s “CoCo” will open in theaters sometime in fall of 2017. Hopefully by then we’ll learn where the name CoCo comes from.

(Photos by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

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7 thoughts on “Coco officially announced as Pixar’s 2017 film

  1. Charles

    Now that an activist has been cut in, the movie is no longer “co-opting [his] culture for profit” and instead it will be a celebration of his heritage. He hasn’t done anything but criticize the artists & storytellers (the people who are the real talent and producers of the work), yet he’ll make money.

    Agitators are all the same — insincere, hypocritical and out for themselves…greedy con-artists.

      1. Charles

        Actually, no. I just have no tolerance for nay-sayer opportunists who vulture on the production of hard-working people…particularly artists (in the broad sense…animators, storytellers, musicians, writers, etc.) who have a very competitive and often difficult career path in the first place. This “activist” implying that the story is insensitive or offensive unless he puts his stamp on it (as if there are no Hispanic people working on the film who can provide a culturally sensitive perspective) is the epitome of that.

    1. Karin

      I think it’s too soon to tell to be honest. I’m glad someone who knows the culture is involved, it has nothing to do with the artist involved, but Mexican culture gets wrongly represented sooo much in the media, I’m glad they are trying to get it right. And no, I don’t think he is a con-artist, just someone who made very appropriate and valid comments about it and got hired to help.

      Implying that he is there to “destroy” the artists work is plain wrong, he’s not there to put his stamp on it, he’s there to make sure it’s not offensive as it often is. Plus, I love how you keep mentioning “hard-working people” implying he is not. What happened to you that made you so mad at him?

      1. Charles

        Karin, you want to imply that it’s unfair of me to judge his intentions because I don’t know him. Fair enough. But by that same token, do you know him? What makes your judgment that his intentions are pure more valid than mine if you don’t know him any more than I do?

        Also, I don’t believe he’s there to destroy, which is why I never used that word. I used the term “vulture” because he has publicly demonized Disney because they allegedly want to “trademark [our] culture.” Yet now that he can capitalize, it’s ok. And it’s all done as if he’s the only one who can approve Hispanic artwork (now who’s trying to trademark a culture). And (once again) this is all presuming that there are no Hispanic artists working on the movie and that work he has not seen is definitely culturally insensitive. He’s deriding profits while publicly besmirching workers he doesn’t know, so he can make a profit. Why aren’t you offended by that?

        I never impuned Alcaraz’s work ethic. And standing up for the hard-working people on the film is not implying anything whatsoever about Alcaraz’s work ethic. It’s pointing out the fact that this film is the work of others — not Alcaraz. He has no right to it, and if he is really so concerned about how his culture is represented in media (all culture is made into caricatures in media, by the way…sadly, that’s what media does too much of the time), then he ought to do more creating himself instead of badmouthing other people.

    1. Shamim

      It’s nice to see Pixar experimenting with some of their new movies. Not that it’s anything mind-blowing, but it’s more creative than sequels. I do wonder the reasons behind the experimentation. Most of the company’s earlier films simply put emotions and humanity into different things (toys, bugs, monsters, fish, cars, rats, robots), but they did it so well that it was almost like a perfect formula. Maybe they think making movies like that first batch of Pixar films won’t be enough to sustain the company in the long-term. Honestly, I’m quite curious to see where they are gonna take Pixar by experimenting with these new ideas.

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