An interview with the film makers of the smash hit; Coco!
Disney Pixar’s Coco is an instant hit. It takes hundreds of brilliant minds to make a Pixar masterpiece, starting with the Directors, Writers, and Producers. Director Lee Unkrich, Co-Director and Writer Adrian Molina, and Producer Darla K. Anderson are the talented team behind this film that is sure to be capturing audiences for generations to come. We sat down with the film makers to dig deeper into what goes into making a film like Coco.
The first question asked is the question all of America wants Pixar to answer. “Why do you like making us cry so much?”
Director Lee Unkrich put it this way, “I don’t know that I like making you cry, but I like making you feel something.” He went on to share that he thinks movies that really stick with the viewer are few and far between. “When we make our movies we try to do that. There’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to, but I think that’s the most satisfying for us. If we can have the audience feel something personal to themselves we know we’re on the right track.”
They all shared that it was deeply important to them to produce something that was embraced by those who hold this holiday dear. They shared that many Mexican film actors and musicians from yesteryear appear in the Land of the Dead. If you watch closely you will see Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Cantinflas, Maria Felix, El Santo, Esquivel, Juan Carlos Esquivel, Diego Rivera, Frida Khalo, and so many more.
“So much of that was inspired by the fact that we’ve got this once in a lifetime opportunity to, to have characters literally go into history, and Miguel is this kid who wants so much to use his music to connect, but he doesn’t have the role models to be able to help him on that path, so what a wonderful opportunity to lean on these Mexican icons who used their art to change the world and let them be the kind of characters that kind of inspire him and push him.” Adrian Molina
They shared that it was an important decision from the start to have the whole cast played by actors of Latino decent.
“ It was very important to us… because it was the right thing to do. I mean it would have been very strange to not.” Lee Unkrich
They shared about the message in this movie, that it is basically a journey to unconditional love. When the story began “…we always knew what Miguel really wanted deep down was that he’s a musician and he loves his family, and all he’s wants is for them to give their acceptance and give their okay.”
Without giving away the plot for those who have not seen it, the directors and writers made that manifest in such a clever way. Miguel needed his family’s blessing to go home and set things as they were. They shared how the blessing evolves over time. In the beginning, the blessing from his family comes with conditions. His ancestors give him a blessing only if he puts aside music; but he is a musician in his heart.
Writer Adrian Molina said this about the character Mama Imelda’s blessing “It’s conditional at first and then it becomes unconditional, that transition I think says she’s completely motivated by protecting her family, but she needs to analyze what that actually means. And her action changes over the course of the film, and I think that’s so beautiful that it takes both sides coming together to really bring a family together.”
Because of the subject matter of Coco, we’ve asked many actors during previous interviews how they would like to be remembered. These three had heart felt answers as well…
Adrian Molina “I would probably like to be remember as someone who tried to use their art to make the world a better place.”
Lee Unkrich “I will say that. And I will add on to that the same think I always tell my kids; the only thing I want for them is to be kind people. That’s always the most important thing to me, so I would like to be remembered as somebody who was kind and fair.”
Darla K Anderson added “I will say that too. I think especially as a woman who had courage to learn how to find my voice, and to set an example for others. I’m always conscious of that in the world. If you’re in any kind of a public figure to set an example to find your voice and speak out loud about things that matter”
Fun Facts and Easter Eggs in Coco :
- Michael Giacchino (the film’s composer) plays a conductor in the land of the dead.
- Camilo Lara (music consultant) is a DJ at Ernesto de la Cruz’s party
- Watch for the Pizza Planet Truck (Toy Story)
- A113 is in the Land of the Dead – this is a nod to Cal Arts, and is in many animated films
- There is a Pixar Digital Ofrenda that you will miss if you leave the theater before the credits have finished. It is beautiful and gigantic and includes family members as well as animators, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and many more people who shaped the industry.
Photo Credit Mama Latina Tips
Thank you to Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina, Darla K. Anderson for taking the time share with us. My family and I will cherish this movie always. Coco is in theaters everywhere now! Skip the ticket lines AND support our site by purchasing your tickets from Fandango today! Check out the trailer below!
Don’t miss our Ultimate Coco Gift Guide!
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