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Coco’s Virtual Reality

Coco, Merchandise

Posted by Simoa • October 11, 2017

We’ve all been eagerly anticipating Coco, which is still more than a month away from release. We’re expecting to be fully immersed in another gorgeously crafted Pixar world. With Lee Unkrich’s latest feature, we’ll be journeying to both Mexico and the Land of the Dead. But experiencing the film extends beyond the theater.

Coco is Pixar’s first foray into virtual reality, and this after being the studio’s first film embellished on the side of an airplane! Check out the stunning VR trailer below:

This VR debuts on Oculus Rift on November 15th, and on the film’s premiere date, November 22nd with Samsung Gear VR. There’s also an additional feature with Facebook connect, where you can explore the world with friends. Previews for the Coco VR experience will also be unveiled at the following locations:

October 28th: Dia de Los Muertos festivals in Los Angeles, Oakland, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix, New York City and Chicago.

October 28th-29th: The Camp Flog Gnaw Musical Festival in Los Angeles. Camp Flog Naw was started by rapper and artist Tyler, the Creator, who’s also a huge Pixar fan!

Disney stores and theaters beginning on November 22nd, though the exact locations are yet to be determined.

This is an excellent way to experience yet another magical world in an entirely new way, which is what we’ve come to expect with Pixar.

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Taking to the skies, Coco style!

Coco, Coco and Southwest

Posted by Simoa • October 10, 2017

Think Pixar’s partnership with NASCAR is the only one? Think again! The company has teamed up with Southwest Airlines and unveiled a Coco themed airplane!

The Boeing 737-700 is beautifully emblazoned with Coco‘s logo and artwork, and would certainly be a brilliant sight among the clouds. Hopefully we’ll be able to catch glimpses of it from the ground! The plane will be flying in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean through the end of 2017.

And if all that wasn’t enough, lucky passengers will even be treated to film clips in flight!

On Coco‘s themes of family and pursuing dreams, Lee Unkrich says that the partnership with Southwest is ideal. “These themes really lend themselves to teaming up with a company like Southwest. And after working for nearly six years to bring this story to life, we were all so excited to see ‘Coco’ on the side of an airplane.”

There will also be a live at 35 concert performance later this year onboard, featuring the voice of Miguel himself, Anthony Gonzalez!

Be sure to share your photos of the Coco plane using the hashtag #CocoandSouthwest. But until then, have some more views of the plane below!

Image credit: Oh My Disney.

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Coco Soundtrack: A “Mosaic of Emotions”

Coco, Michael Giacchino, Soundtrack

Posted by Simoa • October 5, 2017

Coco has music in its DNA,” director Lee Unkrich stated, much like its protagonist, Miguel Rivera. And who better to make that music come alive than frequent Pixar collaborator, Michael Giacchino? Also featuring the songwriting talents of husband-wife duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Coco‘s soundtrack promises to be as vibrant as the film itself.

Giacchino worked closely with musical consultant Camilo Lara of the Mexican Institute of Sound in order to craft music that was authentic, original, and beautiful. Giacchino composed a score and also took inspiration from traditional Mexican songs as source music. Original songs written by the Lopez team include Ernesto de La Cruz’s signature “Remember Me,” “Un Poco Loco,” “Everyone Knows Juanita,” “The World Es Mi Familia,” and “Proud Corazon.” Co-director Adrian Molina also contributed to penning the songs. The full tracklist can be found below:

Coco resonated with Giacchino, who described the film as a “mosaic of emotions.”  “It made me think about my family and my connections to relatives back in Italy. This film speaks to everyone.” And the music he’s created is for a story that’s universal, but also wholly Mexican.

You can buy and subsequently bless your ears with the Coco soundtrack on November 10th.

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The latest Coco trailer is a symphony of emotions

Coco, Pixar, Trailer

Posted by Joanna • September 13, 2017

As promised, Pixar released their latest trailer for Coco this morning at 9am, and it did not disappoint.

Out of all the trailers so far, this one is the most vibrant, touching, and awe-inspiring. It reveals new plot details but, as ever, only just enough to captivate us while not spoiling the movie. There is a larger focus on music as a plot-point in this trailer, so it’s very fitting that the the music chosen to play during the video is so moving. A cover of “Bittersweet Symphony” plays in the background, its title alone perfectly describing many past Pixar movies. Seeing the stunning visuals and heartwarming character interactions against this choice of music leaves us with no doubt that Coco is soon going to sit very comfortably amongst Pixar’s greats.

Miguel’s dog Dante continues to be incredibly lovable, and it’s great to see how well the characters of Miguel and Hector bounce off of each other.

This is also our first time seeing Pepita in action, and she looks terrifying in all the right ways.

With each new trailer, our excitement for the release of Coco this November 22nd has only grown. We’re really getting the feeling that this movie is going to be special, and we can’t wait.

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Brand new Coco poster and trailer

Coco, Pixar, Poster, Upcoming Pixar

Posted by Joanna • September 12, 2017

Pixar have revealed another beautiful poster for their much-anticipated movie Coco, with a new trailer set to release tomorrow at 9am PST.

With all the new details we have learnt about Coco over the past few months, we now know that it will take place partly in the “land of the living”, and partly in the “land of the dead”. The new poster exhibits this concept perfectly, with Miguel’s town and family filling one half of the image, and his ancestors and the bright lights of the “land of the dead” filling the other half. The striking bridge of marigold petals ties the two worlds together, as it will in the film itself. Coco will have a large cast of Latino actors and actresses, and it’s amazing to see the sheer variety of characters in the foreground and background. Even Pepita, the giant flying cat and spiritual guide, can be seen flying amongst the fireworks in the top right.

It’s not long now before Coco will finally be released in theatres, and tomorrow morning’s new trailer will no doubt make our excitement even more unbearable! To tide you over, some new Coco footage (heavily featuring Miguel’s Abuelita) was released on Sunday to celebrate Grandparents Day:

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The Story of Coco: Finding Miguel’s Passion

Adrian Molina, Coco, Pixar

Posted by Simoa • September 9, 2017

“Pixar movies are always meant to be.”

Director Lee Unkrich and Co-Director Adrian Molina during a Coco art review on February 18, 2016 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

A truer statement can’t be made about the animation studio and its films. During my August visit, learning about the upcoming Coco through various presentations proved to be immensely rewarding as well as informative. Co-director Adrian Molina and lead story artist Dean Kelly led the presentation for The Story of Coco.

COCO – Concept art by Armand Baltazar and John Nevarez. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Research is always a necessary component to Pixar films, and in some cases, research trips too. As with 2012’s Brave, with Scotland as the destination, the film crew traveled to Mexico in order to make the film and its depiction of Dia de Los Muertos as authentic as possible. They studied the customs of the holiday and found that the traditions were built into the film on a fundamental level.

Members of the Latino community visit Pixar Animation Studios on May 12, 2016, for a roundtable session with Coco filmmakers. (Photo: Virginia Mae Rollison / Pixar)

The initial seed of the film was planted in 2011. The basic premise was that of a boy trapped in the Land of the Dead. Like the most bold of ideas, this was one story that could only be told through the vibrant medium of animation. The one major challenge that arose was communicating Miguel’s passion for music. As Molina pointed out, Pixar artists could relate to Miguel. That passion for something he loves is what they feel innately. Molina added a personal touch to the film, drawing on his own experiences as a young boy fascinated by animation.

Molina used to watch old Disney shows that explained the process of animation. He recorded them painstakingly and watched them repeatedly, teaching himself before the age of the internet. This personal touch informed Miguel’s own journey. He has a VHS tape of Ernesto de La Cruz interviews and clips that he watches often and in secret, away from his family. Once this touch was added, the response from the brain trust meetings were more favorable and enthusiastic. The story team overcame the hurdle of making Miguel’s desire palpable to the audience.

COCO – Concept art by Zaruhi Galstyan. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Music is the air Miguel breathes. He’s not meant to join the family business. In fact, Coco mirrors another Pixar film, La Luna. The struggle for him to pursue his passion against family tradition is sure to play out just as beautifully.

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The first 30 minutes of Coco

Coco, Lee Unkrich, Pixar

Posted by Simoa • August 28, 2017

Earlier this month, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime – a visit to Pixar! In anticipation of Coco, which will be released in November, Disney invited bloggers and various outlets to the Emeryville studio for a press event on August 3rd and 4th. We got to see the first thirty five minutes of Pixar’s latest Lee Unkrich helmed feature.

Few things can compare to watching a Pixar film in Pixar’s very own theater! As Unkrich announced on twitter recently, Coco is now completed. The version we saw was unfinished. There were completed sequences, rough sketches, and unlighted animation. Yet the film was still engrossing and quite beautiful.

After we settled in our seats, the Disney logo appeared onscreen, its familiar theme played by a mariachi band.

Coco tells the story of twelve year old Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez). The Riveras are shoemakers, a tradition that has been passed down through the generations from matriarch Mama Imelda, Miguel’s great-great grandmother. Miguel is not at all impressed with the family’s chosen occupation. He would have preferred something much more exciting and fun. As we learn at the start of the film, Mama Imelda became a shoemaker in order to support herself and her daughter after her husband abandoned the family for his music career. Miguel explains that she didn’t have time to feel sad or sorry for herself.

But Mama Imelda, stung by her husband’s betrayal, forbids music in the Rivera family. No one is allowed to play or listen to music and certainly not to pursue it for a career. Miguel’s great-great grandfather is also never mentioned or seen; Miguel doesn’t even know his name.

As we arrive in present day Mexico, the no music rule has been strictly enforced by Miguel’s abuelita (Renee Victor). The Riveras are the only family in Mexico that will have nothing to do with music. Perhaps it’s because they fear abuelita’s wrath that the Riveras do not question or challenge the ban on music. They are all content to make shoes. All except Miguel, that is. He desperately wants to become a musician and has taught himself to play the guitar. He’s also built a shrine to his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz.

Once the most popular singer in Mexico, de la Cruz appeared in movies and enjoyed great fame before his untimely death in the 1940s. Miguel is convinced that music is his destiny, the same as it was for de la Cruz. But unfortunately, his secret ambition is revealed to his family.

Coco is a unique film from the start. From just the first half hour, it’s clear that Pixar has crafted another heartwarming portrayal of family life. Though Miguel must hide his passion for music, the Riveras are a close knit bunch. Abuelita is formidable and won’t hesitate to hit someone with her chancla, but she’s a warm, loving grandmother.

Miguel is likable immediately. His desire for music is communicated so strongly that it’s unimaginable that he would make shoes or do anything else. The audience believes that music is part of his destiny as well.

And this is only the Land of the Living. There’s another world in Coco, one bursting with life and color, despite its name. Miguel is transported to the Land of the Dead and it’s here that he meets the Rivera family members that have died. They are as funny and vibrant as his living family.

The Land of the Dead is run like a typical government agency, with workers who sit at desks behind computers.

Pixar’s worlds have always been a visual and technical marvel. They’ve captured wonder in worlds both real and imagined. With Coco, Mexico becomes a character too, though it never overwhelms the human ones. We become fully immersed in both worlds of the living and dead, as well as the language, music, and culture.

From what I was lucky enough to see, I am eagerly anticipating the completed film!

I’ll have plenty more posts about my incredible two day trip at Pixar and all that I learned about Coco. Check back here for more!

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New Coco character Pepita is inspired by Mexican alebrijes

Coco, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • August 25, 2017

When the poster for Coco’s premiere at Mexico’s Morelia International Film Festival was revealed at the beginning of last month, many of us noticed some familiar characters, including Miguel, Mama Coco, and Dante. But the identity of the strange winged-cat-creature at the bottom of the poster continued to baffle us all – until today!

The beautiful new character Pepita was exclusively revealed today on Remezcla – a news site focusing on new and emerging Latin culture and media. Pepita is based on an alebrije, which is an amazingly colourful Mexican sculpture of a fantastical animal. Particularly notable is the stylistic use of colour blocking and striking patterns. These influences are very apparent when looking at Pepita – a winged cat with horns, talons on her back feet, and contrasting colours of red, green, yellow and blue.

Pepita from Pixar’s Coco

Pepita will act as a spiritual guide in the Land of the Dead. As alebrijes aren’t traditionally associated with Día de los Muertos, it will be interesting to see what kind of creative spin the Coco team have given the holiday. She also won’t have any dialogue, so the character has probably been quite a challenge to get right. Pixar always do a wonderful job when it comes to animating communication without any words (think of Partly Cloudy, Piper, WALL•E, and The Good Dinosaur), so I have no doubt that Pepita will have just as much personality and emotion (if not more!) despite the lack of speech.

Coco will come to US theatres on November 22nd, and UK theatres on January 19th.

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Meet Hector, The Skeleton With A Big Heart

Adrian Molina, Coco, Lee Unkrich

Posted by Nia • August 21, 2017

Since Coco was announced, which itself feels like many moons ago, there has been loads of anticipation for the film and the Dia de los Muertos story it promises audiences. In a recent article released by Entertainment Weekly, they revealed more about Hector, one of the supporting characters who’s going to take the film by storm. When Miguel accidentally enters the Land of the Dead, it’s Hector who helps guide him through the world.

Hector is voiced by Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, and Coco is Gael’s first time doing voice over work for animation and even singing on film. He was initially drawn towards this project due to Pixar’s strong storytelling techniques and the fact they’re tackling such a huge Mexican tradition.

“Dealing with a tradition that is very generous and very open, you can have many points of view and many takes on that tradition, and I was really curious what type of approach they were going to have, but the one they’re going for is fantastic. The filmmakers have done a really great job in doing a big investigation and an amalgam of different traditions that go on in different parts of Mexico, but also explaining that it’s not about establishing one single way of celebrating the Day of the Dead. There are many ways, and Coco, the way they approach it, is a really beautiful one.”

Not only was the story a large part of Gael accepting the project, but he was also inspired by the character he was going to bring to life. Hector is unique to the previous roles that Gael is famous for, such as Rodrigo in Mozart in the Jungle and Julio in Y Tu Mamá También.

“He’s almost like Baloo in The Jungle Book — he’s a confident and fun guy to be with, but at the same time, he’s having a very deep existential problem. He’s living an interesting dichotomy in the Land of the Dead. We’re at a turning point where most men want to be close to their kids, and this is something that three generations ago wasn’t incorporated in society. The man was at work, then would enjoy the kids, but it wasn’t like they had that emotional, physical, and practical need to be close to the kids. But now we do experience that — me, as a son, and as a father, I can tell you, you want to be close to your kids. And this is something that the character is going through. Little by little you start to understand the battle he’s been fighting. Finding points of encounter between something you enjoy doing or something that you love, like music, and the time that the family requires. It’s almost like a crisis point. It’s something we’re all finding ways how to make that better. That’s Hector’s spiritual beginning, or his departure point when this film starts.”

From all of the trailers and the recent content that’s been released from Pixar, it’s obvious that Coco is going to have a strong focus on family, especially one’s ancestry and learning to appreciate where one has come from.

“What’s so fantastic about this movie is that it really taps into interesting critical points of our understanding of our existence as a collective, and one of them is the family aspect. In general, the family conversation has become incredibly fluid. It can turn into different shapes and forms, and we’re trying to talk about and establish new ways of how a family can be. At the same time, there is something really, really deep inside of this question that family is the foundation of our society. In a sense, we’re questioning the family as a concept and as an end, and that’s something that is really interesting and pushes the audience’s appreciation about these issues.”

We’re incredibly excited at Upcoming Pixar to be immersed in the music and culture that is just bursting through the images in all of the Coco designs. The film is set to premiere in cinemas this November 22nd.

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Brand new international Coco poster + trailer!

Coco, Lee Unkrich, Poster, Trailer

Posted by Simoa • August 7, 2017

Lee Unkrich has shared the newest international poster for Coco on twitter.

More characters are featured; Miguel’s family, both living and dead and his spirit guide, Hector. Our hero is front and center, beaming as he holds Ernesto de la Cruz’s guitar. The poster signals a triumphant moment, as the Rivera family looks at their youngest with pride, although music has been forbidden in the family for generations. This lovely poster comes to us just days after the latest Spanish language trailer was released, which you can watch below.


The central conflict, the Rivera family’s aversion to music, is briefly explored in this trailer, for the first time. We’re also treated to a brief glimpse of Miguel’s abuelita, who wields a powerful shoe (chancla, in this case). Hector, Miguel’s spirit guide in the land of the dead, is also given some lines and has a funny interaction with Miguel, who tries his best to imitate a skeleton walk.

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to visit Pixar and watch the first 35 minutes of the film. Some of that footage was included in this trailer, which is the best one so far.

Check back here for more Coco updates and some special posts all about the Pixar screening and more!

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