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Pixar reveals an all-Latino cast for Coco (and a new poster!)

Coco, Lee Unkrich, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • June 6, 2017

Along with a beautiful new poster, Pixar released details today of the large cast of characters that we can look forward to seeing in Coco later this year, all voiced by actors of Latino descent (including Gabriel Iglesias, Renée Victor, Sofía Espinosa, and Edward James Olmos). It’s worth remembering that Pixar put a lot of effort into making the cast of Brave entirely Scottish or of Scottish descent (save a few lines of dialogue, like the now-essential John Ratzenberger cameo), so it’s great to see them doing the same and more for Coco.

Information on the cast reveal can be found on Oh My Disney. 18 characters have been revealed, many of them relatives of the main character Miguel, so it seems like we might be seeing a big family reunion in the Land of the Dead. Even though each character is given just a brief description, this new information has really fleshed out the world in which Coco is taking place. We’ve learned that Miguel’s family comes from a long line of shoemakers, and the business was created by his great-great grandmother Mamá Imelda. “The matriarch of the Rivera family”, she is bound to be a strong, interesting character that I’m sure many of us are looking forward to meeting. It also seems like there might be a bit of tension between the musicians and the shoemakers in his extended family…

With Coco being released in under 6 months, we can definitely begin to look forward to seeing more trailers, teasers and posters. In fact, a new trailer is expected to land later this week! Director Lee Unkrich has posted pictures on Twitter of some of the voice actors – Gabriel Iglesias and Edward James Olmos – at Pixar Studios recording lines for the movie.

And the continued support from Jorge R. Gutierrez, the director of The Book of Life which also centred around Día de los Muertos, is still as heart-warming as ever.

Coco is set to release in North American theatres on November 22nd 2017.

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Don Rickles, beloved voice of Mr. Potato Head, dies

Don Rickles, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, rest in peace, Toy Story

Posted by Simoa • April 7, 2017

Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017)

Don Rickles, the famous and lovable “insult comic” has died at age 90. Although his career began in the 1950s, with supporting roles in films, he is primarily beloved by Pixar fans as Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story films. Rickles died of kidney failure, as reported by the LA Times.

Lee Unkrich shared his memories of Rickles, and noted with fondness the insults he received while they worked together.

A moving tribute by John Lasseter was also shared by Pixar earlier today.

Don Rickles truly was a member of the Pixar family. Just try to imagine the Toy Story films without the singular presence, wit, and directness of Mr. Potato Head. His impact on other comedians and actors can’t possibly be overstated. He will be dearly missed.

We want to extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this time.

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Watch The First Teaser Trailer for Coco!

Coco, Lee Unkrich, Trailer

Posted by Nia • March 15, 2017

It’s here! Pixar’s love letter to Mexico! Today the studio released the first of many trailers for their upcoming Day of the Dead inspired film Coco. It is certainly fantastic being able to see these characters we’ve merely read about for months finally breathing with life.

From the first few seconds of the footage alone, it’s obvious this film is going to be spectacular in terms of character design, color, setting, and music.

We instantly bond with Miguel, a young aspiring guitarist, as he lights candles in remembrance for Ernesto de la Cruz, a famous Mexican actor and musician. It’s even later hinted that the famous personality might be Miguel’s father – which is fitting because it’s obvious Miguel has a natural talent after he mimics Cruz’s notes on the guitar.

In the trailer, we see how Miguel reaches the Land of the Dead and what this new world and characters within it will look like. We also get to see Dante, the Xolo dog, in action there – as playful as ever as he rolls around a bridge that appears to be constructed out of flower petals.

Suffice to say, we want more and can’t wait until the film is released on November 22nd.

P.S. We need to hear more of Ernesto de la Cruz’s music!!!

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Check Out The New Poster for Coco!

Coco, Lee Unkrich, Poster

Posted by Nia • March 13, 2017

Lee Unkrich, the director of Coco, released a brand new poster for the upcoming film on Friday:

The poster is colorful and heaps of fun, as it depicts one of the characters of the film, Dante – a hairless Mexican dog, otherwise known as a Xoloitzcuintle. It’s also hard not to notice the character being playfully pet by a skeleton whilst what appears to be glowing flower petals float away to the left.

And yes… you certainly read that correctly! We will finally be seeing a trailer for Unkrich’s second feature film THIS week. Seriously, we can hardly wait.

Coco is set to be released this November.

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A new, gorgeous Coco still

Coco, Lee Unkrich

Posted by Simoa • December 26, 2016

A great gift for Pixar fans on Christmas day was yet another image from Coco. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we also have some details on the newest still.

Coco (2017) Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez)

Without context, it appears that this is a crucial moment in the film, a victorious one of Miguel in his quest to pursue music which is forbidden by his family.

The lighting in this still is phenomenal. The light pouring in through the windows gives this image an ethereal quality, along with the gold dust. Is the dust a result of Miguel playing the guitar, or is it some sort of magical property? Or both?

From EW:

In the shot above, you’re catching Miguel in a beautiful, pivotal moment: He’s just committed a literal grave act and borrowed — just borrowed! — the guitar hanging in De La Cruz’s tomb. Unfortunately, it’s Dia de Muertos, and Miguel’s well-intentioned deed of grave robbery is badly-timed, and he’s about to be inadvertently sent to the Land of the Dead, where he’ll come face to face with the same great-great-relatives who banned music in his family.

Director Lee Unkrich also clarifies that Coco is not a traditional musical. And the final musical moment in Toy Story 3 actually helped to inspire this film!

Coco heads to theaters on November 22, 2017.

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Sweet music: new images and plot details revealed for Coco!

Coco, Lee Unkrich

Posted by Simoa • December 6, 2016

COCO LOGO-1B FINAL COLOR on BK 5-23-16

Details about Pixar’s 2017 release Coco have been shrouded in mystery following its initial announcement in 2012. Director Lee Unkrich recently began to update his twitter feed with behind the scenes photos and announced that more news about the film would be forthcoming. And the newest plot details and artwork for Coco certainly do not disappoint.

What we’ve always known about the film is that it takes inspiration from the Mexican holiday, Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This latest update gives us a look at the film’s main character and the plot. Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez), is a 12 year old aspiring musician. Unfortunately for him, it’s a forbidden path due to his family’s hatred for music, which was banned by his great-great grandmother after his great-great grandfather abandoned the family for a music career.

How does the rich and splendid tradition of Dia de Los Muertos figure into this story? Miguel ends up in the Land of the Dead (quite by mistake) and meets all the of the Rivera family members that have gone before. His favorite singer is Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), in whose footsteps he wants to follow. But aside from admiring de la Cruz, as Entertainment Weekly reports, there’s also a connection between the famous singer and the young boy.

Joining the voice cast are Gael García Bernal as Hector, a skeletal spirit, and Renee Victor as Abuelita, Miguel’s grandmother.

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Miguel and his great-grandmother, Mama Coco. Concept art by Kristoff Vergne and Sharon Calahan.

While this film will no doubt draw unfavorable comparisons to The Book of Life (2014), it’s worth remembering that Coco has been in production for years. And Jorge Gutierrez, director of Life, is excited and supports Coco!

Some might even be skeptical because Lee Unkrich isn’t Mexican, but co-director Adrien Molina is. Authenticity and respect are the highest priorities for Unkrich and his crew as they bring this story to life. A Vanity Fair article (be wary of spoilers!) delves into the impact the film will have and Pixar’s newfound commitment to telling inclusive stories. This will be the first full length Pixar film to feature a Latino lead, or nonwhite lead, period. Unkrich was intentional about the film’s all Latino cast, something that tends to be overlooked in mainstream animation. More encouraging still is the presence of Lalo Alcaraz as one of the film’s consultants. He’s a Chicano artist who strongly criticized Disney’s attempt to trademark Dia de Los Muertos. Pixar’s reputation for extensive research and nuanced storytelling should offer assurance, and audiences, particularly Mexicans, deserve nothing less.

As Unkrich notes:

“I knew from day one, when John Lasseter gave the okay, that we had an enormous responsibility to tell this story right and to not lapse into cliche or stereotype.”

As with “Sanjay’s Super Team”, Coco represents a bold new direction for Pixar. Regardless of race or background, anyone can be a Pixar hero.

Coco opens in theaters on November 22, 2017.

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Happy New Year! What to look forward to in 2016…

Andrew Stanton, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich

Posted by Nia • January 2, 2016

Happy New Year Pixar fans! As Simoa discussed in the previous post, 2015 was quite the year for Pixar films. We had the honor of witnessing not one, but TWO fantastic films from the renowned animation studio. I won’t go into detail about Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, but those two films and the shorts that came with it prove there are only great things to come from Pixar.

The biggest aspect to look forward to in 2016 is in fact Finding Dory, which comes out on June 17th. Earlier this week, Pixar released a still that featured two new gorgeous characters from the film: Destiny and Bailey, aptly a whale shark and beluga whale to be voiced by Kaitlin Olson and Ty Burrell.

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The image was initially released by Entertainment Weekly, and we also got more of a glimpse into the story of the Finding Nemo sequel; which takes places six months after we last saw Dory. Both Destiny and Bailey prove to be significant in Dory’s quest to find her family, as she ends up meeting them at a rehabilitation center located at a marine life facility. The duo are heavily hinted at helping Dory reunite with her family.

Since the beginning, each Pixar film has pushed both art and technology. When Finding Nemo was released back in 2003, the film had introduced breathtaking backgrounds and atmosphere around a heartwarming story of a father trying to reunite with his lost son. The mostly underwater setting pushed the technology at the time while also giving audiences a complex story that hadn’t been seen in animation before.

Based on the gorgeous hyperrealistic backgrounds seen in the The Good Dinosaur, it’s quite possible that Finding Dory may be the most breathtaking film from Pixar yet. We’ll be revisiting the familiar location from the first film, but with technology that is continuing to grow and push animation further. It’s as if we’ll be viewing the world with a new eye prescription – everything is crystal clear and we’ll be able to appreciate the immense details more. It’s a very exciting time for animation. As Pixar has proved again and again, there are no rules when it comes to the medium and the storytelling possibilities are endless.

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Happy 20th Anniversary, Toy Story!

Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Pixar, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 20th, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 4, Upcoming Pixar

Posted by Nia • November 22, 2015

In celebration of Toy Story‘s 20th anniversary, we asked our readers to tell us how important the film is to them. Here are some of the most touching responses that will make you want to re-watch the film and hold your childhood toys close. Please note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

toy story 20th

“My daughter has always been a true and dedicated fan of Toy Story, and has also gone through several bouts of chemo with Woody and Buzz comforting her.”

My daughter was 4 years old when Toy Story came to be. She had already gone through surgeries, chemo, and was starting on radiation when she was mesmerized by Woody and Buzz. My daughter has always been a true and dedicated fan of Toy Story, and has also gone through several bouts of chemo with Woody and Buzz comforting her. She turned 24 last year. In fact, when we booked a Disney Cruise in September, I asked DCL if there was anything they can do for her. Low and behold, she was treated with a private session with her two favorite characters! I’ve never seen her smile that big. – Susan and Kayla Gordon

“Toy Story has always been my favorite childhood movie, and it eventually became the film that convinced me to be an animator.”

I could write a book about how Toy Story has impacted my life. I like to joke that the day the film was released in theaters was the best day of my life. Toy Story has always been my favorite childhood movie, and it eventually became the film that convinced me to be an animator. I have very fond memories of my Toy Story toys, from playing with little Buzz and Woody figures with my older sister, to my dad dressing up one of my other Buzzes in Barbie clothes to act out the Mrs. Nesbitt scene. I’m now in my second year of art school, and the more I learn about the history of animation, the more I see how Toy Story rocked the industry. It was a groundbreaking marriage of technology and art, and the foundation of many of the films we cherish today. The production of Toy Story itself is a story of having a dream and not giving up on it, no matter how much others try to convince you that it’ll fail. This is what inspires me to pursue my own dream of making films someday.  – Allie

“Every time I watch the original Toy Story it’s like visiting an old friend, and the movie brings me back to my childhood.”

I can’t remember a time where I didn’t treat my toys as if they were real (I was three years old when the original came out). I probably owned some small toys from the movie, but the one I interacted with the most was the computer game. Generally speaking, I loved playing all the storybook computer games from the ’90s Disney movies, and Toy Story was one of my top favorites.

 

The films itself hold a special place in my heart, and though I don’t remember the first time I saw the original and its sequel, they both came out around pivotal moments of my life. The first one came out two months before my first sister was born (the first time I’d become a sibling), and the second one came out seven months before my second sister was born. And the third one came out at exactly the right time: I had just graduated from high school the day before its release, and Andy saying goodbye to his toys sadly reminded me that I’d have to do the same in the next two months as I was moving to another state, away from the friends I grew up with.

 

Every time I watch the original Toy Story it’s like visiting an old friend, and the movie brings me back to my childhood. I may have outgrown playing with the toys I used to love, but the fond memories are still there. – Keisha

“Sharing Toy Story with my Dad is one of my best memories I have with him as a child.”

I was 8. I have a lot of clear and random memories regarding the film. I went to see it in the theater with my dad and I loved it, which was surprising because as a child I was deathly afraid of toys coming to life to the point that I had vivid and chronic nightmares. Toy Story was the movie that spun it all around for me, it made me stop fearing the idea and my nightmares literally stopped.

 

I love Woody more, but for some reason I really wanted a Buzz Lightyear so badly that my dad went to three or four Burger Kings to find one of the promotional plush toys they had. We couldn’t afford the actual replica toys that came out in the stores. I’ll always remember the night he brought it to me as a surprise. Buzz and I were inseparable for months after that. Sharing Toy Story with my Dad is one of my best memories I have with him as a child. – Atta Lynne

Toy Story played a very large part in my childhood.”

It was the film I watched repeatedly when I was young. Once Toy Story 2 came out, it had become my favorite movie. Toy Story 3 was probably the biggest event of 2010 for me and I also had quite a few toys at that point. With the 4th film coming and all the shorts, Toy Story will continue to remain a big part of a life for a long time. – JKOP

“May the toys continue to embrace more kids and adults for generations to come.”

I was just a baby when the first Toy Story came out. But, I loved it when I first saw it on home video and I still love it today. I have all the movies (and the TV specials on Blu-Ray and DVD), I still have a lot of the toys (the main ones like Woody and Buzz I haven’t stored away yet), and I just love this trilogy! May the toys continue to embrace more kids and adults for generations to come! To infinity and beyond! – Josiah Mielke

“My parents decided to try and spark some interests by putting on movies for me. I’d only watch one the entire way through: Toy Story.”

It all started when I was around 11 months old. I allegedly didn’t do much, I crawled around a bit, I slept, not much else. My parents decided to try and spark some interests by putting on movies for me. I’d only watch one the entire way through: Toy Story.

 

And so, that started a very long cycle of re-watches for years and years. Because of that, Toy Story had such a big influence on me. It’s what made me want to become an animator, made me want to work for Pixar, sparked my hobby in filmmaking, heck, it’s one of the main reasons I started talking.

 

In fact, anytime I go to the Disney parks, I always try to meet the Buzz Lightyear character. Unfortunately, DLP don’t really “get” the Toy Story hype, but luckily, I have met him twice; once in 2006 and once this year, in 2015. Even this year, the ride I went on most was Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast.

 

As I write this in bed, I have a giant TS3 poster looming above me, and the Toy Story characters from Disney Infinity close by. – Noah Carolan

“Toy Story and its characters are really my oldest and closest friends, and without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

What does Toy Story mean to me? Well, where do I even begin? For starters, it was the first movie I ever fell in love with. My Toy Story experience began early, like a lot of people my age. I was 13 months going on 14 months. When my dad came home with the VHS for Toy Story, I was hooked. I don’t remember this, but my mom has told me every time she popped the film in the VCR, she knew she had about an hour and a half of free time because I was just mesmerized.

 

Just a few weeks ago, I decided to sit down and re-watch the trilogy. I’d really forgotten just how amazing all of those films are. I still laughed at the jokes, even though I know them all by heart. I still cried at the end of Toy Story 3, even though I knew what was coming. I referred to the movie marathon as “catching up with old friends” on an Instagram post I made. Toy Story and its characters are really my oldest and closest friends, and without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. So, thank you to everyone who has ever worked on these films, for crafting something that people from 1 to 99 can watch and still laugh, cry, and connect with in a way not many other films can achieve. Thank you Toy Story. May you continue to inspire people for infinity and beyond. – Forster Keenoy

“20 years later, Buzz is still my favorite character and I’ve still got Disney magic in my heart.”

I’ve been a hardcore Pixar fangirl ever since I was little. I wasn’t like most Disney-loving girls my age (i.e. I favored Buzz Lightyear over Disney Princesses).

 

Every time I watched a Pixar movie I was enchanted. And all three times we went to Disney World, I went Pixar crazy. I loved riding Buzz’s Space Ranger Spin, playing Toy Story Mania, dancing in Block Party Bash, and meeting the Pixar Pals.

 

20 years later, Buzz is still my favorite character and I’ve still got Disney magic in my heart. All three Toy Story movies bring back lots of good memories. Thank you Disney and Pixar. To infinity and beyond! – Buzzfan120

Thank you to all of the storytellers at Pixar who have brought magic to our lives. Here’s to the future and the great stories to come.

With love,

Upcoming Pixar.

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Pixar at D23 (UPDATE: Toy Story Land)

Coco, D23, Disney Parks, Finding Dory, Inside Out, Lee Unkrich, Pete Docter, Pixar Employees, The Good Dinosaur, The Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4, Toy Story Land

Posted by Simoa • August 15, 2015

D23 is this weekend, and there’s no shortage of awesome Pixar news! New logos, images, release dates, and synopses have been revealed for their upcoming slate, and the excitement for them has only increased. Without further ado, here’s all the brilliance fans were treated to.

“Riley’s First Date?” Pixar Animation Studios heads back inside the mind with an all-new short. “Riley’s First Date?” made its world premiere at D23 EXPO 2015. Director Josh Cooley, along with Inside Out filmmakers Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.) and Jonas Rivera (Up), introduced the short, which revisits Riley, now 12, who is hanging out with her parents at home when potential trouble comes knocking. Mom’s and Dad’s Emotions find themselves forced to deal with “Riley’s First Date?” The short will be included as a bonus feature in the digital HD & Blu-ray releases of Disney·Pixar’s Inside Out, which will be available digitally Oct. 13 and on Blu-ray Nov. 3, 2015.

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Anticipation for Disney·Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur was amplified when director Peter Sohn and producer Denise Ream shared breathtaking sequences with fans, including never-before-seen footage of a trio of T-Rexes in action. In theaters on Nov. 25, 2015, The Good Dinosaur features Arlo, a sheltered Apatosaurus who finds himself far from home among a host of intimidating creatures.

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Ellen DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”), the voice of everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, took a dip with D23 EXPO, celebrating Disney·Pixar’s upcoming film Finding Dory. Joining DeGeneres on stage this afternoon were Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), who lends his voice to Hank, a cantankerous octopus; Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), the voice of Bailey, a misguided beluga whale; and Kaitlin Olson (“Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), who voices Destiny, a kind-hearted whale shark. Oscar®-winning director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL•E), co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins (co-producer WALL•E) offered new details of the all-new story, which reunites Dory with friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale? Also featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy, Disney·Pixar’s Finding Dory swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

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And finally, Lee Unkrich’s Dia de Los Muertos film has a title, logo, and plot details!

Director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and producer Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3) revealed the title of their upcoming film today at D23 Expo 2015. 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. Also worth noting that the protagonist of Coco is Miguel, a 12 year old Mexican boy, making him Pixar’s first Latino protagonist.

logos

image via pixaranimation on Instagram.

There’s also the clever, amazing logo for The Incredibles 2!

There is so much to look forward to, we don’t know where to begin. Check back in here for more updates on D23!

UPDATE: It was revealed yesterday that a new Pixar themed ride would be opening at the Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. Guests get a toy sized view of the world, made to look like Andy’s backyard, with a Slinky Dog rollercoaster and other amazing attractions. Concept art for the new land appears below.

toy story land 2

It’s always a good time to be a Pixar fan, but now even more so!

 

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Will there be a Pixar musical?

Coco, Dia De Los Muertos, Lee Unkrich, Randy Newman, Rumors

Posted by Simoa • February 17, 2015

We’re not entirely sure.

But sites have been buzzing about the possibility of a Pixar musical after an interview Randy Newman gave for Classic FM, in which he mentioned that Lee Unkrich is currently working on a musical.

Immediately speculation arose about whether this musical was Unkrich’s untitled Dia de Los Muertos film (the Mexican holiday celebrating the dead, translated to Day of the Dead), which was announced in 2012. There haven’t been a lot of updates on the film since then, but that is to be expected as Pixar operates on a high level of secrecy concerning films in the pipeline. As this film doesn’t have a release date yet, it makes sense that not too much information or artwork has been revealed.

You can hear Newman at the 0:39 mark in the soundclip on Classic FM say: “He [Unkrich] isn’t gonna work with me again. He’s doing a musical now.”

Neither Unkrich nor Pixar have confirmed Newman’s comment, but we still have a long time to wait before we know whether his statement is accurate. What’s more telling about this interview is Newman’s assertion that he doesn’t get along with directors and that he may not work with Pixar again, as the byline for the article reads.

Randy Newman has scored and performed the music for a number of Pixar films, winning Oscars for “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters, Inc. and “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3, which Unkrich directed. Newman remarked that he wasn’t keen on the temporary score he created for the film, but Unkrich fell in love with it.

Whether Lee Unkrich is working on a musical (and whether Randy Newman will no longer create lasting, memorable music for Pixar) remains to be seen.

But the idea of a Pixar musical is a tantalizing one. That’s a territory the studio has yet to cover, and would prove the studio’s willingness to experiment with the new. Of course a Pixar musical would also invite the possible unfair comparisons to its parent company Disney. And if Lee Unkrich’s day of the dead film is the musical in question, it would certainly invite comparisons to Reel FX’s The Book of Life.

We can be sure nonetheless that the film will be bold and intriguing no matter what direction it’s taken in.

Are you for or against Pixar releasing a musical?

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