I’ve always been interested in art and how computers have changed the definition of what animation can do. While I was in college, Pixar raised the bar times 100 and continues to do that with every animated picture they put out. From what I’ve seen of their newest movie COCO coming to theaters November 22, they’ve done it again. I participated in a press day at Pixar and talked to animators, computer engineers, innovators, and pretty much everyone department that had a hand in making COCO. They never let anything get in the way of creating a masterpiece like this. We’ll get into all of that over the next few weeks because I have TONS to share about COCO and Día de los Muertos.
While talking with the Director Lee Unkrich, Writer and Co-Director Adrian Molina & Producer Darla K. Anderson about the making of the film I learned so much about their process in making COCO. Of course it started with an idea, three different ideas were pitched. From there they spent a lot of time in Mexico learning about Día de los Muertos and narrowed it down over the course of many years.
Why then did they call the movie COCO and not Día de los Muertos.
COCO has a mystery to it. COCO is alsy Miguel’s great grandmother, the matriarch of the family. Even though she has passed on, all tradition and family values came from her and hear heartache, her blood sweat and tears so to speak. It’s through all of this that the themes of family, heritage and the importance of all that come about. She has earned the family respect.
What was the most challenging part of the process of making COCO.
The answer was that nothing was easy and like I said before, I’ll get into each part of making it from the animation, to story development, to even the technology behind it from now until the movie comes out. In short, the story is quite simple but told in an emotional, grand way. It’s very visually complex though and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The story, while being quite simple has a grand scale historical background that needed to shine through.
How Did They Share the History of Día de los Muertos without a Lecture?
Many of the lessons and history of Día de los Muertos shines through in the animation. They were able to illustrate so many of the meanings or “lessons” without words. It became about establishing a world and you could learn enough visually without having it all spelled out. It’s ok if you miss something, because you’ll still walk away from COCO with the sentiment of Día de Muertos
I strongly believe that you are going to love COCO when it hits theaters November 22, and if you want to see it early you might plan a trip to Mexico as it’s going to be released there first in time to run with the celebration of Día de los Muertos.