During the last part of the early press day that we attended at Pixar for “Coco,” director Lee Unkrich, together with co-director Adrian Molina and producer Darla Anderson, for a general Q&A. The 30-minute session resulted in the following tidbits of information about the movie that we thought you might find interesting.
There are 3 references to “The Shining” in the film (so far). Director Lee Unkrich has a public obsession with the 1980 horror classic. Therefore, you’ll find references to the movie in any Pixar film he’s helming like “Toy Story 3.”
Unkrich isn’t Hispanic, but feels like “qualified” director for the film situated in Mexican culture. “I can’t change that I’m not Mexican, so I did the next best thing: make sure that I surrounded myself had Mexicans,” he said laughingly. The film features an all-Hispanic cast and consulted with cultural leaders throughout.
The filmmakers want one of the main takeaways of the film to be that families aren’t perfect. “They really aren’t, said co-director Adrian Molina. “But at the end of the day, they matter and become the perfect compliment to your life.”
There’s purposefully a lot of Spanish spoken in the film. Unkrich said that it would be “inappropriate” to not use the language that the film is set in. The Spanish is used in context only, so that all audiences and get what was meant (e.g. hijo is used as a nickname for son).
Hispanic historical figures are featured in the film. The filmmakers included Mexican leaders and visionaries in their “dead” form to further connect the film to the culture. Some of them include Pancho Villa, Frieda Khalo, and more.
John Ratzenberger has one line in the film. Though Unkrich didn’t reveal what character he’ll play, he wanted to include Ratzenberger because he “didn’t want to be known as the guy who stopped the beloved actor’s streak” of being a voice in every Pixar film.
Pixar’s “Coco” hits theaters on November 22, 2017.