Disney-owned Pixar Studios' upcoming animated film 'Coco' will feature an all-Latino cast headlined by well-known actors Benjamin Bratt and Gael García Bernal, at a time when president-elect Donald Trump has promised to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The film would be partly a musical, centred on the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico and a 12-year old boy, Miguel's (newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) musical ambitions and his discovery of a family mystery and an eventual happy family reunion. Renée Victor will voice great grandmother, Mama Coco, with whom little Miguel shares a very affectionate bond.
In a tweet, on Tuesday, 'Coco' director Lee Unkrich linked to an article in Vanity Fair, where he said that the film will be a "Love Letter to Mexico." Speaking with Entertainment Weekly (EW), Unkrich who has helmed Pixar Film's like 'Toy Story 3' and 'Finding Nemo,' said that "It was important to us from day one that we had an all-Latino cast."
Vanity Fair, in their article points out that all three Mexican cultural advisors Pixar consulted with, namely Chicano artist Lalo Alcaraz, playwright Octavio Solís and former C.E.O. of the Mexican Heritage Corp. Marcela Davison Aviles, had spoke out against U.S. President Elect Donald J. Trump's promise to American citizens about erecting a wall between U.S. and Mexico. The new film thus feels like a fitting reply to the anti-Latino remarks Trump made in his Presidential campaign.
As an article in The Huffington Post points out, Trump has previously called Latino immigrants drug peddlers, criminals and rapists. The filmmakers feel that at a time of such intolerance in human society, all over the world, a creative work can be the bearer of positive messages, through empathy.
Unkrich told Vanity Fair "The best way to bring people in and have them empathize with others is through storytelling. If we can tell a good story with characters audiences can care about, I'd like to think that prejudices can fall aside and people can just experience the story and these characters for the human beings that they are."
'Coco' writer and co-director Adrian Molina, who also has a Mexican background, included specific Mexican elements, notes Vanity Fair, to create the proper aesthetic of the film. These include musical influences, a Xoloitzcuintli dog as Miguel's pet, Mexican folk art figurines, and various other Mexican cultural elements.
'Coco' will be released worldwide, beginning November 22, 2017.