Q&A Highlights from Disney Pixar COCO Filmmakers Interview #PixarCocoEvent #PixarCoco

By 8/28/2017 01:08:00 PM , ,

During my #PixarCocoEvent trip to San Francisco, to learn more about upcoming Disney*Pixar COCO film, I had the chance to join the film makers press conference for a Q&A with Director Lee Unkrich, Writer and Co-Director Adrian Molina & Producer Darla K. Anderson.

Note: Disney and Pixar invited me on this all expense paid trip for the Disney*Pixar COCO Event. While I will share different events and activities during the trip, any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

During the conference so much great information was shared about Disney*Pixar COCO characters, the behind the scene research and a few other fun facts. Here are a few highlights from the Q&A I think you'll enjoy reading!

Why they decide to title the movie Coco

Lee Unkrich: What we really loved about this title, is there’s a certain mystery to it. You go into a theatre and you don’t quite know what it means or who it is But very early on you discover that Coco is Miguel’s great grandmother and kind of in the spirit of connection to family and remembrance.

She’s the oldest person in this family, and as such kind of the keeper of those stories and the keeper of the memories and we thought she kind of really symbolized the spirit of a lot of the themes of our film.

Adrian Molina: And we also knew that people would be wondering why we named this movie after Miguel’s great grandmother, because she seems to play a minor role in the story. But you haven’t all seen the whole movie yet so all I’ll say is I think Coco earns and deserves having the movie named after her.

About trips to Mexico to research and learn about the culture

Adrian Molina: One of the things that we wanted to approach this film with, is its very origination came from a love of Mexico and a real kind of affinity for the people and the culture.

So, you know, wanting to share that love, wanting to create this love letter to Mexico that was really important to us. So if anything I think it only reaffirmed how much we love and appreciate the culture, the people and the traditions that come from the beautiful country.

Lee Unkrich: And I’ll just add to that, what I was surprised about personally is that I thought I had an understanding of what Dia De Los Muertos is all about. Once we started travelling there and meeting with all of the experts that we worked with, I was surprised to learn it's celebrated differently within small regions from town to town. You’ll find very different traditions and that was a big surprise to me.

There was also just a depth and a richness of the traditions that I hadn’t been educated about prior to making the film. So I would never call myself an expert but I will say that I know a lot more now than I did when I started this journey.

Traditional vs Modern way to say Dia De Los Muertos

Adrian Molina: Of all the details which people disagree, that’s the one that seemed in our studies people held a lot of strong opinions about. Is it Dia De Los Muertos? Is it Dia De Los Muertos?

So, not shying away from the fact that within a community you can have diversity of opinion, we wanted to be able to speak to both of those things. What we did in the film, is kind of what happens in the world. Some people say Dia De Los Muertos, some people say Dia De Los Muertos.

And one of the things we wanted to keep track of is, that it’s consistent across the character, so if this is a character who would say it this way, this is a character who would say it this way and we try not to mix it up too much on any given character.

But, you know, it’s a diverse community and language is an ever changing thing so we wanted to be thoughtful about it and that’s how we approached it.

Comparisons to the Book of Life film

Lee Unkrich: In terms of Book of Life we were already way under way with this film before we were even aware that was happening. I was happy that it came out a few years before us and that we had the opportunity to see it and make sure that we were telling a story that was unique and different.

We’re confident that our film, our story is a completely different story and I think it’s great that there are multiple stories kind of set in the same culture. We’ve since gotten to be good friends with Jorge Gutierrez who directed Book of Life and we were supportive of his film and he’s been very supportive of our film.

On making a cultural specific movie more universal

Adrian Molina: Well it’s definitely about family, almost first and foremost the idea of family and tradition is gonna be infused in the film. But it’s also very much a film about following your passions and making choices in life and pursuing dreams versus, just saying what your family wants for you or what they think is best for you. I think that’s something that a lot of people can relate to.

Lee Unkrich: Over the course of creating this film, a lot of the people who work at Pixar are artists. Some of them are like me, where they come from families that really support that and always said you can do this, go for it, we support you.

But then a lot of them also came from situations where atc wasn't an impractical career path. Or maybe geographically it took them far away from their family and people had to make decisions.

And so I think being able to chart your own path in the context of wanting to be connected to your family is something that is very universal across cultures, across experiences. And following your passion, I think that’s something that everyone can kind of lean into and relate to and understand.

Darla Anderson: And then lastly, this film, like all of our films, we want to entertain and immerse audiences in this other world. Immerse them in a grand adventure and I think that’s very universal too. Go into a film and escape into a whole new world and go along this journey with our protagonist and his companion. So I think this film has those universal qualities as well.

As we get closer to Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opening in U.S. theaters on November 22nd, I'll have more information to share. So stay tuned!

To learn more about Disney•Pixar’s COCO, visit - www.movies.disney.com/COCO

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PixarCoco
Twitter: www.twitter.com/pixarcoco
Instagram: www.instagram.com/pixarcoco

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