Entertainment

20 Sweet And Touching Facts About Pixar’s “Coco” You Missed While Watching The Movie The First Time

If you’re a fan of the Disney movie “Coco” you know that the entire film is packed with a whole heck of a lot of culture, history, and Latino pride!

But did you know these 25 facts from behind the movie?

1. The trivia behind the movie will make you cry more than the movie.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

For instance: this bit of insight from the film’s co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina, revealed that the idea behind Miguel watching the films of Ernesto de la Cruz on videotapes to learn how to play the guitar was inspired by Molina’s own experiences as a child. During his childhood in the 1990s, Molina would record the episodes of The Wonderful World of Disney television program on ABC, CBS, and The Disney Channel on videotape. The episodes made him long for a better life.

2. The title got a name change in Brazil.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

In Portuguese “cocô” means “poop.” When the word is without the accent, “coco” it refers to the coconut fruit. To avoid confusion, creators changed the name to “Viva.”

3. The movie was too touching to be banned in China.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

“Coco” has quite a few themes and bits of content that are typically banned in China. However, reports say that Chinese censor board members were so touched by the movie they made an exception and let it run.

4. This film opened in Mexico first.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

Three and a half weeks before its U.S. opening, “Coco” opened first. The film surpassed “The Avengers” as the country’s highest-grossing film.

5. There’s a bit of history to that Frida appearance.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

In the movie, Frida Kahlo’s spirit calls Dante “Yolo”. In real life, Frida and her husband helped to save the Xoloitzcuintli dog breed by inserting it into their art. It didn’t take long for the breed to gain popularity around the world.

6. THE CHANCLA!

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

The Chancla isn’t necessarily a universal language, but it’s pretty familiar to many belonging to the Latino community. In the movie, Miguel’s grandmother and great-great-grandmother often take off their shoe and hit people with it. We’re betting it was one of the tensest moments for kids watching in the film.

7. The orange flower holds a lot of traditional meaning.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

Throughout the film, an orange flower is seen. The flower is actually the Aztec marigold, today it’s called the Mexican marigold or the Cempasúchil. In the movie, similar to IRL, the flower is used in the tradition of Dia de Muertos to guide the deceased back to the living.

8. It’s based in reality.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

The Land of the Dead in the movie is inspired by the Mexican city of Guanajuato. The city is known for having colorful houses that sit on the hillsides

9. Easter eggs!

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

At the beginning of the movie when Miguel is walking down the streets there’s a ton of Easter eggs. Watchers can spot piñatas of Pixar’s most beloved characters including Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Mr. Ray.

10. Speaking of Easter eggs…

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

One of Pixar’s biggest and most recognizable Easter eggs also makes an appearance in the movie. In  The Land of the Dead the door to the office is labeled with “A113.” It’s a nod to the California Institute of Arts classroom where many Disney and Pixar animators studied.

11. The movie mourns old technology.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

Pay attention and you’ll see that in the Land of The Dead there’s quite a bit of out-dated technology use. Keep an eye out for an 80s Macintosh computer and walkie-talkie radios. It’s actually pretty fitting considering these bits of technology are, as of today, obsolete and well dead.

12. More time and effort went into this project than any other Pixar film.

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“Coco” was in production between 2011 and 2017. The film set a Pixar record for being a Pixar animated film with the longest production schedule.

13. The animations hit the right notes

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Musicians beware. This one pays close attention to detail. Check out the scenes where the guitars are played, you’ll find that the character’s fingers match up to the actual chords.

14. Gael García Bernal worked double time.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

Gael García Bernal is the only actor amongst the main cast to voice his character in both the film’s English and Spanish versions. All this despite the fact he isn’t the only Latino actor in the film.

Read: Here Are 25 Pieces Of ‘Coco’ Fan Art That Will Make You Want To Watch The Movie

15. The film got #1.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

The film spent more days as #1 spot at the box office than any other animated film in the 21st century.

16. “Coco” is a Pixar last.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

“Coco” will be Disney’s last original full- length animated film of the 2010s. The upcoming films to come out before 2020 are all sequels. We’re looking at you Incredibles 2 (2018), Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (2018), Toy Story 4 (2019) and Frozen 2 (2019). Now if you were one of the characters from “Coco,” who would you be? Take this quiz to find out.

17. There’s a little bit of brown face.

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Womp womp. Guess risking Pixar’s long considered “good-luck charm” was a little too much for this studio to handle. In “Coco” John Ratzenberger plays a ghost named Juan Ortodoncia.

Read: 20 Gifts For The ‘Coco’ Fan In Your Family

18. Abuelita’s neck had some problems.

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The movie’s creators have said that one of the most difficult parts of the film to animate was Abuelita’s neck. To do her neck justice, the filmmakers flew out one of the animator’s mothers-in-law from Mexico and did their best to make her angry to see how Abuelita’s neck would move when she got upset. It took some time but eventually, the movie got its material.

19. The Spanish dub was dropped.

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Disney typically does a Spanish and Mexican dub for its films. This time though they only did the Mexican one.

20. The movie made money moves.

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In just five days, the movie grossed over $15o million worldwide.

21. Incredibles 2 makes an appearance.

“COCO” / WALT DISNEY PICTURES /PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

In the scene where Miguel and Héctor arrive in Ernesto de la Cruz Plaza, there is a scene of people lighting fireworks. On the right side of the screen in this scene, there is a poster for Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

22. It outpaced Cars 3

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The film grossed more money worldwide in 19 days than Pixars “Cars 3”

23. The movie has a lot in common with “The Blues Brothers.”

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Number one being that the film isn’t technically a musical. It’s more so a film where a lot of music takes place, a music film if you will.

24. There’s also a “The Nightmare Before Christmas” tribute.

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When Miguel puts on makeup to blend into the Spirit World, he like the other skeletons were made to slightly resemble Jack Skellington.

25. It’s the second time Benjamin Bratt acted as a bad boy.

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Benjamin Bratt played a villain in an animated film for the first time in Despicable Me 2. This was his second film.

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This Quietly Posted IMDB Page Could Mean ‘Coco 2’

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This Quietly Posted IMDB Page Could Mean ‘Coco 2’

To say our worlds were rocked when Pixar finally gave us a touching film about la cultura a few years ago would be the biggest understatement of the century. ‘Coco,’ the 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy starring Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt filled our hearts and also brought us to tears. Still, as satisfying as the film was, there’s no doubt it left us craving more. And it looks like we might just get it.

An IMDB page for Coco 2 has been created and I’m sorry but I can’t stop freaking out!!

According to IMDB user anthandsoc-95189 who appears to have long had the inside scoop on upcoming films, ‘Coco 2: Return To the Land Of the Living’ is in the works! Some digging around has also revealed that another sight might have information on the plot and characters of the sequel film. Of course, this information has yet to be confirmed and might be purely a wish, but if it is we’ll dream big!

According to IMDB ‘Coco 2’ will take place 6 years after the first film

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The IMDB page says “It’s been 6 years since the events happened for Miguel. But when Hector, Imelda, and his great grand-abuelos need Miguel’s help to come back to the Land of the Living because some mysterious sinister masked skeleton is haunting and rules their world with an iron fist and sword and hates music.”

Which means, if IMDB is correct, we haven’t seen the last of Mama Coco!

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Sweet Coco could have a really big role in the new film!!

Of course, other sites have other insights into the could-be sequel…

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Because of course everyone has an opinion!

According to Fandom.com ‘Coco 2’ will take place six years after the first film.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

We’ll see Miguel’s family attempt to throw him a fiesta, but sadly Miguel, still upset about Mama Coco’s death, will be upset.

When Miguel meets a sophisticated, ghostly and well-bred skeletal spirit Miguel will attempt to return to The Land Of The Dead for a vacation.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Now that’s an insane idea for a spring break.

In this version of the sequel, Miguel will a dark black hole to go back to The Land Of The Dead, to see Papa Hector and Mamma Imelda.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Of course, Miguel will be astonished when he sees his old family members for another time and finally gets to see Mama Coco.

Soon enough, Miguel is racing against time, once again, to avoid being a skeleton.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

But this time, Marcel might not be so bothered by the idea of living amongst the dead for forever.

Of course, all of this is speculative. Who knows if Pixar has plans for a sequel in the works, but as one fan points out this clip by Pixar on the DVD release has some great hints!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VplFL0KS75s

Fingers crossed!

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Cast For Titanic Director’s ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Begs The Question Of Whether Or Not It’s Okay To Change The Race Of Minority Characters

Entertainment

Cast For Titanic Director’s ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Begs The Question Of Whether Or Not It’s Okay To Change The Race Of Minority Characters

It’s no secret that Latinas are severely underrepresented in television and media. In fact, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that only seven percent of 2017’s top 100 films featured Latina actresses. For this reason, a film like “Alita: Battle Angle” should be a big deal but the movie’s Latina casting has many claiming Asian erasure. “Alita: Battle Angel” is a futuristic cyberpunk film produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau. The movie adapted from the popular Yukito Kishiro manga “Gunnm” is set in a sci-fi-filled future, cyborg Alita struggles to find her place in a world she has no memory of. Out February 14, 2019, this film has been in the works for years. Pre-production began in the early 2000s but was delayed due to Cameron’s work on “Avatar” and its sequels. The film is directed by Sundance Festival Award-winning director Robert Rodriguez.

With a pack of creative behemoths at its back, the new film brings a mass of brilliant storylines and stunning visuals.  However, it’s the cast behind “Alita” that’s creating buzz.

The role of the film’s main character and futuristic cyborg is played by Peruvian-Canadian actress Rosa Salazar of “Bird Box”.

Kodansha Comics

Using motion capture technology, the film uses CGI to depict Alita in her robotic form. Despite the fact that so many minorities often see the occurrence of a Latina star in a major motion picture as cause to celebrate, there are concerns over the issue of non-Japanese women taking on the role of a character from a Japanese source. Erasure of Alita’s Japanese background has been met with criticism and backlash since the film’s early production days. The controversy was first sparked back in 2016 with Salazar’s initial casting. Critics were quick to say that the casting of a non-Asian as Alita was another example of Asian erasure in Hollywood. The debate gained new life after the first trailer for the movie was released in December 2017.

This time, it was Alita’s overwhelmingly large eyes that gave viewers pause. Large, expressive eyes are a stylistic element used in Japanese anime and manga. Some viewers felt that keeping this characteristic but with a non-Asian character was tantamount to whitewashing the film.

“It signals to the audience, ‘Yes this is Japanese and we’re not trying to erase the source material,’” Vice contributor Carli Velocci wrote of the new movie. “Yet that’s what they’re doing. Alita’s eyes are the only thing that is distinctly Japanese about the movie, which features no main Japanese actors or characters.”

Whitewashing has been an issue before in major Hollywood films such as “Ghost In The Shell” and “Aloha.” In both of these examples, characters confirmed to be Asian were played by white women. Marvel’s “Iron Fist” and “Doctor Strange” are also guilty of this casting error.

These examples make it seem like “Alita” is a clear case of whitewashing but the situation is more nuanced than that.

Twitter / @unnecesarus

To better understand the controversy of this claim, we need to explore the origin of the film’s story. Yukito Kishiro created “Gunnm” in Japan during the 1990s but the manga doesn’t take place during that same era. Instead, “Gunnm” is set in a futuristic world in a city called Iron City. This dystopian city is located in what is essentially the midwest. Despite heritage, Kishiro didn’t write a story with explicitly Asian characters.

“The author, Yukito Kishiro, did something very different: He wrote manga that is not set in an Asian world,” producer Landau shared. “He wrote it set in a place called Iron City, which is a melting pot. He actually set it in Kansas.”

It’s not unusual for creators to set their worlds in places unique or foreign to their own homes. Manga and anime especially have entire subgenres that set stories in far off places. For example, the “Gundam” series and many other titles of mecha Animation are often set in outer space or a futuristic society. Other subgenres of sci-fi animation also follow this pattern.

Still, some fans argue that “Alita: Battle Angel” is a Japanese product which means there is an expectation of race.

Twitter / @nico_nothere

Julian Abagond, a New York blogger who writes about race and culture, explained this way of thinking.

“If I draw a stick figure, most Americans will assume that it is a white man. Because to them that is the Default Human Being,” he wrote. “Americans apply this thinking to Japanese drawings. But to the Japanese the Default Human Being is Japanese! So they feel no need to make their characters ‘look Asian.’ They just have to make them look like people and everyone in Japan will assume they are Japanese – no matter how improbable their physical appearance.”

Understanding this cultural position adds another layer to the question of Alita’s race. Still, if she is Asian, explicitly or not, this raises a new debate. Replacing marginalized people with white actors has been an issue in Hollywood since the beginning of the film. White characters in “yellowface” were used to represent Asian characters in media. It’s an act that is overwhelmingly panned in today’s society.

So, if we’ve established that it’s not okay for white characters to play minorities, where do we stand on the subject of minorities playing other minorities?

20th Century Fox

Taking traditionally white characters and reimagining them as people of color has become a recurring trope in media. In “Deadpool 2,” fan favorite Domino – who is white in comics – was played by black actress Zazie Beetz. “Spider-man: Homecoming” featured Zendaya as white character Mary Jane Watson. These changes bring a much need dose of representation to products otherwise lacking diversity

However, is it okay to make similar changes to a character who may also be a minority? With Alita’s unknown, possibly Asian ethnicity, does casting her as a Latina add representation or erase her true culture?

Since the situation is so nuanced, there’s no clear answer when it comes to Alita but the general answer would be erasure. Changing characters from one underrepresented group to another doesn’t further the cause of seeing our stories depicted in media. Instead, it just perpetuates the deletion of narratives that need to be heard.

Regardless of this controversy, early reviews of the futuristic “Alita: Battle Angel” say it’s sure to be a blockbuster thriller. As a result, maybe a big box office will lead to even more movies featuring Latina star power. Only, next time, hopefully, our characters will be featured in stories of our own.

Read: ‘West Side Story’ Casting Does It Right By Giving Us Rachel Zegler As Maria And Afro-Latina Ariana DeBose As Anita

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