Pixar’s got a big year coming up in 2017. First they’ll release Cars 3, which looks to be taking a pretty dramatic turn and might just redeem the series. Following that, they’ve got Coco, a unique offering that’s being directed by Toy Story 3‘s Lee Unkrich and has us very excited.
It’ll follow a young boy named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) who has dreams of one day becoming a professional musician, like his deceased idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). The only problem is, Miguel’s family has a ban on playing music. Undeterred, the 12-year-old sets out to find Cruz’s tomb – a journey which finds him travelling through the Land of the Dead.
While music will play a big role in the film, don’t expect Coco to be a full out musical. That’s something Unkrich was quick to clarify while speaking with Entertainment Weekly, who debuted the two stills you’ll see in the gallery above. The director noted that it’s simply “set against the backdrop of musical performance” and audiences shouldn’t go into it thinking it’s a “break-out-into-song-musical.”
“The day John Lasseter gave the thumbs up for this movie, I immediately felt this huge weight drop onto my shoulders because I knew that we were doing something different than we had ever made at the studio and that for the first time, we were going to have this enormous responsibility to do right by this culture and not lapse into stereotype or cliché,” Unkrich tells EW.
The director also explained to the outlet how in an attempt to stay authentic, they assembled an all-Latino cast and hired many key members of the crew from Mexico. Not only that, but aside from frequent trips down South, Unkrich also had his story artists and production designers “take the aesthetic pulse of Mexican villages.”
Sounds like we’ll be getting something pretty special then, as it seems like Pixar’s put a lot of time and care into this one. While some of their recent efforts have been a little underwhelming (Finding Dory, Monster’s University), we’ve definitely got a good feeling here and can’t wait to see what Coco brings us when it debuts on November 22nd, 2017.