We were invited to attend the Global Press Conference for Disney-Pixar's 'Coco' at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. We were so blessed to be there and hear directly from the cast and makers including living legend, Edward James Olmos, and Super Papacitos Gael Garcia Bernal and Benjamin Bratt It was an emotional event that began with traditional folklorico dancers and a mariachi performance.
The film’s director Lee Unkrich called the movie “a love letter to Mexico.” He addressed the extensive research that went into making sure that they treated the film topic with respect by traveling to Mexico numerous times and spending time with families that celebrate the Day of the Dead. Care was taken into every element of the film from set designs, to the depiction of the Day of Dead celebrations and even the music that accompanies the film. Benjamin Bratt who lends his voice to one of the main characters of the film talked about referencing Mexican legends like Pedro Infante, and Jorge Negrete for his larger than life character Ernesto De La Cruz.
Edward James Olmos expressed that when he first met with Unkrich, Producer Darla Anderson, and writer Adrian Molina he wasn’t sure what to expect but that as a Mexican man he felt that they were treating the theme and culture with the respect it deserved. He added, “I could not be more proud of the film which I know is going to have impact around the world and make people of all cultures reflect on how they honor the memory of those who came before them.” Edward’s character (insert name) has a brief but important appearance as it is through him that we learn the true significance of “Dia de Muertos.” For Olmos he said this one scene is, “one of his proudest moments in the art form.”
Members of the press asked about what message they felt they wanted the film to give young kids. Alanna Ubach who plays the role of the matriarch, Miguel’s great-great-grandmother Mamá Imelda explained that she is so excited to share this film with her own child one day. (Her baby is just a few weeks old now) “I am excited to give my child this perspective on death that isn’t about sadness but about celebrating life and honoring our ancestors by keeping their memory alive.”
Gael Garcia-Bernal who lent his voice to "Hector" chimed and mentioned that to him this is an important film for children growing up in a political climate where they can hear people in power say negative things about people who look like them and that he hopes this film “empowers them to see beyond that narrative and be proud of who they are.”
The film opens nationwide on November 21st. Check for theater times and purchase tickets here.