The future of Pixar is full of sequels to their most beloved movies. Following on from last year’s Finding Dory, Cars 3 hits in June, with The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 due in 2018 and 2019 respectively. That doesn’t mean the House That Woody Built is turning its back on original concepts. President Jim Morris said that after Toy Story 4 there are no more sequels in development, and there’s already one brand new film coming later this year: Coco.
Pixar has been talking about a film inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead from Toy Story 3‘s Oscar-winning director Lee Unkrich since 2015, and it’s finally coming to fruition. Since confirmed to be the studio’s first all-out musical and following a vibrant poster last week, the studio has now given its first proper look at the film.
Pixar has released a teaser trailer for Coco (see the video above) that gives a taste of its Mexican influences. As the trailer shows, the main drive of the story is young Miguel’s (Anthony Gonzalez) love for music, something we’ve been told is forbidden by his family. When he plays the guitar of his longtime idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), Miguel is transported to the Land of the Dead, where he meets up with his hero as well as his family from generations past. It’s a pretty great teaser, with a rousing score and culturally evocative visuals, so it’s fair to says expectations have been set high already.
Some may think Pixar has missed the boat a little here. The Day of the Dead first became seriously popular in American culture in the early 2010s, and by now has become a little cliche and overdone. There’s even already been one animated film inspired by the festival: the Guillermo del Toro-produced The Book of Life. Starring Diego Luna, Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana in a love triangle, that film was a mild success from lesser-known animation studio Reel FX, although there’s plenty more from Mexican culture to be mined. Toys coming to life or monsters living in closets are long-existent ideas, so it’s not like Pixar isn’t proven in exploring well-trodden concepts.
Cars 3 and Coco both coming in 2017 is the second time Pixar’s released two movies in a year – in 2015 they released Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur. In that case it was deemed to be a result of Good Dinosaur‘s troubled production, whereas here both films look very promising (Cars 3‘s trailers certainly suggest a different type of movie to the previous two). Indeed, based on the teaser, Coco is one the biggest 2017 films to keep an eye on.