Disney and Pixar are continuing to slowly lift the curtain on their forthcoming original animated feature, Coco, in anticipation of the movie’s release later this year. The film is based around the Mexican Day of the Dead festival and will feature Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) in the director’s chair with Adrian Molina on co-directing/writing duties. This musical tale will see lead character Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) attempt to solve an ancient mystery surrounding his ancestry, as he explores the Land of the Dead.
Pixar has already released a few images from Coco, as well as a two-minute Coco teaser trailer that showcases the film’s Mexican inspiration, Miguel’s budding musicianship and hinted at the supernatural, ghostly themes that will surely help Miguel uncover his family’s secrets. Coco is a part of Pixar’s recently announced mission statement to release more original material and reduce the amount of sequels they produce (such as the forthcoming Toy Story 4 and Cars 3).
In further promotion of the movie – and in typical Pixar style – the animation studio have now released a short film titled ‘Dante’s Lunch’, to further help familiarize moviegoers to the tone, setting and style of Coco. The short sees Miguel’s pet dog Dante find a juicy looking bone, which refuses to be eaten – as it actually belongs on the body of a nearby sentient skeleton.
Although the short film doesn’t tell Pixar fans any more about Coco than they would’ve learned from the trailer, it does give some insight into the movie’s lead animal character and also demonstrates the glorious animation that the studio is famous for. The clip is sure to give fans of Pixar movies something to tide them over in the months leading up to the movie’s release.
The footage released from Coco thus far has garnered a positive critical reaction, as you may expect from a Disney Pixar production. However, the animation house is still taking a significant gamble with this original feature. Pixar’s last attempt at fresh material – 2015’s The Good Dinosaur – resulted in the company’s biggest commercial disappointment yet, after a long string of classic animated hits. Hence, there is plenty of pressure on Coco to deliver, particularly with the studio’s sequel output still bringing in big bucks.
With that said, Pixar must be commended for sticking to their principles and continuing to produce original features, despite their recent prehistoric setback. Although sequels are generally profitable safe bets as far as box office takings are concerned, the studio have always been at the forefront of creativity and clearly recognize that they key to long term success isn’t just re-hashing everyone’s favorite characters from the past – but constantly ensuring new potential favorites are hitting the big screen.