Pixar’s Coco and other movie news

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Pixar’s next original movie, called “Coco”, and it’s the sole novel film for the studio over the next few years. Then production ramps up for Cars 3 (scheduled for release in June 2017) and then “The Incredibles 2” and “Toy Story 4”.

First, the voice cast: Benjamin Bratt and Gael García Bernal will lead “Coco” alongside newcomer Anthony Gonzalez, who will voice the film’s main character, a 12-year-old Mexican boy named Miguel. Character actress Renée Victor also joins the cast as Abuelita, Miguel’s grandmother. However, to understand whom Bratt and Bernal are voicing, it helps to get a little context. What’s “Coco” even about?

“Coco” follows the secret musical ambitions of Miguel, who resides in a lively, loud Mexican village but comes from a family of shoemakers that may be the town’s only music-hating household. For generations, the Riveras have banned music because they believe they’ve been cursed by it; as their family history goes, Miguel’s great-great-grandfather abandoned his wife decades earlier to follow his own dreams of performing, leaving Imelda (Miguel’s great-great-grandmother) to take control as the matriarch of the now-thriving Rivera line and declare music dead to the family forever.

But Miguel harbors a secret desire to seize his musical moment, inspired by his favorite singer of all time, the late Ernesto de la Cruz (Bratt). It’s only after Miguel discovers an amazing link between himself and De la Cruz that he takes action to emulate the famous singer and, in doing so, accidentally enters the Land of the Dead.

In the beautiful underworld, it’s not long until Miguel encounters the souls of his own family — generations’ worth of long-dead but no less vivacious Rivera ancestors, including great-great-grandmother Imelda. Still, given the opportunity to roam around the Land of the Dead, Miguel decides to track down De la Cruz himself. He teams up with another friendly (and skeletal) spirit — a trickster named Hector, voiced by Bernal — to find De la Cruz, earn his family’s blessing to perform, and return to the Land of the Living before time runs out.

“It was important to us from day one that we had an all-Latino cast,” says Unkrich, who with producer Anderson shepherded “Toy Story 3” to become the world’s second highest-grossing animated film. “It focused us, and we ended up with a fantastic mix of people — some from Mexico and some from Los Angeles.”

There’s plenty more “Coco” coming your way to tide you over until the film is released on Nov. 22, 2017.

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