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17 Things You Need To Know Before Watching Disney/Pixar's "Coco"

The film has been in production for almost six years, two years longer than Toy Story 3.

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1. It's took six years for Pixar to produce this film.

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The team has been working on it since September, 2011. In comparison, the same team worked for four years on Toy Story 3.

2. During the first year of production, the team deeply researched Mexican culture and Día de los Muertos.

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3. One of the changes was the inclusion of Dante.

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The character and his personality arose after seeing the xoloitzcuintls in Mexico. His skin, lack of teeth, and even certain movements were inspired by real xolos.

4. According to the filmmakers, Coco is different from all their previous productions because of its heavy reliance on music.

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It's not a musical, but the music fills the movie and moves the story along in a way that is different from previous Pixar films.

5. Coco incorporates different Mexican musical genres including huapango, jarocho, ranchera, and baladas inspired by the classics of the "Golden Era" of Mexican cinema.

7. Santa Cecilia, the town where the protagonists live, is based mainly in Santa Fe de la Laguna, in Michoacán

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The filmmakers saw elements of different towns, but they used Santa Fe as the base. They wanted a town that would feel "historical" to show the passage of different generations and they thought that Santa Fe was perfectly preserved.

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8. Guanajuato was also a strong influence in the film's aesthetics.

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Its colorful buildings, alleys, tunnels, and other elements were one of the main inspirations for the Land of the Dead.

9. The producers also studied the art of several Mexican muralists.

Pixar

Especially Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo, and David Alfaro Siquerios. Pixar's artists did not try to imitate them, but were inspired by their style for certain elements in the movie.

11. Originally, the Land of the Dead had skyscrapers all the way up, to represent the current age in Mexico.

Pixar

They were not kept in the final design because they felt that it diminished a large part of the charm. The story in the movie has a lot to do with tradition, and they decided to focus on early 20th century Mexico to show it.

12. Most of the alebrijes (folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures) in Coco are made with parts of animals from other Pixar movies.

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Creatures from The Good Dinosaur, monsters from Monsters University, and the cat from Inside Out provided parts for the new creations in Coco.

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13. The movie is set in contemporary Mexico and the filmmakers have a timeline that shows which year each one of Miguel's family members had lived in.

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Despite all this, you don't see any cellphones or modern technology because they wanted the movie to look timeless. The elements that are seen in Miguel's attic are old things that you would have lying around forgotten in your house.

14. The team is well-aware of the comparisons with The Book of Life.

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But they don't lose any sweat about it.

15. For producer Darla K. Anderson and director Lee Unkrich, it was extemely important to make a movie that would make Mexicans proud.

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They both wanted to make a movie that would make Mexicans feel represented when they watched it.

16. But they also wanted to show a part of Mexico that is not normally seen in mainstream media.

Pixar

The directors visited Mexico on several occasions and saw a "vibrant country filled with culture and warm people." And they hope that the movie will share this Mexico that is rarely featured in the news.

17. And, finally, they wanted to create a universal story that anyone around the world could relate to.

Pixar

In Unkrich's words: "I hope that people fall in love with the characters and the story that we're telling, and that this opens them up to accept that our planet is filled with very different people, different cultures but that we all live here together and we need to appreciate each other and love each other."

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This post was translated from Spanish.

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