Pixar Animation unveiled never-before-seen footage of their nineteenth film, “Coco,” before an excited crowd at Disney’s D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center.
“Coco” will star Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel, a Mexican boy who longs to be a musician like his idol and great-great-grandfather, Ernesto De La Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), despite his family’s ban on music. He gets his chance in a way he never expected when he is whisked away to the Land of the Dead, where he meets a trickster named Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) and uncovers the reason why his family no longer allows music. The film is written and directed by Lee Unkrich, who won an Oscar as director of “Toy Story 3.”
A never-before-seen clip shows Miguel looking for a guitar so he can perform at his town’s talent show against his family’s wishes. Desperate for a guitar, he breaks into his local church during the Day of the Dad festivities to use Ernesto’s guitar, which is held over his grave. When he strums the guitar, he finds that he’s been transformed into a spirit that cannot be seen by the living…but can be seen by the spirits of the dead, who take the form of skeletons.
Another clip shows Miguel meeting his ancestors in the Land of the Dead, who are surprised to see him. Trying to figure out why he’s here, they take the boy to the Bureau of Family Reunions, where they discover that Miguel and his family are cursed. They have until sunrise to break the curse. Otherwise, Miguel will transform into a skeleton and will be stuck in the Land of the Dead.
After the clips, Anthony Gonzalez and Benjamin Bratt took to the stage for a performance of “Remember Me,” a new song written for the film.
The D23 animation presentation was hosted by Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and “Toy Story” director and Disney Animation/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter. Lasseter has served as head of Disney’s entire animation division since 2007.
“Coco” hits theaters November 22.