Disney•Pixar’s new animated film ‘Coco’ features colorful family reunion

“We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us,” says director Lee Unkrich. “And with ‘Coco,’ we tried to tap into something universal that we can all relate to: we all have families.”

Pixar Animation Studios’ 19th feature film Coco introduces Miguel, an aspiring singer and self-taught guitarist who dreams of following in the footsteps of his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, the most famous musician in the history of Mexico. But Miguel’s family forbids music—passed down from generation to generation, their ban on music is strictly enforced.

“Miguel feels like he has to choose between his passion for music and his love for his family,” says co-director Adrian Molina. “He really wants to share his talents with his family—to prove to them that making music is both beautiful and honorable. But he goes about it the wrong way.”

Miguel’s impulsive actions spark a magical transformation that renders him visible only to those who have come to visit from the Land of the Dead on Día de Muertos, also known as Día de los Muertos. This lively and colorful parallel world is populated by generations and generations of people who long ago left the Land of the Living—including Miguel’s ancestors, who instantly recognize him and offer to help—but only if he agrees to give up music forever.

“That’s just not something Miguel can accept,” says producer Darla K. Anderson, “so, he teams up with a scrappy, streetwise skeleton named Hector and they set out to find Ernesto de la Cruz—who they believe holds the key to Miguel’s baffling and decidedly unmusical family history.”

“The story of Coco is inspired by Mexico’s people, cultures and traditions,” says Unkrich. “We really wanted to explore the family bonds that tie us to the generations that came before us. This story is about celebrating our past—even as we look to the future.”

The all-Latino voice cast includes characters from the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. From the Land of the Living, Anthony Gonzalez (TNT’s The Last Ship) lends his voice to Miguel, Ana Ofelia Murguía is the voice of Miguel’s cherished great-grandmother Mamá Coco, Renée Victor (Weeds) provides the authoritative voice of Abuelita, Jaime Camil (Secret Lives of Pets) is the voice of Papá, and Sofía Espinosa (Gloria) provides the voice of Miguel’s loving Mamá. Luis Valdez (director La Bamba) and Lombardo Boyar (Happy Feet) lend their voices to Miguel’s uncle and a town mariachi, respectively.

From the Land of the Dead, Gael García Bernal (Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle) helps bring to life charming trickster Hector, Benjamin Bratt (Doctor Strange) is the voice of Miguel’s idol Ernesto de la Cruz, and Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner) lends his voice to Chicharrón. Alanna Ubach (Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) provides the voice of Miguel’s great-great-grandmother Mamá Imelda, Selene Luna (My Bloody Valentine) voices Tía Rosita, Alfonso Arau (director/producer Like Water for Chocolate) is the voice of Miguel’s late great-grandfather Papá Julio, and Herbert Siguenza (Ben 10: Alien Swarm) lends his voice to both Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe, Miguel’s late identical twin uncles.

Directed by Unkrich (Toy Story 3), co-directed by Molina (story artist Monsters University) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3), Coco features an original score from Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Rogue One), a song by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and additional songs co-written by Germaine Franco and Molina.

Coco is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines.

More daddies, more problems in comedy film ‘Daddy’s Home 2’

In Paramount Pictures’ new comedy Daddy’s Home 2, the sequel to the 2015 global smash, father and stepfather, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell), have joined forces to provide their kids with the perfect Christmas. Their newfound partnership is put to the test when Dusty’s old-school, macho dad (Mel Gibson) and Brad’s ultra-affectionate and emotional dad (John Lithgow) arrive just in time to throw the holiday into complete chaos.

For the filmmakers, Daddy’s Home 2 was a chance to mine more comedy from real life family dynamics.

“The first movie was kind of a bromance, watching these two very different characters come together for the sake of the kids,” explains writer/director Sean Anders. “We weren’t thinking about a sequel when we made the first movie, but we loved the idea of the dads’ dads showing up for Christmas and adding another complicated layer to the conflict between the two of them. The idea was too good to pass up.”

Anders continues, “We set the story at Christmas because it can be a really difficult time for blended families, figuring out who’s going where on what day, leading to a lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. The humor and conflict come from a very relatable, grounded place.”

“In my mind, it seemed obvious to me that Daddy’s Home 2 would need to have more dads,” offers producer and co-writer John Morris. “And seeing Brad and Dusty’s fathers offer us an idea of how they became who they are.”

The prospect of reuniting the cast from the first film also proved to be a major draw for the creative team. Anders admits, “We couldn’t pass up the chance to work with Will, Mark, Linda and the kids again. Will always brings something crazy and fun. Mark brings such incredible sincerity to every role he plays. Linda is a world class actress who’s super fun to have on set. Scarlett and Owen are such reliable actors, I’m glad we were able to make a sequel before they grew out of the roles. I couldn’t imagine doing a sequel without them.”

Says producer Chris Henchy: “We wanted keep everything that people loved about the first film, but go even bigger. The family has grown: Brad and Sara have a new baby, Griffy. Dusty’s now married to Karen, played by Alessandra Ambrosio, and has become stepdad to Adriana, played by Didi Costine. They’re both returning from the first film with larger roles, as is John Cena as Roger, Karen’s ex-husband. There’s already a lot of complicated layers to this blended family, and Mel Gibson and John Lithgow provide a real powder keg to fuel the insanity.”

In Philippine cinemas November 29, 2017, Daddy’s Home 2 is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.