Are Latinos Cuckoo for Coco?

Pixar Animation Studios just released the teaser trailer for Coco, an upcoming film that draws on the lore of Dia de Los Muertos and the talent of an all-Latinx voice cast!

Watch the colorful first trailer below:

What is Coco All About?

“Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.” – Pixar

Who Do You Know Here?

Benjamin Bratt (Peruvian, German)

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And Gael García Bernal (Mexican)

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So Should We All Be Cuckoo for Coco?

Fans are split. Audience reception was off to a rocky start when news broke that the Walt Disney Company had made attempts (that were later withdrawn) to copyright Dia de Los Muertos:

And it does seem that “all Latino voice cast”has been pitched to Hollywood as the selling point, which points to diversity commodification:

But others are excited, still:

Representation Crisis? I Don’t Hear Latinx People Complaining!

That’s because they haven’t been given a voice. Our research at the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative examined inclusion in motion pictures and television, and found that Latinos placed dead last at 4.9% of all roles in motion pictures. Remezcla broke it down:

“Latinos are still the least represented minority group on film and TV relative to percentage of the population. In other words, we make up about 17.1% of the total U.S. population, but make up only 5.8% of speaking roles. In fact, the 9.6% gap between minority representation on film and TV, and minority percentage of the population (28.3% vs. 37.9%) is accounted for almost exclusively by lack of Latinos in the media.”

Here’s Mexican-American Youtuber Eddie G with additional research and why this is an issue:

Coco actor Benjamin Bratt also pitched in during a previous interview to suggest authentic Latino authorship as a representation remedy:

Ugh, Too Many Facts and Figures – What Does This Mean for Coco?

  • Pixar’s co-director Adrian Molina just might have the secret authenticity sauce
  • Coco will be a big break in bringing Mexican narratives to major animation studios (It doesn’t have to end with Book of Life)
  • It’ll take a lot more than a film about Dia de Los Muertos to bridge the Latino Gap – but it’s a step in the right direction
  • Supporting Coco (by visiting Regal, Cinemark or AMC instead of PirateBay or Popcorntime) on November 22nd is a solid way to demand Latinx-led films

Recuerda que verde is the one language everyone speaks. Will you see Coco in theaters?

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