Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson Interview: ‘Coco’

During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), Lee Unkrich reveals the idea for “Coco” sprang from a desire to make a film about the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). While researching the holiday he explains, “The more that I learned, the more that I saw the potential for telling a story that could not only be kind of fun… but also a story that could have a lot of emotion, and have some themes that could be universal.” This Pixar release follows an aspiring child musician who, bucking against his family’s hatred of music, enters the Land of the Dead to gain approval from his great-great grandfather, a legendary singer.

“This was really, really a fun challenge,” adds producer Darla K. Anderson. The Pixar veteran, who also produced “A Bug’s Life” (1998), “Monster’s Inc.” (2001), “Cars” (2006), and “Toy Story 3” (2010), was excited to make “a huge, beautiful film with all kinds of gorgeous sets” and “lots of characters” voiced by an all Latino cast. “I worked happily trying to do the impossible with this gorgeous film that I was very proud of, and excited for the world to see.”

Unkrich started as an editor on “Toy Story” (1995), “A Bug’s Life,” and “Toy Story 2” (1999), and worked as co-director on “Toy Story 2,” “Monster’s Inc.,” and “Finding Nemo” (2003). He previously won the Best Animated Feature Oscar for “Toy Story 3,” which also brought him a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination. Anderson contended in Best Picture for that film, which to date is only the third animated feature to be recognized in the top category (following “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991 and “Up” in 2009). The duo won the Golden Globe on Sunday night for Best Animated Feature.

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