AFI Movie Club: COCO – American Film Institute

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AFI Movie Club: COCO

Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning COCO was brought to afterlife by countless artists and craftspeople – among them, Edward James Olmos, an AFI Honorary Degree recipient and longtime AFI Trustee. 

Movie Trivia about COCO

DID YOU KNOW?  

Throughout the production, Pixar also worked with a team of cultural advisers, including Marcela Davison Aviles, playwright Octavio Solis and political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz. They would come in every three months to screen the work in progress – giving notes to make sure the film was culturally authentic. 

DID YOU KNOW?   

Director Lee Unkrich and the filmmaking team went to Mexico on multiple research trips to help make the film as authentic as possible. While visiting Mexico City, Morelia, Oaxaca and Guanajuato, they took thousands of photos, spoke with locals and met with many different families – sketching different people to help inspire characters in the movie.  

DID YOU KNOW?   

The orange flower seen throughout the film is the Cempasúchil – a type of marigold that is native to Mexico. The flower is used in the tradition of Día de Muertos in Mexico to guide the deceased to the living. 

DID YOU KNOW?  

The look of the Land of the Dead is inspired by the Mexican city of Guanajuato, which has colorful houses placed on the hillsides in such a way that they look almost stacked. 

DID YOU KNOW?  

Anthony Gonzalez was originally just hired to do the temporary voice of Miguel in COCO but was so good he was ultimately offered the role. 

DID YOU KNOW?  

COCO surpassed THE AVENGERS (2012) as the highest grossing movie of all time in Mexico. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Anthony Gonzalez – the voice of Miguel in COCO – can also be seen in AFI alum Daniel Sawka’s film ICEBOX. Gonzalez appears in both the short film and the feature length version of the movie. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

COCO marks the first film with a nine-figure budget to feature an almost entirely Latinx principal cast. While the Latinx community accounts for half of Angelenos, 39% of Californians and 18% of the U.S. population, they are dramatically underrepresented onscreen. To learn more, read the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative here. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

At the 90th Academy Awards®, COCO won the Oscar® for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “Remember Me.” 

Learn more at the AFI Catalog

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-John Ratzenberger has voiced a character in every PIXAR film. Were you able to place his voice in COCO? 

– How many Pixar easter eggs did you find? 

-Why is a film like COCO important in today’s societal landscape? How is the Latinx community underrepresented in film both onscreen and off and what steps need to be taken to solve this issue? 

-Who is Coco? Who is Coco forgetting? 

-Why is music so important to Miguel? What in the end is more important to Miguel than music? 

-What is the significance of the ofrenda in Mexican culture? Who was missing from the ofrenda in COCO? 

-What do you do to honor and preserve the memory of those loved ones that you may have lost? 

-What do you know about your own family history? Are there things you would like to know more about? 

-What is the significance of the song “Remember Me”? 

-How would you rate COCO? 

New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.

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