The 2017 Annecy International Animation Film Festival (in Annecy, France) is well underway with Pixar Animation Studios sharing some insights into their fall feature, Coco. According to Variety, the presentation was led by co-director Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson who shared design elements and delighted the audience by showing the first five minutes of the film.
With each Pixar film, there is a creative team that focuses heavily on research to ensure the accuracy of their films and Coco was no exception. “These trips [to Mexico] have greatly influenced every part of ‘Coco’s’ production, from story to music to design, even to the way we’re lighting the film,” Anderson said. We can’t agree more, after watching the official Coco trailer and teaser, the film is vibrant and colorful with beautiful ambient lighting that is sure to enhance our emotions as we join Miguel on his journey.
One of the challenges that the Coco team faced during the production of the film was how to move the skeletal figures in the Land of the Dead. “Skeletons don’t have muscles, so there’s nothing holding them together,” Molina said, as he explained to the Annecy audience that the skeletal characters didn’t respond well to the traditional character rigs (depicting human movement) – making us wonder if the team created new character rigs for the film.
When the concept of Coco was first announced back in April of 2012, it was noted that it would have a strong musical presence with the film centering around Miguel’s dream of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz – all while navigating through his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music. As the presentation at Annecy came to a close, there wasn’t a real mention of any of the music from the film. However, Molina did share that he wrote the lyrics to the song featured in a scene with Miguel disguised as a skeleton set to perform on-stage to prove himself in the Land of the Dead and earning his family’s benediction to get back to the land of the living.
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