Director Lee Unkrich Shares How ‘Monsters, Inc.’ Inspired The Land of the Dead in ‘Coco’

Director Lee Unkrich shares how Monstropolis in Monsters, Inc. inspired the team to create the Land of the Dead in Coco.
Anything to Declare Coco

If you have watched the teaser and official trailers for the upcoming Pixar film, Coco, you know that the characters and sets within the film are bursting with color, alongside the unparalleled beauty of the expansive Land of the Dead.

Those colorful scenes and twinkling city lights may have you reflecting on another Pixar film, Monsters, Inc.. In a recent interview with EW, director Lee Unkrich shared how he and the team took inspiration from Monstropolis in Monsters, Inc. when creating the Land of the Dead in Coco.

“We like to find a logic to everything we do and not just make up things to make up things. I find, personally, that the more fantastical people get with world-building and the less relatable it is, you remain kind of emotionally distracted from it.

Actually, I would liken the Land of the Dead a bit to what we did in Monsters, Inc., where we created Monstropolis, this familiar but fantastical world of monsters, where there was a lot that’s unique and delightful about it, but it’s also rooted in a world that we know. We did the same thing here in our vision of the afterworld.”

Coco Screencap Land of the Dead

Keeping with that city feel in the Land of the Dead, Unkrich shared earlier this week that, “Whatever your job was in life, that’s still your job in the afterlife — for better or worse.”

However, don’t expect to see any ‘humerus’ skeletal storefronts or pop culture puns in Coco“In terms of Starbucks and that kind of thing, I made a decision early on that I didn’t want to lean into pop culture references on this film, it’s an easy gag to do stuff like that, and we try to make films that are timeless. I want people to be watching these films 75 years from now, and who knows what will be out in the world then? We tried to not go for that easy pop culture reference laugh.”

Read the entire article on EW and be sure to share your thoughts with other Pixar fans in the Pixar Post Forum.

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