Coco is an American 3D computer-animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. On August 15, 2015, Pixar confirmed the title of the film, inspired by the Mexican holiday Día de Muertos, at the D23 Expo. It was also confirmed that the film will be directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3). It was released on November 22, 2017. Coco won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2018.
Coco follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery. The official story description is: “Coco is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion.”
In April 2012, Pixar announced a film inspired by Día de Muertos (English: Day of the Dead). On May 1, 2013, The Walt Disney Company filed a request to trademark the phrase "Día de los Muertos" for various merchandising applications. This move was met with criticism on social media from the Latino community in the United States. One of them was Lalo Alcaraz, a Mexican-American cartoonist, who drew a film poster, titled "Muerto Mouse," depicting a skeletal Godzilla-sized Mickey Mouse with the byline "It's coming to trademark your cultura." More than 21,000 people signed a petition on Change.org stating that the trademark was "cultural appropriation and exploitation at its worst." A week later, Disney cancelled its attempt, with the official statement saying that the "trademark filing was intended to protect any potential title for our film and related activities. It has since been determined that the title of the film will change, and therefore we are withdrawing our trademark filing." In 2015, Pixar hired Alcaraz to consult on the film.
The Pixar team made several trips to Mexico to help define the characters and story of Coco. Unkrich said, "I'd seen it portrayed in folk art. It was something about the juxtaposition of skeletons with bright, festive colors that captured my imagination. It has led me down a winding path of discovery. And the more I learn about Día de los Muertos, the more it affects me deeply."
In April 2016, Disney and Pixar announced they have begun the animation.