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Pixar’s delightful Coco is still playing in UK cinemas, as it prepares for its disc and download release in the US later this month. And as part of the promotion for the release, directors Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich have revealed that they originally envisaged an opening song for the film.

The pair told USA Today that the song was part of the film for “a number of years” during its development, and it sounds as though it was only deleted pretty late in the day.

They’ve now unveiled it as a nearly-completed deleted scene too, and here’s how the movie would originally have opened….Pixar’s Coco, which tells the story of 12-year-old Miguel Rivera and is based around the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead, has been getting excellent reviews since its release (Read our review here).

The movies director Lee Unkrich and co-director/writer Adrian Molina have revealed that the beginning of the movie once looked very different.

Check the clip out here:Don’t listen to the self-righteous shrieks of ‘cultural appropriation’ being aimed at Disney, and Pixar, who have collaborated to make this utterly beguiling animation inspired by Mexico’s annual Day Of The Dead festival. It is wonderful in every way.

A boy called Miguel (voiced by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) has the misfortune to grow up in the only family in Mexico that hates music.

There is a reason; Miguel’s great-great-grandmother was abandoned as a young mother by her husband, who felt his destiny was to become a musician.

Her daughter Coco is now a very old woman who has passed down the decree that music must be forbidden. Instead, Miguel’s family has established a shoe-making business, which the boy is expected to join.

But Miguel, while respectful towards his elders, secretly yearns to sing and play the guitar.

Like everyone else in his town, he worships the memory of the late, great troubadour Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), and is duly thrilled to find there is a family connection which perhaps you can guess. The excitement really begins when Miguel is transported to the Land of the Dead, where the deceased live on only for as long as they remain in the memories of the living.

He needs to find Ernesto, and recruits the help of a roguish fellow called Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), who is not beyond disguising himself as Frida Kahlo, the famous (and very much dead) Mexican artist, to inveigle himself into places he’s not wanted.

Like all the best Pixar films, Coco is exuberantly funny, at times genuinely poignant and quite stunningly animated, with terrific songs.

Its standout number is Remember Me, written by Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the talented husband-and-wife team behind the songs in Disney’s 2013 hit Frozen. The director is Lee Unkrich, whose credits include 2010’s Toy Story 3. That won an Academy Award and Coco richly deserves one too, in part for the extraordinary skill with which it overcomes the problem of portraying dead people.

The skeletons in the Land of the Dead are exquisitely, often hilariously rendered.

Going all the way back to Casper The Friendly Ghost and beyond, animators have had to tackle this difficulty. But it’s never been done with such delicious exuberance as it is here.

You might think twice about taking impressionable young children, but otherwise, this is an unmissable treat for the whole family.

I was worrying about Coco since it took an extra three months to come to the UK after opening in America.

I thought this was because it might have been a bad movie. But I’m glad to say that Coco looks and sounds amazing.

A young boy named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) lives in a family where music has been banned for decades. However, Miguel loves music, and especially famous singer Ernesto De La Cruz (Benjamin Bratt).

When he discovers clues that Ernesto could be a relative, he finds and plays his old guitar and gets mystically transported to the land of the dead.

He and his comedy dog Dante team up with a skeleton named Hector (Gael García Bernal) to find Ernesto and get his blessing, so he can return to the land of the living before sunrise.

I love everything about this movie, especially the Mexican culture. The famous Disney castle intro with a mariachi cover of the fanfare was a great surprise, and the start of the movie, setting up the back story using paper banners (a bit like Maui’s moving tattoos in Moana,) was beautiful to look at. And the spirit guides are so colourful.

The idea of making a movie of the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is similar to The Book Of Life, which came out three years ago, but the films are very different.

The soundtrack for Coco is one of Pixar’s best, with Remember Me and Un Poco Loco my favourite songs.

The animation is also impressive. Pixar can make things look very real with their technology, and they show it off with stuff like water and trees, but they always make the main characters look cartoony, which I like a lot.

 

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