‘Coco Day in L.A.’ Celebrates Release of Latest Disney/Pixar Animated Hit

The city of Los Angeles declared Feb. 27 “Coco Day in L.A.” in celebration of the home entertainment release of Disney/Pixar’s animated feature film Coco, issued that day on Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, DVD and on-demand. (The film was released two weeks earlier digitally on HD, 4K and Movies Anywhere).

Los Angeles City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who represents the city’s First District, presented the honors at City Hall to director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson.  Additional voice talent in attendance included Anthony Gonzalez (the voice of Miguel), Renee Victor (the voice of Abuelita), Gabriel Iglesias (voice of the Clerk), Alfonso Arau (the voice of Papa Julio), Selene Luna (Voice of Tia Rosita), Lombardo Boyar (voice of Mariachi/Gustavo), Blanca Araceli (voice of Emcee), Dyana Ortelli (voice of Tia Victoria) and Carlos Moreno Jr. (the voice of a handful of characters including Corn Man).

Coco tells the story of Miguel, a 12-year-old aspiring musician, who finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead after a mysterious chain of events. This is the first-ever animated feature to include an almost entirely Latino voice cast, including many who reside and grew up in the City of Los Angeles.

Coco is nominated for two Academy Awards – Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song “Remember Me,” and also won the 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Motion Picture. The film topped the domestic Thanksgiving holiday weekend box office, became the highest-grossing film of all time in Mexico, and broke records in China.

PHOTO GALLERY: ‘Coco Day in L.A.’, Feb. 27, 2018

Bob Iger Reiterates Disney’s OTT Future

When CEO Bob Iger announced Disney would cease distributing original movies through Netflix in 2019, he was laying the foundation for a proprietary direct-to-consumer ecosystem.

Speaking Feb. 26 at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom confab in San Francisco, Iger reiterated oft-discussed plans to launch standalone apps around ESPN (dubbed ESPN Plus and bowing in March at $4.99 monthly) and Disney (OTT in 2019) brands.

The CEO conceded technology and SVOD is disrupting the pay-TV ecosystem, with the aforementioned apps giving Disney an opportunity to “participate in the very business that is doing the disrupting.”

The ESPN service will also enable users to add out-of-market access to Major League Baseball games (MLB.tv) and National Hockey League (NHL.tv) matches for a premium.

“I imagine you’ll see that price rise for the augmented service. We have the opportunity to enable customers to buy seasons, teams, weekends,” Iger said.

But it is the Disney OTT service that is generating the most buzz and speculation. Calling the platform a long-term priority for Disney, the service will feature four-to-five original movies and TV series, in addition to theatrical fare, including Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar, according to Iger.

The executive expects to get a better picture of Disney’s OTT window after closing acquisition of 20th Century Fox Film Company.

“We’ll see how that goes and we’ll have a better sense of what kind of volume we can provide,” Iger said.

He said Disney currently has 11 billion-dollar movie franchises, with Black Panther slated to be the 12th – and exclusive to Netflix later this year.

“[We are] competing with ourselves,” Iger said.

Coco

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 2/27/18;
Disney;
Animated;
Box Office $207.56 million;
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $44.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG’ for thematic elements.
Voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Gabriel Iglesias, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Edward James Olmos.

Pixar’s latest adventure is a visually stunning treat with a heartwarming story about family and following your dreams.

The film follows a young boy in Mexico named Miguel, who dreams of becoming a musician despite his family frowning on such artistic endeavors. Long ago, his great-great-grandfather left the family to pursue his own musical dreams, leading his great-great-grandmother to encourage her daughter (his great-grandmother), Coco, and other descendants to swear off music as she started a multi-generational enterprise making shoes.

Miguel sneaks away to compete in a festival to commemorate the Day of the Dead holiday, but finds himself trapped in the Land of the Dead after trying to steal a guitar out of desperation. Though his ancestors could send him home, he rejects their condition of denouncing music and sets out to find his great-great-grandfather on the belief he will send him back with the encouragement to become a musician.

The film is at its most creative in establishing the world of the dead, where the inhabitants look like the sugar skulls that often symbolize Day of the Dead celebrations. This isn’t a spooky or scary land, but simply a vibrant civilization governed by a unique set of rules cleverly established by the filmmakers based on Day of the Dead lore and other Mexican folk traditions.

True to form for Pixar, the Blu-ray is loaded with bonus materials highlighting the film’s many strengths, from the artistic designs to the music to the story details, starting with a commentary by director Lee Unkrich and co-director Adrian Molina.

There are about 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes spread across two discs, covering the extensive research conducting by the filmmakers in visiting Mexico, to the animation process, casting and more. About 20 minutes of these are on the first disc.

For those interested more in how the story was crafted, the first disc offers 33 minutes of deleted scenes and early story concepts that changed as the film evolved.

In addition to 60 minutes of making-of featurettes, the second disc also offers the film’s trailers and some fun animated vignettes, plus a short video about a guitar maker who constructed a replica of an iconic guitar central to the story.

Finally, for the artistic-minded, the Blu-ray offers some arts and crafts activities — a video on how to draw a skeleton on disc one, and a guide to creating a papel picado (a paper cutout decoration) on disc two.

Disney’s ‘Coco’ Due on Home Video in February

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will release Pixar’s Coco digitally in HD, 4K and Movies Anywhere on Feb. 13, and on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, DVD and on-demand Feb. 27.

Coco, the story of a 12-year-old aspiring musician’s journey to the magical land of his ancestors in Mexico, earned $193.5 million at the domestic box office and won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture.

The Blu-ray and digital formats include deleted scenes; promotional trailers for the film; commentary from director Lee Unkrich, co-director Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson; and several featurettes: “The Music of Coco”; “Paths to Pixar: Coco,” featuring how the filmmakers’ personal stories resonate with the themes of the film; “Welcome to the Fiesta,” a musical exploration of the skeletons from the Land of the Dead; “A Thousand Pictures a Day,” a tour of Mexico with the filmmakers; “Mi Familia,” about developing the Riveras; “Land of Our Ancestors,” about re-creating many eras of Mexican architecture; “Fashion Through the Ages,” about the costumes; “The Real Guitar,” about the design of the central guitar in the film; “Dante,” about the inspiration for the dogs that inspired the character; “How to Draw a Skeleton”; “How to Make Papel Picado,” a look at the traditional papel picado art form; and “Un Poco Coco,” a montage of original animated pieces used to promote Coco.

The DVD includes the commentary, “Dante” and “About Coco.”