Coco rightfully gets a Mexican premiere before its U.S. opening


Disney Pixar’s upcoming feature Coco is set to make its U.S. debut in November, but the studio has now announced a Mexican premiere for the Mexico-set film the month before.

Coco, Pixar’s upcoming whimsical journey into the lore of Mexico’s Day of the Dead, is getting a very appropriate premiere. The studio announced Thursday that the animated film will be the opener at the Morelia International Film Festival on October 20. The movie won’t open in the States until November 27.

Morelia, a few hours outside Mexico City, is known for its epic Day of the Dead celebrations, so the festival is the perfect Pixar pick. This year, Day of the Dead festivities kick off in Morelia a couple weeks after the premiere.

Historically, Disney doesn’t have a great track record with respectfully honoring the cultures from which its stories are inspired. (Remember that time they had to change the lyrics in “Arabian Nights” because they were thought to be racist?) But it appears they’re makings steps in the right direction if this move is any indication. Maybe the fans putting together YouTube videos of Disney princesses singing in their native languages or discussion over indigenous people’s response to Moana are inspiring the bigwigs to honor the communities they’re portraying more thoughtfully.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, filmmakers Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina visited Morelia to research for the film.

Coco is the first Pixar movie inspired by the lovely people, the beautiful traditions and the culture of Mexico, so we are honored to have the opportunity to launch it there first,” Molina told the Reporter.

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Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal lends his voice to the movie, along with Alanna Ubach, and the always brilliant Edward James Olmos.