The Hollywood Foreign Press Association awarded Pixar’s “Coco” a 2018 Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature on Sunday night. Pixar is a division of The Walt Disney Company (No. 36 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list).
“Coco,” directed by Lee Unkrich and produced by Darla K. Anderson, is the first Pixar creation to be centered on a Mexican cultural celebration.
Unkrich and Anderson brought in a host of experts and creatives to ensure cultural authenticity in the telling of the story.
“From the very beginning, when we first pitched this idea to Pixar, and they gave us the green light to pursue it, I knew that we had an enormous responsibility because the subject matter was so culturally specific … to be as authentic and respectful as possible,” Unkrich said backstage after receiving the award. “We made every effort to travel down to Mexico and do as much research as we could. We tried to surround ourselves with cultural advisors and every step of the way we made it our goal to never lapse into stereotypes or clichs.”
Co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina said that as a Mexican American it was “an incredible opportunity to display all of the things about the culture we take pride in that we want to share and want the world to see to be able to reflect that in a family on a national and international level.”
He added, “We’re very touched that people have come to love this story.”
The film follows a boy who accidentally finds himself in the land of the dead during the Mexican celebrations for the Dia de los Muertos. Central to the plot is the boy’s trusty Paracho-style guitar.
“Coco” has grossed more than $550 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It ranks as the highest grossing movie in Mexico ever.
The film has brought much attention to the tiny Mexican hamlet of Paracho, home to the traditional Mexican guitar. Paracho, located in the western central highlands of the Sierra Madre, is seeing a boom in guitar sales following the worldwide success of “Coco.”
The 16th century-style guitars have been a way of life in the town of 30,000 for centuries. According to legend, a priest with the original Spanish conquerors decided locals in the village should be taught a craft to support their economy.
Paracho soon gained fame as Mexico’s capital for the manufacture of stringed instruments, and “Coco” has now brought its craftsmen global fame and booming sales, artisans said.
Reuters reports contributed to this story.