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Behind the Music of Pixar’s Coco

Thank you to Disney and Pixar Studios for hosting me during the #PixarCocoEvent.

Federico Ramos, Michael Giacchino, Germaine Franco, Camilo Lara and Adrian Molina (Photo by Marc Flores / Pixar)

Pixar’s Coco is not a musical. It is, however, safe to say that music has never played such an important role in a Pixar film. Extensive research went into creating a musical landscape for the film.

Germaine Franco and Camilo Lara served as advisors when it came to the source music for Coco. In the words of Camilo, they wanted the movie to “smell like Mexico”. They included many of types of music, beyond the traditional mariachi music that might be expected.

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

The iconic guitar played an important role in the movie. The guitar needed to be instantly recognizable for storytelling purposes. Filmmakers worked with expert luthier German Vazquez Rubio to craft a real-life version of the guitar. 

Federico Ramos, Michael Giacchino, Germaine Franco, Camilo Lara and Adrian Molina(Photo by Marc Flores / Pixar)

In addition to the source music, Coco includes a score from Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino. (Fun fact: Michael and Camilo are the only two living persons with skeletons based on them in the film’s land of the dead!)

“If I cried during the film, I want you to cry during the film,” says Michael. That means translating those emotions into music. He worked on the score by creating music themes for Miguel, Hector and family.

Coco features the song Remember Me, composed by Oscar-winning song writing team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez as well as several fun songs written by Germaine Franco and Adrian Molina.

The soundtrack is available now. Give it a listen and try not to cry during the Remember Me reprises.

Follow along with all of my #PixarCocoEvent coverage for more exclusive interviews and behind the scenes information!

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” is in theaters now.

As The Bunny Hops®