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Pixar's first film of the President Trump era? A musical 'love letter to Mexico'

The feature will be released next November.

IT IS KNOWN for movies about monsters, insects and children’s toys but Pixar’s latest, very human story is “a love letter to Mexico” at a time of simmering racial tension.

Taking the country’s Day of the Dead festival as its theme, Coco will hit US theaters some 12 months after Donald Trump’s 8 November election victory on an anti-immigration ticket that enflamed Hispanic communities across America.

It has been hailed as a welcome corrective to a divisive presidential campaign in which Trump called many Mexican immigrants rapists and vowed to build a wall between the United States and its southern neighbour.

“We’re creating it for the world and it’s going to hopefully have a great positive influence around the world,” said Coco director Lee Unkrich, who has been at Pixar since 1995’s Toy Story, directing its two sequels.

“But for Mexico particularly, we’re trying to create on some level a love letter to Mexico and I hope people embrace it that way.”

Pixar showcased early artwork for the movie as it opened the doors to its secluded headquarters in the Bay Area of San Francisco to the news media, with its 21st year as a feature film studio drawing to a close.

Starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal and Benjamin Bratt, Coco tells the story of a 12-year-old Mexican musician who journeys to the Land of the Dead in search of his ancestors.

Pixar’s 19th feature-length movie follows 21 years of unparalleled success marked by $11 billion in box office receipts and 13 Oscars since Toy Story blazed a trail as the world’s first computer-generated feature film.

Making history

The company began life in 1979 as the Graphics Group, the computer division for Lucasfilm, charged by George Lucas with developing a digital film and sound editing system and advancing computer graphics.

John Lasseter, the legendary founding director of the division’s feature output, came on board in 1983, and three years later it was bought by Apple guru Steve Jobs and given its now-famous name.

After winning plaudits for a series of pioneering shorts, the studio turned its attention to full-length movies, joining with Disney to produce Toy Story. The rest, as they say, is history.

Coco is leading a new wave of original Pixar films under development following the studio’s recent announcement that it was putting sequels on the back burner after 2019’s Toy Story 4.

“With each new one we make, there’s never any guarantee that they’re going to work or be accepted,” says Unkrich.

“We try our best every time to make engaging films that we’re interested in and we just hope the rest of the world likes them.”

© – AFP 2016

Read: British man jailed over plan to shoot Donald Trump >

Read: Disney’s latest kids’ movie has people raving about how good it is >

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