Pixar’s Amazing ‘Coco’ Voice Cast Is Entirely Latino
Disney Animation and Pixar are heading into a bright new era of culturally influenced moviemaking, ushered in by Frozen’s Nordic-inspired production design and continued through Big Hero 6 and last year’s fantastic Polynesian fairy tale Moana. For their next trick, Pixar is traveling to the Land of the Dead for Coco, a Mexican-inspired adventure about a boy who finds the soul of a long-dead musician in the underworld. It also seems like Coco is taking a cue from Moana, because all of the cast for Coco is Latino.
There are two locations in Coco — the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead — and our hero Miguel has friends and family in both worlds. The voice cast for this movie is pretty awesome, and includes some really famous stars like Edward James Olmos, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Gabriel Iglesias, as well as others you may recognize if you’re a fan of Mozart in the Jungle or Jane the Virgin.
Here’s the full list:
The Land of the Living
- Anthony Gonzales (“Ice Box,” TNT’s “The Last Ship”) lends his voice to MIGUEL, a 12-year-old aspiring musician who struggles against his family’s generations-old ban on music. When a magical mishap lands him in the Land of the Dead, Miguel seeks out his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, to help him return to the Land of the Living before it’s too late.
- Ana Ofelia Murguía (Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Bandidas”) voices Miguel’s cherished great-grandmother MAMÁ COCO. She is very old and fragile, but that doesn’t stop Miguel from sharing his daily adventures with her.
- Renée Victor (“Weeds,” “The Apostle”) provides the authoritative voice of ABUELITA, Miguel’s grandmother and the ultimate enforcer of the Rivera family’s ban on music. She loves her family very much and will do anything to protect them. But when she gets angry, she wields a mean slipper.
- Jaime Camil (CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” Disney Junior’s “Elena of Avalor,” “Secret Lives of Pets”) is the voice of PAPÁ, Miguel’s supportive father who hopes that someday Miguel will join him in the family shoemaking business.
- Sofía Espinosa (“Gloria”) provides the voice of Miguel’s loving MAMÁ who gently encourages her son to embrace their family’s traditions.
- Luis Valdez (“Which Way Is Up,” director “La Bamba” & “Cisco Kid”) is the voice of TÍO BERTO, Miguel’s uncle, a hard worker in the Rivera family shoemaking business.
- Lombardo Boyar (“Happy Feet,” TNT’s “Murder in the First”) lends his voice to a friendly MARIACHI who Miguel encounters in Santa Cecilia Plaza.
The Land of the Dead
- Gael García Bernal (Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle”) helps bring to life HECTOR, a charming trickster in the Land of the Dead who is forced to enlist help from Miguel to visit the Land of the Living.
- Benjamin Bratt (FOX’s “Star,” “Doctor Strange”) is the voice of Miguel’s idol ERNESTO DE LA CRUZ, the most famous musician in the history of Mexico. Revered by fans worldwide until his untimely death, the charming and charismatic musician is even more beloved in the Land of the Dead.
- Edward James Olmos (“Blade Runner,” “Stand and Deliver”) lends his voice to CHICHARRÓN, a curmudgeonly friend of Hector’s who is sadly being forgotten—an unfortunate condition in the Land of the Dead.
- Alanna Ubach (“Meet the Fockers,” Bravo’s “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”) provides the voice of MAMÁ IMELDA, Miguel’s great-great-grandmother, the matriarch of the Rivera family and the founder of their successful shoemaking business. Miguel meets Mamá Imelda in the Land of the Dead and discovers she does not share his passion for music.
- Selene Luna (“My Bloody Valentine,” “Celebrity Wife Swap”) voices TÍA ROSITA, Miguel’s late aunt who resides in the Land of the Dead.
- Alfonso Arau (“Three Amigos,” director/producer “Like Water for Chocolate,” director “A Walk in the Clouds”) is the voice of PAPÁ JULIO, Miguel’s late great-grandfather who he meets in Land of the Dead.
- Herbert Siguenza (“Larry Crowne,” “Ben 10: Alien Swarm”) lends his voice to both TÍO OSCAR and TÍO FELIPE, Miguel’s late identical twin uncles who he meets in the Land of the Dead.
- Octavio Solis playwright “Lydia, Santos & Santos”) is the voice of an ARRIVAL AGENT in the Land of the Dead’s Grand Central Station.
- Gabriel Iglesias (“Planes,” “The Nut Job,” “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature”) provides the voice of the HEAD CLERK in the Land of the Dead’s “Department of Family Reunions.”
- Cheech Marin (“Cars 3,” “Tin Cup,” CBS’ “Nash Bridges”) is the voice of a CORRECTIONS OFFICER in the Land of the Dead.
- Blanca Araceli (“The Bridge”) voices the EMCEE for a colorful talent show in the Land of the Dead.
It’s really, really awesome that Pixar is choosing to double down on their casting for this movie, and not simply hiring a bunch of famous people to pretend to be Mexican. That was one of the main criticisms of the otherwise fantastic Kubo and the Two Strings: despite the movie being a Japanese-influenced story, all of the cast was white. Good thing Coco is here to set an example. See, Hollywood? It’s not that hard!
Here’s Coco’s official synopsis:
Coco follows the secret musical ambitions of Miguel, who resides in a lively, loud Mexican village but comes from a family of shoemakers that may be the town’s only music-hating household. For generations, the Riveras have banned music because they believe they’ve been cursed by it; as their family history goes, Miguel’s great-grandfather abandoned his wife decades earlier to follow his own dreams of performing, leaving Imelda (Miguel’s great-grandmother) to take control as the matriarch of the now-thriving Rivera line and declare music dead to the family forever.
But Miguel harbors a secret desire to seize his musical moment, inspired by his favorite singer of all time, the late Ernesto de la Cruz. It’s only after Miguel discovers an amazing link between himself and De la Cruz that he takes action to emulate the famous singer and, in doing so, accidentally enters the Land of the Dead.
In the beautiful underworld, it’s not long until Miguel encounters the souls of his own family — generations’ worth of long-dead but no less vivacious Rivera ancestors, including great-grandmother Imelda. Still, given the opportunity to roam around the Land of the Dead, Miguel decides to track down De la Cruz himself. He teams up with another friendly (and skeletal) spirit — a trickster named Hector, — to find De la Cruz, earn his family’s blessing to perform, and return to the Land of the Living before time runs out.
Coco opens in theaters November 22.