Why Casting Coco’s Miguel Was Such A Challenge
As the most musically-driven Pixar film to date, Coco is packed with some amazing vocal performances. However, those weren't easy to come by. In fact, I recently sat down with the Coco team during the film's recent press junket in Los Angeles, and they explained that casting Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel was a distinct challenge because they needed to find a child performer who met all of the requirements of the part and also wouldn't age out of the role. Director Lee Unkrich explained:
Casting Miguel seems like a difficult process by pretty much any metric. Not only did it require a child actor with the emotional maturity to sell Coco's more dramatic scenes, but he also needed to be able to sing and share Miguel's Latino background. Those demands narrowed the field of viable candidates by a considerable margin, but then the team also needed to make sure that whoever they cast wouldn't age out of the role because Coco had one of the longest development and production processes of any Pixar film to date. As Unkrich said: "a needle in a hundred haystacks."
While Anthony Gonzalez did end up being the perfect Miguel for Coco's team, there were a few issues that occurred with his voice over the course of production. However, Lee Unkrich noted in our conversation that they managed to solver those minor problems in post-production. Unkrich elaborated:
From top to bottom, Coco is Miguel's story. Focusing on the young boy and his family's refusal to let him pursue a life of music, the film follows Miguel as he journeys to The Land of the Dead on Dia de Los Muertos to meet his deceased ancestors and get their blessing. Coco is making a big impression on critics, and it's already crushing at the box office, so all eyes are on it to become yet another Pixar winner.
Coco will make its theatrical debut tomorrow, November 22. If you want to know what CinemaBlend thinks of the film, then check out our in-depth review. As for the next year of silver screen releases, you can check out our 2017 movie premiere guide and our 2018 movie premiere guide to see what else Hollywood has in store!
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.