Pixar blew many audiences away and earned a ton of money last year with Coco when the Mexican-themed adventure debuted in theaters. Now, with the film's home release upon us, the time has come to dive into all of the extras and see elements of the film that never made it to the silver screen. One such bonus is the film's original opening scene, which would've helped introduce audiences to the festivity of Day of the Dead in a non-somber way. Check out the unused opening to the film, below.
That opening sequence obviously isn't fully-animated, but it does offer up an intriguing glimpse at what Coco's first scene could've looked like if Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina had released it in its original form. Instead of having Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) provide a narration of his family's history and the reason behind their hatred of music, this opening scene would've provided a big-picture look at Dia de Los Muertos itself and helped audiences get up-to-speed on the cultural significance of the day. In the end, however, the explanation of the holiday and the basics of its customs was moved to a quieter scene in front of the ofrenda.
As it turns out, this clip is not the only possible introduction that the folks behind Coco toyed with as an opening. In fact, during the film's press junket last year, Lee Unkrich addressed this decision in an interview with CinemaBlend and explained the variety of different ways in which Coco could've opened for audiences. One of the ways was the unused scene shown above, but another involved opening the movie in the middle of an old Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) film and establishing him before bringing the audience to Miguel. Both of these options could've potentially worked, but as Unkrich explained to us: both versions of the opening were time-consuming, which kept the audience away from Miguel for far too long.
The discussion of how Coco could've opened is interesting because there are several schools of thought on the topic. On the one hand, there's undoubtedly credence to the idea that this festive opening scene could've stood out as a fun way to open the emotionally-wrenching film. On the other hand, however, there's another argument to be made that the version seen in the final cut of the film makes more sense from a thematic point of view. After all, Coco is all about the suppression of music in Miguel's family, which means opening on a quieter narration and then moving to the music may have worked better. In the end, much of this will likely boil down to your preferences.
Pixar's Coco is now available on Digital HD, and the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K versions of the film will hit shelves later this month on February 27. Beyond that, make sure to watch animated ode to Mexican culture duke it out against the other nominees like Ferdinand and The Boss Baby for the Best Animated Feature Oscar when The Academy Awards air on Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.