Pixar's Coco celebrates Mexico in times of Trump

With US-Mexican relations at their lowest point in recent memory, Disney Pixar has released Coco, a cinematic celebration of Mexico that its director said is an antidote to the "negativity" of the current political climate.

Set in Mexico against the backdrop of the country's traditional Day of the Dead festival, the animated flick tells the story of a boy (Anthony Gonzalez) who inadvertently ends up in the land of the dead, taking him on a vivid tour of Mexican history and culture.

It also features the voices of Gael Garcia Bernal and Benjamin Bratt.


Director Lee Unkrich said that while the project did not start out being political, events conspired to make its setting particularly relevant.

"Certainly when we began making this movie six years ago, it was a very different political climate than we find ourselves in now," he told a press conference in Mexico City.

"That being said, we are all proud of the film... It is a good thing that it is coming out now, because there's been a lot of negativity in the world."

Coco is the first movie from Pixar dedicated entirely to a foreign culture - a risky bet for the animation studio and parent company Disney at a time when US President Donald Trump's America First populism holds sway.

Mexican-American co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina said he is confident the movie will connect with audiences everywhere.

"That familiar connection to a Pixar film, that is deeper than I've ever been able to go, and I think creates a story that is unique for the studio, unique for the world," he said.

"Strictly from my personal standpoint, I'm thankful for it because it helped me to grow, to reconnect with my roots, and to create something that I am very proud of, very proud to share with my family in the United States and Mexico and beyond." - AFP