COCO’s Young Star Learned He Got the Part with an Adorable Surprise

Disney-Pixar films have a universal appeal, crossing language barriers and borders to tell universal coming-of-age stories about love, loss, and family, but for many viewers–especially those of Mexican descent–Coco has been a long time coming. To wit, it has already become the highest grossing film of all time in Mexico. It is a film that is widely being hailed as a return to form for the animation giant, and “funny, sweet, and surprisingly sinister” by Michael Arbeiter in his review for Nerdist.

COCO’s Young Star Learned He Got the Part with an Adorable Surprise_1The film tells the story of Miguel, a young boy with dreams of becoming a renowned musician in spite of a family ban forbidding it. His quest takes him to the Land of the Dead, where he encounters deceased relatives in an unorthodox family reunion and uncovers the truth behind a century-old mystery in the process. It is a sweet, surprising, and sometimes startling story that demands to be seen, especially for those who have yet to see themselves reflected on the big screen.

COCO’s Young Star Learned He Got the Part with an Adorable Surprise_3

At a recent press day in Los Angeles, Nerdist’s Hector Navarro sat down with the film’s stars–Anthony Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt, and Gael García Bernal–and co-directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina to talk about what they hope young audiences in particular take away from the film, the importance of pursuing your passions, and a genuinely adorable story about how Gonzalez found out he had landed the starring role of Miguel Rivera.

Coco opens on November 22, 2017.

Images: Pixar

Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter (@DanCasey).

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