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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.

The 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.

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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