Coco (2017)

Released on November 22, 2017 from Pixar Animation Studios

What Michael Says...

The creation of the main themes was similar to how I work on all film projects, I am driven by the story and the emotions of the characters. However, for Coco, we were very committed to making it authentic. We wanted to make sure that the vernacular itself was right out of the origins of Mexican music. The instruments we used also had to be– it’s wasn’t to say that it couldn’t feel big and grand and Hollywood at times, but we had to be sure that we were using all the building blocks of a specific cultural landscape. It’s easy place an “ethnic” instrument on top of a score to try and give it a cultural identity, but that is not at all what we wanted, and everyone at Pixar was extremely focused on making sure that the film sounded authentic and truthful. Because of this commitment, it was an incredible opportunity for me to expand on my knowledge of Mexican music and learn more about the rich variety of styles that exist within the musical landscape of Mexico. I grew up with a wonderful album collection of my father’s that included one called The Music of Mexico. I was so drawn to it as a young kid and listened to it over and over. I was fascinated with how well the various types of Mexican music lent itself to storytelling. On the film, my education was enhanced by the musicians that were brought in to enrich the world of the film. We were fortunate to have both Camilo Lara and Germaine Franco on the team helping to create the soundscape of the Mexican streets along with quite a number of incredibly talented Mexican musicians whose work is featured on the soundtrack. I believe the entire team together really did a wonderful job.