Movie preview

In photos: The Day of the Dead comes to life in Pixar animation ‘Coco’

Lee Unkrich’s movie will be released in India on November 24.

Pixar’s Coco is exciting for many reasons: it is the animation studio giant’s first movie after 19 productions to feature a character from a minority ethnicity (Mexican). The Lee Unkrich movie centred around the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead has taken great pains to stay culturally correct and counter Disney’s penchant for whitewashing.

Coco. Courtesy Pixar.
Coco. Courtesy Pixar.

Directed by Unkrich (Toy Story 3), the film follows 12-year-old Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez), whose family has banned music after an ancestor’s musician husband abandoned her. Miguel’s determination to play the guitar and sing lands him in the netherworld, where he meets characters who have connections with his past. The Day of the Dead, which is dedicated to the spirits of deceased family members, provides the colourful backdrop to Miguel’s adventures.

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Coco (2017).

The movie landed in trouble soon after its original title, Dia de los Muerto (Day of the Dead), was announced. To the dismay of the Mexican-American community, the Walt Disney Company, which owns Pixar, filed an application to the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the phrase for merchandise and marketing. The announcement evoked a severe backlash, with one Twitter user even going on to tweet that culture was not for sale.

Coco. Courtesy Pixar.
Coco. Courtesy Pixar.

Disney quickly backtracked from its misguided attempt at cultural appropriation, renamed the film Coco, and recruited experts from the Latino community in Los Angeles on the project. The unfinished film was also shown to these experts to ensure that the details were correct. “We don’t normally open up the doors to let people in to see our early screenings,” Darla K Anderson, one of the film’s producers told The New York Times in an interview. “But we really wanted their voice and their notes and to make sure we got all the details correct.”

Coco. Courtesy Pixar.
Coco. Courtesy Pixar.

The research included visits to the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Guanajuato between 2011 and 2013 to study their art, folklore and the music. The Rivera clan is based on real-life characters from the country. The film stars Jaime Camil and Sofía Espinosa as Miguel’s parents, Gael Garcia Bernal as Hector Rivera, who teams up with Miguel in the Land of the Dead, and Benjamin Bratt as the legendary singer Ernesto de la Cruz.

Coco. Courtesy Pixar.
Coco. Courtesy Pixar.

Music plays a big role in Coco. Recorded in Mexico City with the help of over 50 local musicians, the soundtrack includes various styles, including mariachi and jarocho. The music has been composed by Michael Giacchino (Star Trek, Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol), who won the Best Original Score Oscar for Up in 2010.

Coco. Courtesy Pixar.
Coco. Courtesy Pixar.

Coco, which will be released on November 24 in India, released to thumping box-office numbers in Mexico on October 27. Raking in $43.1 million through its first 19 days after release, Coco became the country’s top-grosser, reported Variety.

Coco. Courtesy Pixar.
Coco. Courtesy Pixar.
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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.