18 reasons of flesh & bone to see ‘Coco’

Disney/Pixar’s ‘Coco’ opens in theaters nationwide this Thanksgiving week.

With a cast that brings together top Latino actors (and some newcomers) from the U.S. and Latin America, ‘Coco’ is a history-making film for that and other reasons. Forming a kind of extended familia, these actors are 18 reasons to go see this movie about family love, friendship, music, culture and a child’s journey to find himself when the physical and spiritual worlds connect during the Día de los Muertos–the Day of the Death.


#1: Anthony González
Chances are your may not have heard much about this young man up until now but get ready to see much more.  Anthony, who has appeared in “Ice Box” and TNT’s “The Last Ship,” lends his voice to Miguel, a 12-year-old aspiring musician who struggles against his family’s generations-old ban on music. When a magical mishap lands him in the Land of the Dead, Miguel seeks out his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, to help him return to the Land of the Living before it’s too late.

#2: Ana Ofelia Murguía
With credits that include Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Bandidas,” Murguía voices Miguel’s cherished great-grandmother Mamá Coco. She is very old and fragile, but that doesn’t stop Miguel from sharing his daily adventures with her.

#3: Renée Víctor
The actress from “Weeds” and “The Apostle” provides the authoritative voice of Abuelita, Miguel’s grandmother and the ultimate enforcer of the Rivera family’s ban on music. She loves her family very much and will do anything to protect them. But when she gets angry, she wields a mean slipper.

#4: Jaime Camil

The star from CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” Disney Junior’s “Elena of Avalor,” and “Secret Lives of Pets” is the voice of Papá, Miguel’s supportive father who hopes that someday Miguel will join him in the family shoemaking business.

#5 Sofía Espinosa
The award-winning star of the Mexican film “Gloria” provides the voice of Miguel’s loving Mamá who gently encourages her son to embrace their family’s traditions.

#6 Luis Valdez

The director “La Bamba” & “Cisco Kid,” who is also an actor (“Which Way Is Up”) is the voice of Tío Berto, Miguel’s uncle, a hard worker in the Rivera family shoemaking business.

#7 Lombardo Boyar
With credits in “Happy Feet” and TNT’s “Murder in the First,” Boyar lends his voice to a friendly Mariachi who Miguel encounters in Santa Cecilia Plaza.


#8 Gael García Bernal

The Golden Globe winning star of Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” helps bring to life Héctor, a charming trickster in the Land of the Dead who is forced to enlist help from Miguel to visit the Land of the Living.

#9 Benjamín Bratt
The star from FOX’s “Star” and “Doctor Strange,” is the voice of Miguel’s idol Ernesto De La Cruz, the most famous musician in the history of Mexico. Revered by fans worldwide until his untimely death, the charming and charismatic musician is even more beloved in the Land of the Dead.

#10 Edward James Olmos (“Blade Runner,” “Stand and Deliver”) lends his voice to Chicharrón, a curmudgeonly friend of Héctor’s who is sadly being forgotten—an unfortunate condition in the Land of the Dead.

#11 Alanna Ubach
This U.S. Mexirican’s credits include “Meet the Fockers” and Bravo’s “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.” She provides the voice of Mamá Imelda, Miguel’s great-great-grandmother, the matriarch of the Rivera family and the founder of their successful shoemaking business. Miguel meets Mamá Imelda in the Land of the Dead and discovers she does not share his passion for music.

#12 Selene Luna
With roles in “My Bloody Valentine” and “Celebrity Wife Swap,” Luna voices Tía Rosita, Miguel’s late aunt who resides in the Land of the Dead.

#13 Alfonso Arau
The director of “Like Water for Chocolate” and “A Walk in the Clouds,” who played El Guapo in “Three Amigos,” is the voice of Papá Julio, Miguel’s late great- grandfather who he meets in Land of the Dead.

#14 Herbert Sigüenza

The founding member of the comedy troupe Culture Clash and actor in “Larry Crowne” and “Ben 10: Alien Swarm” is the voice of two characters, Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe, Miguel’s late identical twin uncles who he meets in the Land of the Dead.

#15 Octavio Solís
The playwright of “Lydia, Santos & Santos” is the voice of an Arrival Agent in the Land of the Dead’s Grand Central Station.

#16 Gabriel Iglesias
With credits in “Planes,” “The Nut Job” and “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature,” Iglesias provides the voice of the Head Clerk in the Land of the Dead’s “Department of Family Reunions.”

#17 Cheech Marín
This legendary Chicano actor from “Born in East L.A.” has lent his voices to characters in other animated films like “Cars 3” in addition to supporting roles in “Tin Cup” and CBS’ “Nash Bridges.” In “Coco” he is the voice of a Corrections Officer in the Land of the Dead.

# 18 Blanca Araceli
The actress from “The Bridge” voices the Emcee for a colorful talent show in the Land of the Dead.

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt).

Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

A Disney/Pixar film, “Coco” is directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”).

It is also important to note that many other actors provide additional voices in “Coco,” such as Denise Blasor, Bernardo Cubria, Efraín Figueroa, Daniela García, Lillian Groag, Jossara Jinaro, Daniel Edward Mora, Carlos Moreno Jr., Jonathan Nichols, Jaqueline Pinol, Al Rodrigo, Ruth Zalduondo, Ruth Livier, and Luisa Leschin.

“Coco” opens in theaters nationwide on Nov. 22. There are more than 268 theaters offering screenings in Spanish, which also features singing legend Marco Antonio Solís as the departed singer Ernesto de la Cruz. For list of these theaters click here Pixar’s website.

In another history-making feat for Disney, “Coco” premiered worldwide in Mexico, not the U.S., and has become the highest grossing animated film of all time in that country south of the border.



Journalist with more than 20 years of experience working for English- and Spanish-language and bilingual news outlets. Winner of three Best of the West Journalism Awards and a recognition from the National Association of Hispanic Publications.

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