Coco is an outstanding film, and will likely win Pixar yet another Best Animated Film Oscar next month. However, the movie almost had a very different opening. As directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina explain, a deleted scene would have kicked off the movie with a musical number about Dia de los Muertos.
And in one way, you can kind of see why they wanted to lead the movie off this way. Coco is technically a musical, although all of the musical numbers are more about characters singing at points where they’re supposed to be singing rather than just breaking out into song. Second, you have to impart a lot of information to the audience about how Dia de los Muertos works, so why not blend that information into a song?
But I think that the directors made the right move by ditching the number because ultimately we need to get on board with our main characters and quickly. This musical number doesn’t feature Miguel or anyone from his family, and they’re the heart of the story. It’s far better to have Miguel tell us about his family and how Dia de los Muertos work in a more straightforward prologue. The musical number is certainly flashy, but it’s just not the best way to start off the movie.
Check out the deleted scene below. Coco hits Digital HD and Movies Anywhere on February 13th, and comes to 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD on February 27th.
— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) February 6, 2018
Here’s the official synopsis for Coco:
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 in 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.