Image Source: awn.com
Lee Unkrich has been a longtime member of the creative team of Pixar, the computer animation film studio responsible for movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Up, and a lot more. Unkrich is set to direct the upcoming film ‘Coco´ which he also wrote.
According to the New York Times, Unkrich was nervous about writing the story for ‘Coco’, because as a white man, he wouldn’t want to be “charged with abusing ethnic folklore out of ignorance or prejudice.”
Unkrich wanted to tell a story about family centered around the festive Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos – a day to honor the dead. Unkrich, who grew up in the Mid-U.S., is white and has no firm connections to Mexico and its traditions. He worried that he would be accused of cultural appropriation.
When Donald Trump, who straight up said that Mexicans were rapists and thieves, was elected as President of the United States, Unkrich was determined to honor the Mexican and Latino communities. He did a lot of research, interviewed a lot of people, and hired an all-Latino cast to bolster the movie.
‘Coco’ has been described as a “love letter to Mexico”. According to Benjamin Bratt, who voices a key character in the film, “The timing couldn’t be better. “Coco” is an uplifting counterpoint to Trump’s fervent anti-immigrant stances.”