The 2017 computer animated fantasy film, (Coco) was produced by Pixar Animation Studios, then released by Walt Disney Pictures. The story is about a twelve year old boy named Miguel who accidentally transported himself to the Land of the Dead while seeking the help of his deceased great-great-grandfather, who was a musician before he died. The quest is to return to the land of the living to remove the family’s ban on music. The concept behind the movie came from a holiday Mexicans celebrate that’s called Day of the Dead. The budget to make the movie ranged between $175 million USD to $225 million USD, making it the first pure Latino film to reach a nine-figure budget. This movie premiered on October 20, 2017 during the Morelia International Film Festival held in the city it’s named after, in Mexico. Globally, the movie grossed over $807 million USD and became the sixteenth highest grossing animated film at the time of its release. It received several accolades, as well as a pair of Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, Critics Choice Movie Award and Annie Award, all for Best Animated Film. The National Board of Review also awarded it for Best Animated Film. In addition to the film’s success, so was the Coco soundtrack that came with it.
The musical score for Coco was composed by Michael Giacchino. The songwriters were Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina, and Robert Lopez. The recording for the music began on August 14, 2017, then released the same year on November 10. The original concept for the film was to be a break-into-song musical. However, the writing team wrote way more songs for the film than what ended up featured in the film. There are, in total, thirty-eight tracks on the album. Among them, eleven official songs that feature the songwriting team involvement.
11. The World Es Mi Familia (performed by Anthony Gonzalez)
In English, (The World Es Mi Familia) means “The World is My Family,” which is what the theme of Coco, as a movie, is about. Mainly performed by Anthony Gonzalez as the lead character, Miguel, attempts to impress his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Cruz is played by Benjamin Bratt, the character who experiences an untimely death and becomes even more beloved in the Land of the Dead.
10. Much Needed Advice (performed by Benjamin Bratt and Antonio Sol)
(Much Needed Advice), was lyrically performed by Antonio Sol, who served as the singing voice behind Coco’s character, Ernesto de la Cruz. Benjamin Bratt’s voice was used during spoken lines of Cruz. In the movie, the young and impressionable Miguel is teaching himself guitar as he watches his idol, Cruz, on television.
9. Everyone Knows Juanita (performed by Gael Garcia Bernal)
Cheerful and playful, (Everyone Know Juanita) was performed by Gael Garcia Bernal. Bernal’s role in the movie was the great-great-grandfather in the Land of the Dead that enlisted Miguel to help him visit the Land of the Living. In the movie, Miguel is awestruck by the beautiful guitar play of the song. On soundtrack, the easy listening sound of the music is easy enough to take in and enjoy.
8. Remember Me (Lullaby) (performed by García Bernal, Gabriella Flores, and Libertad García Fonzi)
As a soft lullaby, (Remember Me) was performed by the combined talent of Garcia Bernal, Gabriella Flores, and Libertad Garcia Fonzi.
7. Un Poco Loco (performed by Garcia Bernal and Anthony Gonzalez)
In English, (Un Poco Loco) means “A Bit Crazy.” This lyrical performance by Garcia Bernal and Anthony Gonzalez showed an enthusiastic song that’s catchy and fun to listen to, which is illustrated in the movie and in the soundtrack.
6. Remember Me (Reunion) (performed by Anthony Gonzalaz and Ana Ofelia Murguia)
Sung reunion style, (Remember Me) was a combined performance by Anthony Gonzalaz and Ana Ofela Murguia, bringing about a festive feeling to what was the main theme song for the movie. On this occasion, it served as a heartfelt, healing moment, demonstrating music can be the best medicine, especially when all else seems to fail.
5. Proud Corazon (performed by Anthony Gonzalaz)
(Proud Corazon), according to the lyrics of Anthony Gonzalaz, stands for “Proud Heart,” which is one of the main concepts of the entire movie.
4. Remember Me (performed by Benjamin Bratt)
This Academy Award-winning song was the opening track for the Coco Soundtrack, performed by Benjamin Bratt and an ensemble in a Latino-style performance not much different than the Lion King’s opening with “Circle of Life.”
3. Jalale (Instrumental) (Mexican Institute of Sound)
This instrumental piece, (Jalale), was performed by the Mexican Institute of Sound, who served up what has become a modernized musical trend in Mexico, fusing the elements of folk and traditional sounds. The English translation to Jalale is “Pull Him.”
2. La Llorona (performed by Alanna Ubach & Antonio Sol)
(La Llorona) is a Mexican folk song about its national hero of the same name. There are several versions to this song, despite the origins of it being obscure. The 1941 composition was inspired from hearing the song in the Isthmus of Tehuantepic. The legend of La Llorana revolves around a Nahua-tribed princess of this name who was also a consort of the conquistador of the Aztec Empire in Mexico. His name was Hernan Cortes. Story has it the princess drowned her children in a rage after learning her husband had been unfaithful to her. As a spirit, it is believed she has been condemned to wander along the shores of the river, looking for her dead children. This is where the association of the Day of the Dead comes in with the theme of the movie, Coco. Alanna Ubach provided the vocals for this song, along with a guesting vocals of Antonio Sol, for the English version. In Spanish, it was lyrically translated by Angelica Vale and Marco Antonio Solis.
1. Remember Me (Duo) (performed by Miguel and Natalia Lafoucade)
(Remember Me) won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, which it received at the end of the award show’s ceremony. The single gained well over one million plays through online streaming services, as well as becoming certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In the film, the song was performed variously between Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garcia Bernal, Anthony Gonzalez, and Ana Ofelia Murguia. The pop version of the song at the end of the credits was performed by Miguel and Natalia Lafoucade and is on the original Coco soundtrack. The Spanish version of this song was covered by Carlos Rivera, which is titled “Recuerdame” and is featured on the Spanish soundtrack.