“Coco” on M6: the Pixar film caused controversy before its release

M6 broadcasts the Pixar animated film “Coco” this Friday January 19, 2024 at 9:10 p.

“Coco” on M6: the Pixar film caused controversy before its release

M6 broadcasts the Pixar animated film “Coco” this Friday January 19, 2024 at 9:10 p.m. Did you know that before its release, the feature film caused controversy? Explanations.

Released on November 29, 2017 in theaters, Coco quickly established itself as one of the essential films from Pixar studios. M6 is broadcasting this Friday, January 19 at 9:10 p.m. this feature film which won the Oscar for best animated film in 2018, as well as the prize for best original song.

And yet, if Coco has very rightly entered the pantheon of recent animated films, the weeks leading up to its release were not a long, quiet river. The Pixar cartoon had indeed caused controversy on social networks.

Indeed, four years before its cinema release, several Internet users criticized the marketing logic of the feature film. Indeed, Disney Studios sought to trademark the phrase “Día de los muertos” (Day of the Dead) for use on products for sale. This shocked the Mexican community, which could not stand the American studio seeking to use a religious and sacred festival, dedicated to paying homage to the dead, for purely marketing purposes.

On social networks, several Mexicans protested, recalling that “[their] culture is not for sale” before launching a petition. Comic book artist Lalo Alcaraz, very critical of Disney, did not fail to draw a poster denouncing the studio's behavior. On this creation, we could notably see a giant Mickey in the shape of a skeleton (nicknamed "Muerto Mouse") trampling on the Mexican people, with this sentence attached: "It's coming to trademark your cultura" ("he arrives to make a mark of your culture", editor's note).

Subsequently, Disney decided to abandon its project and hired Lalo Alcaraz as a consultant on the film Coco by Disney and Pixar studios. His objective: to provide his opinion and expertise on everything relating to Mexican culture in the film, but also, probably for Disney, to sweep the controversies under the rug. Since then, Lalo Alcaraz has been less virulent towards the animation studio, saying that Disney had learned from its mistakes on the subjects of cultural appropriation. As a result, the feature film's English voice cast is made up entirely of actors of Hispanic origin.

Logically, the controversy died down quickly and the film did not suffer from it at the time of its theatrical release, on the contrary: Coco was a real success and grossed $807 million worldwide, surpassing by far are budget of $175 million. In France, the film had more than 4.5 million admissions and became the fourth film of 2017 at the French box office.

In Mexico especially, Coco was praised by the public: on its first weekend of exhibition in the Latin American country, the Pixar film garnered more than 27 million dollars in revenue, a record for its duration of exploitation for the country. The daily El Universal thus praised "the homage paid to Mexican culture", while actor Gael García Bernal, a Mexican actor who plays Hector in the original voice, even believes in the columns of the Mexican media that this film is "a film dedicated to the sons of immigrants insulted by Trump". This initial controversy is now only a distant memory.