image: screencap/Pixar A scene from the alternate musical opening for Pixar's "Coco"

Check Out Coco‘s Alternate Opening—a Musical Lesson About Dia de los Muertos

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Pixar’s Coco is one of the best and most heartfelt films of this past year, and if it doesn’t win the Best Animated Film Oscar (or at least lose only to The Breadwinner), there is no justice in the world. However, did you know that there was an alternate musical opening for the film that existed for years before they finally cut it just before the film was released? Check it out above!

In this clip from the Blu-ray/Digital extras, Coco filmmakers Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina explain the decision to ultimately cut this lively musical number about … being dead. Luckily, we get to see what might have been through colored rough pencil animation.

It’s definitely a fun piece, and I’m glad we get to experience it as an extra, but I totally get why they cut it. It feels a bit too After-School-Special-ish, like Here’s a lesson about another culture! Part of the reason why I loved Coco so much is that it explained the holiday and its importance without making a big production out of othering it. Dia de los Muertos was introduced and explained seamlessly throughout the narrative of the film, allowing us to put our primary focus on these easily relatable characters.

In other words, the film allowed these Mexican characters to simply be people experiencing life (and death), without making their culture an exotic novelty. It was simply a backdrop for a story that could appeal to anyone with a family and a heart.

Coco arrives on Digital Feburary 13th and on Blu-ray February 27th. 

(via Collider, image: screencap/Pixar)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.