Coco is a film that celebrates both life and death, as it shows that even once we have left this mortal coil we can still impact and influence people and the world.
So it makes sense then that the Pixar team decided to leave a tribute to some of their nearest and dearest who have sadly passed away over recent years in it. Lee Unkrich, who dreamed up the original idea for “Coco” and directed it, too, made this exclusive revelation to me when I talked to the filmmaker over the phone about the film.
Unkrich confirmed that there is a touching Don Rickles and Steve Jobs tribute hidden as an Easter Egg right at the end of “Coco.”
“We did put Don Rickles in ‘Coco’ actually. At the very end of the movie we kind of do a digital Ofrenda, where we gave everyone in the company the opportunity to submit a photograph of someone in their life who is no longer with them but had been supportive of them.”
“And we just filled the screen with hundreds and hundreds of these beautiful images. We included people in that group that we had lost from the Pixar family. People like Steve Jobs and Don Rickles.”
The Ofrenda plays a huge part both in “Coco” and in the Day Of The Dead celebrations, as this is where pictures and tributes to family members from the past are gathered together for the holiday.
Both Rickles and Steve Jobs were key in the development of Pixar. The legendary comedian, who died aged 90 on April 6, 2017, voiced Mr. Potato Head in the “Toy Story” franchise, while the inventor and entrepreneur was the first to fund Pixar back in 1986. Jobs passed away aged 56 on October 5, 2011.
During my discussion with Unkrich I also asked him for an update on “Toy Story 4,” which he has a story by co-credit on alongside John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Pete Docter. But he refused to go into specifics, only declaring, “We have a great team on it, and great actors.”
When I asked if there was a plan in place to replace the voice of Don Rickles as Mr Potato Head in “Toy Story 4,” Unkrich responded, “I’m not sure what they are doing about Don’s unfortunate passing.”
While they sort out that conundrum, audiences can rejoice in the latest Pixar release “Coco,” which is now in cinemas across the U.S.