The American producer Darla K. Anderson has overseen five successful Pixar films from A Bug’s Life, then the Golden Globe®-winning Cars to her most recent one, COCO. The animation tells the touching story of a 12-year-old aspiring musician’s extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors, which won a 2018 Golden Globe Awards for Best Animated Motion Picture and it was nominated for 2018 Oscar for Best Animated Feature, became the highest grossing film of all time in Mexico, broke records in China and earned widespread praise.
Darla joined the company in 1993 and she is an important key in advocate for diversity and gender within the company. She is also the only long-term, female member of the group called Pixar Brain Trust. With the release of COCO on 4K Ultra HD,™ Blu-ray,™ DVD and On-Demand on February 27, which was directed by Darla’s creative collaborator, Lee Unkrich and co-directed by Adrian Molina, I had the opportunity to talk to Darla on the phone when we talked about COCO, the industry, her favorite character, and more.
Working with Lee Unkrich once more
We had been working together for more than 20 years. It was back on A Bug’s Life, I was a producer and Lee, the editor. Then we worked on Toy Story 3. Then it came COCO and the Day of the Death (Dia de los Muertos). I was very happy to be working with Lee again; he’s a wonderful director.
Creating El Dia de los Muertos
We started working on COCO in 2011. We went to Mexico to experience Dia de los Muertos. During the visit, we immersed ourselves into the culture, the families, the food, well, everything. The holiday is very colorful, rich and beautiful.
Yes. Mama Coco, Mama Imelda, Frida. We are very proud to be able to incorporated them.
Your favorite character
I would say Mamá Imelda because she is the one who holds the family together and she is strong.
Diversity in the voice cast
It was important for us to have a cast with latinos and to find Anthony Gonzalez (who voiced Miguel) after doing a huge casting.
I’m very satisfy with the response and how much everybody embraced COCO. I’m just so happy that COCO has been embraced, and it has been connecting with people and it has been successful.