There are few sights as disturbing as seeing a dog shed an entire coat in two seconds.


There are few sights as disturbing as seeing a dog shed an entire coat in two seconds.

COCO

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. SMALL MEXICAN VILLAGE

Adorable child ANTHONY GONZALEZ is narrating the backstory of his family.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Once upon a time my great-great-grandfather abandoned his family so he could leave this podunk little town and try to go be a big famous musician. This one trauma unsettled my great-great-grandmother Alanna Ubach so badly that she BANNED MUSIC PERMANENTLY from the entire family, and now we all have to live with one of the innocent joys of life humorlessly kept away from us.

(pause)

Okay so the premise is more than a little Footloose. Get past that and you’ll be fine.

ANTHONY goes home to his family, including his grandmother RENÉE VICTOR and great-grandmother ANA OFELIA MURGUÍA.

CGI RENÉE VICTOR

Grrr, I hate music so much! Hate hate HATE music, death to all music!! It’s a bit weird that I’m so emotionally invested in our family’s little prejudice given that the bad times happened decades before I was born, but Alanna’s long dead and we needed SOMEONE in the family to be the domineering one so FUCK MUSIIIIC

CGI ANA OFELIA MURGUÍA

(confused)

Donde esta... la biblioteca? Me llamo Ana Ofelia, La arana discoteca.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Oh yeah, my great-grandma’s totally senile, she just sits in a chair and mumbles aimlessly, so clearly she’s not important. Sure would be an unexpected turn of events if she wound up being crucial to the plot, right? Also the movie is kinda named after her COUGH COUGH moving on!

CGI RENÉE VICTOR

Today is Día de los Muertos. We have set up a shrine with photos of all our dead relatives so they can visit us tonight, standing inches away from us, unable to make themselves seen or heard or interact with us in any way. Sounds kinda like horrific torture, but at least they get free booze.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Okay. Although, why is the photo for Alanna a family portrait with her husband’s face crudely torn out? That seems like something that’d really piss her off. Was there literally no other photographic evidence of her existence?

ANTHONY leaves to visit his own shrine, which is to LONG-DEAD SING-SONGWRITER BENJAMIN BRATT.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

I hope this shrine is something I set up specifically for today, otherwise this is creepy as FUCK. But anyway, Benjamin is my hero! He was born in this town, back in my great-great-grandfather’s day, but then he left this podunk little town to go be a big famous musician. So yeah, zero points for guessing our next big plot twist.

He watches OLD VIDEOS of his DECEASED IDOL who inspires his PASSION which his FAMILY doesn’t understand, while REMY THE RAT furiously considers suing.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Yes, while my family hates music I LOVE it! I’m a twelve-year-old self-taught guitar virtuoso, which is implausible but still could happen! I also appear to have made my own guitar as I’m a twelve-year-old self-taught luthier, which... no. That would not happen.

ANTHONY goes home again, where he notices something “surprising” in ALANNA’S DEATH PHOTO.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Wait a minute, in the non-torn-off part of the image of my great-great-grandfather, you can see his guitar and HOLY SHIT IT’S BENJAMIN’S GUITAR WHICH MEANS MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER IS BENJAMIN!! That is CLEARLY Benjamin’s death-themed skeleton guitar, which is a completely weird thing for a guy who built his entire career around love ballads to have.

He runs off to share this news with his FAMILY.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Omigod you guys it turns out that the great-great-grandfather we all hate was incredibly rich and successful, not that he ever gave his family a dime or acknowledged their existence in any way after he got famous! I will now happily assume that this immediately erases your hatred of music.

CGI RENÉE VICTOR

(smashing Anthony’s guitar)

Kid, you don’t know your family at all.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

SCREW YOU GUYS! I don’t want to go into the time-honored family business, I want to be a GUITARIST cadsarnit!

CGI RENÉE VICTOR

Okay, wow. This animated movie inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead really isn’t doing much to avoid the Book of Life comparisons, is it now?

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Honestly I think we could’ve aimed higher. It’d be awesome if I was all “Run, you pigeons! It’s Robert Frost!”

CGI RENÉE VICTOR

“Like eagles... on POGO STICKS!” Man, if only.

ANTHONY runs away from his FAMILY.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Fine then, my family bans me from music, the hell with them, I’m gonna go enter a music competition anyway. But now I need a guitar... oh, I know! I’ll swipe Benjamin’s guitar from his tomb! I’m sure none of the professional musicians competing against me will notice I’ve stolen the single most famous, recognizable guitar in the world.

He goes and steals the GUITAR, but suddenly he turns into a GHOST OR SOMETHING! Freaking out, he runs outside only to run into his DEAD RELATIVES!

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

I SEE DEAD PEOPLE!! Damn, so in this universe you have to spend your whole afterlife as just bones and hair? That blows. I can think of SEVERAL activities which would be badly hampered by that arrangement.

ANTHONY’S DEAD FAMILY

Anthony, you’ve become detached from reality and gotten stuck on the astral plane or whatever the fuck this is? You better come home with us.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Sure living skeletons, drag me to the afterlife, that’s not terrifying at all.

EXT. THE LAND OF THE DEAD

ANTHONY is brought by his FAMILY to the LAND OF THE DEAD, which consists of like EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION HOUSES piled randomly on top of one another. There is an AUDIBLE GROAN as PIXAR’S RENDER FARM tries not to EXPLODE.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Ew, and I’ve been followed here by some kind of lizard demon! Oh wait, that’s just what passes for a dog in Mexico. Hey, how the hell is a random mutt able to just walk to the afterlife? Is that ever explained?

They go meet up with ALANNA, then visit some kind of BUREAUCRAT SKELETON to find out what the hell is going on.

CGI BUREAUCRAT SKELETON

Anthony, you’ve been banished from the Land of the Living because you stole that guitar. So petty theft gets you a death sentence, that’s fair. Anyway, you just need a member of your family to give you a blessing before dawn and you can go home.

CGI ALANNA UBACH

Fine then, I can bless him... as long as he accepts the magically-binding condition that he never plays music again OH SNAP!

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

So if I don’t agree with your terms you’ll just let a twelve-year-old blood relative die? Uh huh. Pretty sure I can call your bluff on this one.

(pause)

OR, I could run off to try and get the blessing of Benjamin instead, even though this place is huge and I don’t know where anything is and I might wind up completely lost and fucked.

ANTHONY makes a break for it.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Okay, at least Benjamin’s super famous so if I just ask around I should be able to get some leads on him. We don’t have to go with anything too contrived or-

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

(in nearby overheard conversation)

HAVE I MENTIONED THAT I PERSONALLY KNOW HOW TO GET BACKSTAGE WITH FAMOUS MUSICIAN BENJAMIN BRATT?

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Or that could happen, fuck it. Hey Gael, take me to Benjamin!

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

Okay, as long as you do me a favor and start remembering me at future Days of the Dead. Just stick this photo of me in your shrine.

(pause)

Wait, how the hell did I bring a big close-up photo of my living face to the Land of the Dead? Was I carrying one on me when I died? That’s a fucking weird thing to do.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Why do you need me to do that?

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

Because my daughter, the only living person who remembers me, is starting to forget, and once nobody alive remembers you, you double-die. Maybe you pass on to some kind of after-afterlife, but it’s just as possible that your soul disintegrates and you’re consigned to the eternal void of oblivion. This happens to literally everybody in the end.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

...Ooookay. Is it too late for me to convert to Buddhism or something? Or what’s the religion with Valhalla? Valhalla sounds pretty nice.

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

Come on, we don’t have much time! To reach Benjamin before dawn we’ll have to draw on all our cunning and courage, concocting an ingenious plan to LOL JK! Actually there’s an annual “Meet Benjamin” competition and it just happens to be going on RIGHT NOW.

ANTHONY and GAEL go and perform a SONG at the COMPETITION. They are SO GOOD that even though it’s just two guys on stage with a guitar, the song spontaneously generates a BRASS SECTION!

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Awesome, it turns out I really am an amazing musician! Take THAT, family! And take that, dead family who could easily send me home with Gael’s photo without us having to fuck around trying to meet Benjamin OOPS FORGET I SAID THAT.

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

Oh you little idiot, why the hell don't you just do that instead of taking such a stupid risk on your life and my immortal soul?

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

What?! You bastard, you’re only helping me so I’ll take your photo back with me, aren’t you!

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

Um, yeah? I was pretty explicit about that from the get-go. When have I ever pretended to have any other motivation?

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Oh yeah. Don’t know why I was acting all betrayed. Still, FUCK OFF I’LL REACH BENJAMIN ON MY OWN! By... wait, that can’t be right.

(double-checks script)

Yep, that’s what it says: “by hiding inside a tuba”. Some interesting story decisions in this movie.

INT. BENJAMIN’S MANSION

ANTHONY goes and meets BENJAMIN.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Hi, Benjamin! I’m your great-great-grandson!

CGI BENJAMIN BRATT

Holy shit I have a great-great-grandson that’s amazing!! I mean I was a world-famous musician with (spoiler alert) extremely lax morals, so presumably I have like a thousand great-great-grandkids running around out there. But you’re one of them, that’s neat!

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

It’s great to have finally met you! Let’s go do a whole string of bonding activities now, because let’s face it, daybreak is just going to wait until the plot needs it to show up.

They hang out in a MONTAGE. Around the time that this NIGHT starts to feel like it’s THIRTY HOURS LONG, GAEL bursts in on them.

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

So we meet again, Benjamin! I haven’t seen you since we were both alive singing partners. You never even let anybody know that I wrote all your songs! So once again, zero points for guessing the NEXT big plot twist.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Wait a minute, elements of this confrontation remind me exactly of a movie Benjamin was in, where his friend tried to poison him to death. Does this mean... that BENJAMIN poisoned GAEL to death?!

(pause)

And then years later wrote that exact murder into a movie he was acting in? For whatever the fuck reason?

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

WHAT?! You mean when I told Benjamin I was leaving our partnership and taking my valuable songs with me, then he gave me some wine and I immediately dropped dead, that was MURDER?! SOMEHOW I NEVER FIGURED THAT OUT!!!

CGI BENJAMIN BRATT

My secret cannot get out! MINIONS, THROW THEM IN THE DUNGEON! Yes I, a popular performing artist, have minions and a dungeon. It’s insane just how much of a cartoon villain they’re making me all of a sudden.

INT. DUNGEON

ANTHONY and GAEL are thrown into a PIT.

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

Alack, now I will never get my photo back to the world of the living! My soul will evaporate and I’ll never be reunited in death with my daughter... my daughter named ANA OFELIA OOOOOHHHH.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

What what WHAT? Holy fuck, my great-great-grandfather isn’t Benjamin after all, it’s YOU, the first random stranger I spoke to out of all the billions of people in the Land of the Dead! WOW that’s stupid unlikely.

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

Awesome, we’re family! And now the movie has abandoned its serious consideration of the long-felt repercussions of familial abandonment, in favor of a soap opera plot involving misunderstandings and murder, that’s cool, that’s cool. Doesn’t help us with our current incarceration though.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

It’s okay, that dog monstrosity found us and saved us, thus fulfilling his one purpose in this movie!

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

I thought his purpose was to sell Happy Meals?

They GET OUT and reunite with ALANNA and the rest of the FAMILY.

CGI ALANNA UBACH

Hello Gael. While I may have now found out the truth about your disappearance, I hope you realize I can’t be expected to immediately get over my ninety-year grudge and fall back in love with-

(two seconds pass)

COME TO MY ARMS, MY DARLING!

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

That’s great and all, but before I can go back to the Land of the Living I need to retrieve Gael’s photo! Benjamin didn’t want me taking it back with me, so he put it in his pocket, instead of just tearing it to shreds!

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

Quick, let’s gatecrash Benjamin’s concert! Which is starting at like five thirty in the morning???

INT. CONCERT ARENA

ANTHONY, GAEL and ALANNA go backstage at BENJAMIN’S CONCERT and grab the PHOTO. But then they’re SPOTTED by SECURITY and ALANNA flees to the STAGE, where she pretends to be part of the SHOW.

CGI ALANNA UBACH

Aha, as long as I stay in the spotlight, the guards can’t grab me! Otherwise the audience would see the guards seizing some woman who ran up on stage, and they’d say, “Oh look, the guards are doing their jobs.”

She manages to get the PHOTO to ANTHONY. But then BENJAMIN grabs ANTHONY!

CGI BENJAMIN BRATT

Now I will throw you from a great height and KILL YOU!! I mean you’re in the Land of the Dead already and the curse has made you mostly skeleton by now, so whether it’s even possible for you to die right now is hella ambiguous, but hey, it’s worth a shot.

He THROWS ANTHONY, but ANTHONY gets SAVED because DISNEY.

CGI ALANNA UBACH

Ha ha Benjamin, not only is Anthony not dead, but that murder attempt was broadcast to your whole audience! Some of Anthony’s great-aunts filmed you throwing him to his death, instead of trying to stop you from throwing him to his death.

CGI BENJAMIN BRATT

Aw nuts, my career is over! Oh and maybe I get crushed to death in this scene too, but once again: Land of the Dead, haunted skeleton, super ambiguous.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Fuck, I lost the photo! Now I won’t be able to stop Gael’s soul from disintegrating! Which is happening because Ana Ofelia is forgetting him! But if she forgot him while a photo existed, he’d be fine? Was that the idea? Because otherwise I don’t get what the whole point of the photo was in the first place. Whatever, send me back and maybe I can sort all this shit out.

They send him home.

INT. ANA OFELIA’S ROOM

ANTHONY runs home to ANA OFELIA.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Come on, great-grandma, I need you to remember Gael! Remember him so his soul doesn’t fall apart, you senile old bat! Damnit, how can I make you remember a man whose most famous song was called “Remember Me”, which he specifically wrote for the purpose of making you remember... him...

(facepalms)

Okay. How about let’s all pretend I didn’t take so long to piece that one together, hm?

(grabs guitar, sings)

Remember me

Though I have to travel far

Remember me

Each time you hear a sad guitar

Know that I’m with you the only way that I can be

Then suddenly Robert Pattinson died in 9/11 WHAAAT

Remember me

INT. LAB

Somewhere, a SCIENTIST bursts in on his SUPERIOR.

SCIENTIST

Sir! We’ve found it! Finally, a definitive test which proves if something has a soul or not!

HEAD SCIENTIST

You mean the great-grandmother scene from Coco? Nice try, but we already tested it on one of Professor Grimm’s doombots, a snake demon from the black plains of Xh’Durkh, and a common brick. They ALL teared up at that scene.

SCIENTIST

Gah, fucking Pixar.

INT. ANA OFELIA’S ROOM

ANTHONY’S SONG causes ANA OFELIA to briefly UNDEMENTIA!

CGI ANA OFELIA MURGUÍA

Thanks, Anthony! Out of gratitude, I bequeath unto you an official validation of your music career! And a replacement photo of Gael! And documentary proof that Gael was the author of the songs Benjamin stole!

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Wow, you’re like a vending machine which accepts songs and dispenses plotline resolutions.

EXT. ANTHONY’S HOUSE, ONE YEAR LATER

One year later, it’s the DAY OF THE DEAD again.

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

And look, not only has my family embraced my love of music, but with Gael’s photo in the shrine now, he can visit us! I assume! I mean I can’t actually see him, so I have to wait until I die to find out if my efforts paid off. Uh. Something to look forward to?

CGI ANA OFELIA MURGUÍA

And I’m dead too now, yay! I’m a little old lady skeleton! Like, the only old skeleton we’ve seen all movie! Everybody in this universe must drop dead before they’re forty, that sucks.

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

And the truth about my songs has gotten out, and now Benjamin is reviled and I’m the legend, because people totally give a crap whether their beloved singer-guitarist-movie stars wrote their own songs or not!

CGI ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Doesn’t that mean that you’ll be remembered way longer than me or Ana Ofelia or Alanna? And after our souls all move on you’ll still be stuck in the Land of the Dead, alone like all famous people?

CGI GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL

...You know what, fuck this afterlife. Last one to Valhalla is a rotten egg!

(flees movie)

END.

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