Unkrich said the team felt the need to convey "a positive message about the beauty of Mexico, the beauty of the Mexican people, the beauty of their culture and traditions into the world, and also give Mexican and Mexican American kids something to look up to, something to aspire to and to see a bit of themselves up on screen". Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Earlier this year, the film earned a Golden Globe award.
"Muchisimas gracias a todos y que viva Mexico!" he said. "Representation matters", Unkrich said while accepting the trophy.
"A lot of things started to be said about Mexico and about Mexican-Americans that was unacceptable", he said. "We knew how important it was".
Coco was directed by Lee Unkrich and co-directed by Adrian Molina based on a script from Molina and Matthew Aldrich. His mother is from Jalisco, Mexico and his father is half-Mexican and grew up in California. "And this can only be done when we have a place for everyone and anyone who feel likes an "other" to be heard". He told reporters backstage that when he learned it would be made, he made sure to become more involved in the making of the film.
The film beat out fellow nominees The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Ferdinand, and Loving Vincent.
It also was a box-office smash, experiencing the fourth best Thanksgiving weekend ever with an estimated $72.9 million.
Coco follows Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old boy who wants to be a musician but whose family, thanks to Miguel's great-great-grandmother's failed marriage to one, has a strict ban on the pursuit. When Miguel disobeys his family, he magically winds up in the Land of the Dead, where he learns his family history and encounters his ancestors to find his way back to the land of the living.