This post may contain affiliate links which fund the My Sparkling Life blog.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This travel was #Hosted which means The company who sponsored it compensated me via all expenses paid trip, cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
In this week's COCO post, we are going to take a closer look at Alebrijes & two characters Pepita & Dante. If you've never heard the name Alebrije, don't feel alone. I had never heard of them prior to this press event.
During our Pixar Coco Press Event in San Fransisco, we learned so much about how Pixar's' animated movies come together. The team does so much research to learn about their characters behaviors, movements, and even legends that inspire them. Some of the Coco characters were inspired by legends & myth of the Alebrije.
Fun Fact: An Alebrije is an art form created by Pedro Linares dreams. He created these brightly colored imaginary creatures, that later on became part of Mexican folk art sculptures. The creatures are created by combining different animal body parts and colors.
Meet Pepita (above)
In Disney•Pixar's new animated film COCO Pepita is an Alebrije & is a mixture of various animals such as an eagle, lizard, ram, & tiger.
Fun Fact: Although Alebrijes are part of Mexican culture, they are not necessarily associated with Dia de Los Muertos. Pixar wanted to include the Alebrijes in COCO to be spirit guides for The Land of the Dead.
In Disney Pixar's COCO we meet Dante pretty early on. Dante is Miguel’s faithful companion. Dante’s look was inspired by the Mexican Hairless Dog, or Xoloitzcuintli. One of the world’s oldest and rarest dogs, Xoloitzcuintli (Xolo) originated in Mexico during the Aztec Empire. In fact, their name is derived from the name of the Aztec Indian god, Xolotl, and itzcuintli, the Aztec word for “dog.”
Fun Fact: Xolo's are known for “healing powers” because of the warmth of their skin.
Pixar has the privilege of using previous animated movies in their designs...In Coco, they used characters such as the dogs in Up and even Hanks tentacles from Finding Dory to create Dantes tongue designs.
Lee wanted Dante to appear more cartoony and wanted to push the animation.
“The idea with Dante is the lights are on, but nobody’s home.”
While there learning about the Alebrije, Alonso Martinez shared his own personal collection with us that includes Alebrijes of different sizes shapes and colors...I had my own favorite, as did most of us...and gave us a very special opportunity to paint our very own Pepita Alebrije!
Fun Fact: The Alebrije's were made just for our group, there were many at Pixar that wanted one for themselves but was turned down.
Being able to sit down with the creators and learn all about the creative thought process and design is such a privilege. I'm so happy that I get to share this with you!
Had you ever heard of an Alebrije before?
About Disney•Pixar’s COCO:
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.