– by Joseph Jammer Medina

If you’ve seen the trailer for Coco, you already know the movie looks absolutely stunning. From the more grounded and realistic-looking town of Santa Cecilia all the way to the literally out-of-this world Land of the Dead.

Of course, a lot of the things you see in the film were made up, but in true Pixar form, inspiration was taken from a lot of different places. One of the many places they pulled from is other films.

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LRM had a chance to sit down with Coco’s director of photography for lighting Danielle Feinberg, and when we asked what animated or live-action films they looked to for inspiration, she said:

“We tend to look at live-action movies more than other animated movies. I looked Y Tu Mamá También, for example, because that has some beautiful stuff in it. We looked things like Moulin Rouge and Chicago because there was some going to be some stage show stuff that we wanted to make sure we were doing justice to.”

Of course, in addition to other works of art, Pixar is also known for going on research trips. In this case, they went to Mexico for a lot of their research, and while the movies worked well on some level, it mostly came down to photos and their trip.

“In the end this movie more than any other movie we’ve really relied more on I would say on the photos from the research trips and our experiences there,” Feinberg continued, “because that just felt more relevant. Artistically, I’m inspired by all kinds of films, but in terms of touchstone films a lot of times we have more films that we’ve set out, and this one ended up…there’s a little reference from here or here, but it really ended up being more about the research trips.”

Coco hits theaters on November 22, 2017.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.