When it comes to the two main animation houses at Disney, Pixar and Disney Animation, the latter has always been the one with the musical flair. Pixar built its reputation on gorgeous animation, inventive stories, and the ability to make adults cry on demand, while Disney Animation is behind some of the most memorable film songs of all-time, from Snow White's "Some Day My Prince Will Come" to Moana's "How Far I'll Go." But with its newest film, Coco, Pixar is getting into the music business in a big way, making the Coco soundtrack the most impressive yet for the studio.
The film's plot centers around Miguel, a 12-year-old boy who wants to become a musician despite the fact that his family has banned music for generations due to one of his ancestors disappearing while pursuing his own dreams of becoming a musician. This leads Miguel on an adventure through the Land of the Dead where he seeks to find out the truth about his family's past, as well as its possible connection to his idol, legendary musician Ernesto de la Cruz. So with the entire plot revolving around music, it's no surprise that the soundtrack would be a memorable one, and it certainly is. It's also huge, consisting of a whopping 38 tracks. Here's the full track list below:
- "Remember Me" - Benjamin Bratt
- "Much Needed Advice" - Benjamin Bratt & Antonio Sol
- "Everyone Knows Juanita" - Gael García Bernal
- "Un Poco Loco" - Gael García Bernal & Anthony Gonzalez
- "Jálale (Instrumental)" - Mexican Institute of Sound
- "The World Es Mi Familia" - Anthony Gonzalex & Antonio Sol
- "Remember Me (Lullaby)" - Gael García Bernal, Gabriella Flores, & Libertad García Fonzi
- "La Llorona" - Alanna Ubach & Antonio Sol
- "Remember Me (Reunion)" - Anthony Gonzalez & Anna Ofelia Marguía
- "Proud Corazón" - Anthony Gonzalez
- "Remember Me (Dúo)" - Miguel feat. Natalia Lafourcade
- "Will He Shoemaker?"
- "Shrine and Dash"
- "Miguel's Got an Axe to Find"
- "The Strum of Destiny"
- "It's All Relative"
- "Crossing the Marigold Bridge"
- "Dept. of Family Reunions"
- "The Skeleton Key to Escape"
- "The Newbie Skeleton Walk"
- "Adiós Chicharrón"
- "Plaza de la Cruz"
- "Family Doubtings"
- "Taking Sides"
- "Fiesta Espactacular"
- "Fiesta con de la Cruz"
- "I Have a Great-Great-Grandson"
- "A Blessing and a Fessing"
- "Cave Dwelling on the Past"
- "Somos Familia"
- "Reunión Familiar de Rivera"
- "A Family Dysfunction"
- "Grabbing a Photo Opportunity"
- "The Show Must Go On"
- "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
- "A Run for the Ages"
- "One Year Later"
- "Coco - Día de los Muertos Suite"
Songs 12-38 on the soundtrack make up the film's score, which was composed by Michael Giacchino, who won an Oscar for his work on Up. Here, Giacchino again shows his ability to use music to evoke emotion like in Up, but with a Mexican flair (there's a good deal of Spanish guitar in the score). The first 11 tracks on the score, by contrast, are singable songs in the Disney tradition. Some of these were written by husband and wife team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who also penned tunes for a little movie called Frozen. Coco has its own song with breakout hit potential in the vein of "Let It Go" in the form of "Remember Me," which was written by the Lopezes. Here's the pop version, performed by Miguel and Natalia Lafourcade.
And just for comparison's sake, here's the version that actually appears in the film, performed by Benjamin Bratt in his role as Ernesto de la Cruz.
The film also features a number of songs sung by 12-year-old star Anthony Gonzalez, who like Moana's teen star Auli'i Cravalho before him, proves that age is just a number when it comes to carrying a film on one's singing voice. Here he is showing off his pipes on Good Morning America.
With Coco, Pixar is proving that it's able to go toe-to-toe with Disney Animation when it comes to producing show-stopping animated musicals, further blurring the line between the two studios. But hey, when it comes to great animated musicals, the more the merrier.