Comedian Herbert Siguenza On His Role In Pixar’s ‘Coco’

Thursday, November 30, 2017
By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh
Credit: Disney/Pixar
Above: Herbert Siguenza, co-founder of the Latino performance troupe, Culture Clash, next to movie poster of Pixar's animated film, "Coco."

Pixar’s latest animated film, "Coco," has become a box-office sensation on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The film, which was inspired by the Mexican Día de los Muertos tradition, follows a 12-year-old, aspiring musician named Miguel and his adventures through the land of the dead. "Coco" hits on themes around family, remembering loved ones and pursuing dreams.

In the film's early days, concerns over cultural appropriation were raised after Pixar's parent company, Disney, tried to trademark the Día de los Muertos phrase. Some also pointed to Disney's previous portrayals of minorities. With that in mind, filmmakers hired Latino cultural consultants and advisors to help them tell a culturally sensitive story.

Herbert Siguenza, co-founder of the Latino theatre group Culture Clash and playwright-in-residence at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, served as one of the cultural advisors on the film. Siguenza is also the voice of Miguel's late twin uncles.

Siguenza discusses his role in the making of "Coco" and why the film has become a "cultural phenomenon" on Thursday's Midday Edition.