Producer Anderson called the film "proof that art can connect and change the world."
Disney/Pixar's Coco took home the Academy Award for best animated feature, topping a field that including The Boss Baby, Ferdinand and indies Loving Vincent and The Breadwinner.
it wasn't a surprise, as the Dia de los Muertes-themed film about family collected most of the pre-Oscars awards in animation, including the PGA, BAFTA, ACE Eddie and top Annie Awards. It also resonated with audiences, earned $208 million in North American and nearly $740 million worldwide.
This was the second Oscar for director Lee Unkrich, who won his first Oscar for Toy Story 3 and is part of Pixar's so-called brain trust. Producer Darla K. Anderson received her first Oscar, as the animated feature category didn't include producers when it won the Academy Award in 2011. Coco was, however, her second Oscar nomination, as Toy Story 3 had also received a best picture nomination that year.
Onstage, Anderson called Coco "proof that art can connect and change the world, this can only be done when we have a place for everyone and anyone who feels like an 'other' to be heard." Unkrich added that they wanted to show a world “where all children can grown up seeing characters in movies that look and talk and live like they do. Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.”
Backstage, asked if the LGBT community might also be represented in future films, Anderson responded, ”That would be a dream and we are thinking about all kinds of things like that.”
She and Unkrich came backstage with Adrian Molina, who was upped to co-director and writer of Coco after work on the film began. “This is the future,” said Anderson of Molina, who is of Mexican decent.
“Storytellers come from all places at Pixar,” Molina said. “It’s something we are putting a lot of focus on and I’m thankful for the opportunity on this film. ... Films can resonate across the world and you see that with Coco, with Black Panther, and I think you’ll see more in the future.”
The Oscar for best animated feature was first presented in 2001. Since then, Pixar has won the trophy nine times, for Coco, Inside Out, Brave, Toy Story 3, Up, Wall-E, Ratatouille, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. Its sister company, Walt Disney Animation Studios, won three times, for Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.
Coco actually won two Oscars on Sunday, with "Remember Me" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez grabbing the Oscar for original song.
Read their full speeches. below.
Darla K. Anderson: Thank you so the Academy, we're so happy. Coco is proof that art can change and connect the world, and this can only be done when we have a place for everyone and anyone who feels like an other to be heard. This is dedicated with enormous love to my gigantic interwoven family, and most especially my wife, my rock, Kori Rae.
Adrian Molina: Love and thanks to my family, my Latino community, to my husband Ryan, each for expanding my sense of what it means to be proud of who you are and where you’re from. We hope the same thing for everyone who connected with this film.
Lee Unkrich: We share this with our immensely talented cast and crew, as well as the executive teams at Disney and Pixar. Thanks for the support of my wife Laura, my three kids Hannah, Alex, Max, my entire family, I love you. And the biggest thank you of all to the people of Mexico. Coco would not exist without your endlessly beautiful culture and traditions. With Coco, we tried to take a step forward toward a world where all children can grow up seeing characters in movies that look and talk and live like they do. Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.