Well on its way to becoming a worldwide phenomenon, Disney-Pixar’s Coco is bucking a trend in Spain. For the first time since Beauty and the Beast in 1991, the animated flick will be shown in the European country in the Spanish dub that audiences around Mexico, Latin America, and even here in the U.S. have already been enjoying. Usually, for those who don’t keep track of these things, Hollywood films tend to be dubbed by local voice actors to cater to Spain’s population. And, if the below trailer is any indication, there was already a plan to do the same with Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina’s film about a boy getting lost in the Land of the Dead.
Of course, those attuned to the differences in accents will recognize that there’s something a tad laughable (not to mention slightly jarring) about hearing a Mexican singer dressed in a mariachi suit sounding like he’s from Madrid. Ernesto de la Cruz (voiced by Benjamin Bratt in English and Marco Antonio Solís in Spanish), is supposed to be, after all, a Mexican icon revered everywhere he goes. The mind reels when you start to think what would happen had the Disney-Pixar film been dubbed by Spanish actors—just the thought of Frida Kahlo speaking with the characteristic Spanish lisp is enough to make you happy the team making these decisions understood why it wouldn’t make much sense.
As Alejandro Nogueras, the creative director of Disney dubbing in Spain told Verne, “Not dubbing Coco into another Spanish accent is a happy exception. After seeing the film, we realized that it was important to stay faithful to the Mexican Spanish because that country truly is another character in the story.” Mark this as yet another victory for authenticity and a reminder that this love letter to Mexican culture is breaking ground in ways that should make Latinos everywhere proud.
Coco opens in cinemas in Spain on December 1, 2017 and is currently playing in Mexico and the U.S. Select theaters in the United States are playing the Spanish-language version of Coco. Keep an eye out for a list of theaters here.