26 Women Behind The Making of Coco

Oscar-winning cultural phenomenon Coco is heading to Netflix today, May 29 (get the box of tissues ready!)

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Dulce Osuna

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Dulce Osuna

Oscar-winning cultural phenomenon Coco is heading to Netflix today, May 29 (get the box of tissues ready!). In celebration of this, and of the film’s massive success ($805,839,032 gross worldwide), we wanted to highlight some of the amazing women who played a part in Coco‘s creation.

Alanna Ubach – US cast

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Dulce Osuna

You may recognize Puerto Rican and Mexican actress Alanna Ubach from television shows and films, including WaitingLegally Blonde, and Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, but she is also the voice of Mamá Imelda Rivera in Coco and provides an incredible performance of the Mexican folksong, “La Llorina” in the film. Ubach’s credits include work in over 100 theater, film, and television projects.

Ana Ofelia Murgía – US cast

The voice of Mamá Coco is provided by the legendary Mexican actress Ana Ofelia Murguía. Her acting career spans over 50 years in Mexico and Hollywood and most recently, she played Abuela Carmelita in the telenovela José José: El Principe de la Canción.


Ana Ramírez González – Visual Development Artist

Ana Ramirez is from Guadalajara, Mexico. A graduate of CalArts, she served as a visual development artist on the film as well as an illustrator for the award winning Coco children’s book, “Miguel and the Grand Harmony.”

Blanca Araceli – US cast

In addition to voicing the Emcee in Coco, actress/choreographer/dancer/director/producer Blanca Araceli has appeared in movies, and shows including American Horror Story: Cult, and The Bridge.


Carla Hool – Casting Director

A native of Mexico City, Carla Hool was the casting director for Coco. Hool has made it her mission to get Latinos more diverse roles in television and film. In addition to casting Coco, she has also worked on Narcos.

Carla Medina – US cast

Carla Medina voices the Departures Agent in the film. In addition to being an actress, singer, author, presenter, and writer, she also lends her voice to Trixie in the Spanish soundtrack of Toy Story 3.


Danielle Feinberg – Director of Lighting

Danielle Feinberg is an American cinematographer and Director of Photography for Lighting at Pixar. She directed lighting for the Academy Award-winning films WALL-E and Brave as well as Coco.

Darla Anderson – Producer


Producer Darla Anderson won the Oscar for Coco. A 25 year veteran at Pixar she also produced Toy Story 3, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Anderson is also on the Board of the Producer’s Guild of America. In March Anderson announced she was leaving Pixar to pursue other creative and philanthropic projects.


Denise Blasor – Voice Support

French-born Puerto Rican Denise Blasor provided additional voices to Coco. In addition to voice over work in several projects (including Love & BasketballThe Sopranos, and Happy Feet), Blasor is also an actress, director, writer, and a set and costume designer.

Dyana Ortelli – US cast

Dyana Ortelli voices Tía Victoria in Coco. The Nuevo Laredo native has also appeared on Will & GraceJane the Virgin, and Seinfeld, among other shows and movies. She’s also a badass comedienne.


Evelina Fernandez – Cultural Advisor

Evelina Fernandez is a veteran writer, actress and cultural activist in Hollywood and nationally. A co-founder of the seminal Chicano theatre group, Los Angeles Theatre Center, she has been in the vanguard of Chicano activism and empowerment of Latinx communities for decades.

Germaine Franco – Songwriter, Song Producer, Composer

Film score composer Germaine Franco is credited as Coco‘s Songwriter, Song Producer, Source Music Producer, Composer: Additional Music, Arranger, and Orchestrator. She is also the first Latina composer to be invited to the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, Music Branch.


Dr. Lauryn Salazar – Cultural Advisor


Assistant Professor of Musicology at Texas Tech University Dr. Lauryn Salazar was also a consultant on the film. According to her Texas Tech bio, her focus in music is “on mariachi music in Mexico and the United States and its institutionalization vis-à-vis American academic programs at the primary, secondary, and collegiate levels.”

Liliana Barba Meinecke – Voice Support

Mexicana Liliana Barba Meinecke provided additional voices for Coco. The actress, ADR director, and voice actress’s work has also appeared in Guardians of Oz, Stone Boy, and Modern Family.


Marcela Davison Avilés – Lead Consultant

Marcela Davison Avilés served as the lead consultant on Coco. She is also Disney’s Cultural Consultant; for Elena of Avalor and other roles include Founder and Executive Producer at Chapultepec Group, and Executive Producer of VivaFest!

Maria de Leon – Cultural Advisor

Maria de Leon is CEO of the non-profit organization National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. A national leader in philanthropy for the arts, Maria’s footprint as a grant maker, Latinx arts activist and influencer is global. 


Marisa Canales– Cultural Advisor

Latin Grammy-nominated concert artists Marisa Canales was a cultural advisor on Coco. The Mexico City native is also Founder and Artistic Creator of classical label Urtext Digital Classics and co-founder of the Latinx music initiative, CaminoArts.org.

Mary J. Andrade – Cultural Advisor

Coco consultant Mary J. Andrade is an expert on the Day of the DeadEvery year, she has traveled a different state in Mexico to interview people, take photos, and immerse herself in that area’s interpretation of the celebration. One of her books on the topic is Dia De Muertos en Mexico-Oaxaca: A traves de los Ojos del Alma (Through the Eyes of the Soul: Day of the Dead in Mexico).


Mimia Arbelaez – Technical Director

Colombiana Mimia Arbelaez is a Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios. In addition to Coco, she has worked on Inside OutToy Story 3, and Monsters University.

Natalia Cordova-Buckley – US cast


In Coco, Frida Kahlo is voiced by Natalia Cordova-Buckley. The granddaughter of Mexican actor Pancho Córdova can also been seen on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, where she plays Elena Yo-Yo Rodriguez (in addition to other TV and film roles).


Natalia Lafourcade – US sound track

Multiple Grammy winner Natalia Lafourcade provides an unforgettable performance of “Remember Me” on the Coco soundtrack. A global super star and beloved in Mexico and Latin America, Natalia is currently on tour in the United States.

Ofelia Esparza – Cultural Advisor

Another consultant on the film is Ofelia Esparza. Called a “national treasure” by the LA Times, Doña Ofelia is a  Master Altar-Maker, or altarista, and an expert of the history and folklore of Dia de los Muertos, speaking to colleges on the event and its cultural significance and history.


Renée Victor – US cast

Renée Victor voices the role of Abuelita. A native of Texas she is also known for her extraordinary role as the wisecracking, feisty Lupita in the landmark television series Weeds (2005-2012). Before and since, Renée remains an indelible presence for her pageant of other widely diverse and memorable character roles in motion pictures, television, theater and radio

Rosanna Esparza Ahrens – Cultural Advisor

Ofelia Esparza’s daughter Rosanna also served as a cultural advisor on Coco. Since she was a teenager, the East L.A. born and bred Chicana has helped her mother create her iconic altares.


Selene Luna – US cast

Tia Rosita in Coco is voiced by Mexicana Selene Luna. The actress, comedian, model, host, activist, and burlesque performer has also appeared on The Cho Show and My Bloody Valentine, among other television and film projects.

Sofia Espinosa – US cast

Mexicana Sofia Espinosa is the voice of Mamá in Coco. Although, she has been in several shows and films, her breakthrough role is said to be that of Gloria Trevi in the movie Gloria.
We’ll be adding to this list of wonderful women in film and the arts with additional highlights about both the US crew, the Spanish language cast and Mexican musicians.

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animation Coco culture film Mexico Movie music
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