Pixar's Coco: Storyform Analysis

I would wait until we’ve actually defined the Overall Story Throughline. Universe would be difficult as I’m not sure how everyone is stuck. But you could make an argument for either one—until we nail down what the OS is really about, from a storytelling standpoint m.

Just focusing on storytelling, I’d define the OS as ‘Getting Back to the Land of the Living’. Seems like everyone is focused on either getting Miguel back or getting themselves back (Héctor).

Isn’t the whole thing about being remembered? I feel like they repeated it a million times - getting back up on the shelf as a symbol of being remembered? Although, maybe that’s more the Goal, but something along that lines. But yes, getting back to the land of the living is a requirement for that.

Since it seems super quiet in this post, we could skip ahead - MC, IC, and RS all at once.

Ah, that does sound more likely. It’s been a few weeks since I saw it and I remember getting a little confused because it felt like two goals at once (I had the same issue with Kubo and the Two Strings), so I think it probably is a Requirement that I’m confusing with the Goal. There’s also the whole “Remember Me” song, so that’s probably a better example of the OS on the whole.

OS - Remembering the Dead
MC - Miguel (no question about that one)
IC - Héctor
RS - Great Great Grandfather/Great Great Grandson (or a shorter way of saying that)

I’m generally bad at identifying the IC, so I expect to be wrong on that. But I think if Miguel’s worldview is all about his love of music (that seems to be his personal issue), Héctor is the one dealing with the consequences that came with his pursuit of music – in abandoning his family, getting screwed over/killed by his buddy, and generally getting nothing from it.

I haven’t seen the movie since it came out, so I’m going to be playing “remind me” a lot here…

I think that Miguel is the MC, and he’s a do-er.
Hector is the IC, and he just wants to be remembered.
The OS involves bridge-crossing, mariachi competitions, a party… I put that in Activity.

As a steadfast MC, Miguel’s personal issue does indeed appear to stem from that, especially since he continues to hold on to his love of music to the end. In addition, this issue is unique to him, as no one else shares it. Héctor is reluctant to play the guitar even for his old friend Chicharrón, and Miguel’s family, living and dead, despise music due to the alleged curse. Even Ernesto doesn’t create conflict from loving (or at least liking) music, but rather from the thievery and murder he committed in gaining Héctor’s music.

I think you’re right about Héctor as the IC, challenging Miguel’s personal perspective. I like the idea of “generally getting nothing” from music being what defines Héctor’s influence. Also, I agree with what @MWollaeger said, with Héctor just wanting to be remembered, although I’m not sure how much of that falls under his IC role and under the Goal/Concern/Whatever of being remembered.

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Are you putting this out there as the potential OS Concern (Memory)?

I think it’s more likely going to be “All of the problems come from Misunderstanding what happened years ago.”

No, not at all. I got the feeling during the film that it was written by someone who was convinced this is the way you write a Story Goal of Memory, but it wasn’t anything close to it.

now that we have perspectives, is everyone cool-io with:

  • Steadfast
  • Stop
  • Do-er
  • Linear
  • Action
  • Success
  • Good

(I skipped Story Limit on purpose)

Cool with discussing these? Or cool with having these locked down because they’re pretty obvious and Jim says so :stuck_out_tongue:

Long shpeal incoming!! <GRENADE!!>:
Okay so, I’m understanding things as both of these Story Goal of Being Remembered/Story goal of Returning to the Land Of The Living. How do you separate these two? Is RtLOL (wow I like that) just Miguel’s personal goal? Even though everyone wants to go to the living, but they need to be remembered first in order to do that, so wouldn’t being remembered be a requirement – but then you’re saying that getting back to the living is a requirement in order to be remembered (because he has to give them the photo of hector) making it only about hector’s personal goal… but we’re talking about the OS… so NOW I have to think not which is Miguels or Hector’s but as a WHOLE – EVERYONE WANTS TO BE REMEMBERED and what is SPECIFIC to THIS STORY (not the story-world).
-Miguel wants to be this famous legendary musician just like Ernesto
-whom is remembered for creating/writing all the GREAT HITS
-and everyone is dealing with HOW they are remembered which carries on with them in the land of the dead,
-as HEctor whom is remembered for dying a certain way,
-and the dude who did the second death was no longer remembered,

so yeah this is definitely about MEMORY and being remembered. GOT IT!

I would say he’s definitely a do-er, definitely steadfast, linear (my original analysis stated linear but I was really pressured to think he was holistic for a few examples but that’s probably just some flaw in the design/something he chose secondly as it wasn’t his go-to to get into the party, his first was logical, second choice was holistic) Success ,and good, yes, yes (even though he didn’t get exactly what he wanted, it was still the acceptance of music and his ability to play, albeit not famously like Ernesto)

I’m cool with them.

In my case, both. :grinning:


Ok, so then the Story Limit - Timelock or Optionlock?

I can see why you left this out. There are Timelock elements within the story such as him becoming more like the dead (if he’s fully dead, he can’t go back) and Coco’s memory for Hector – but I think it’s OPTIONLOCK because there are only so many ways to get back to the land of the living and be remembered. He tries his family to get back, no dice, tries Ernesto, no dice, in the end it’s both Hector and his love reuniting who both give him the permission he seeks.

Though, time is closing in on them with Hector fading telling us that Coco’s memory of him is fading, and her life is going out, so we’re on her time-line? when she dies it’s over… but maybe this is just something to create pressure. Like Woody and Buzz, they need to get back before moving day, but there’s only so many options on how to do that; and added point by Nadine; Coco is the only ‘living’ option they have left.

Open to discussion! You have my vote.

I feel like so much of the movie is focused on “you have to get back by midnight” but the real climax is actually back here in the land of the living.

There’s definitely the sunrise deadline set, but just looking through the script, it comes in REALLY late (43 pages in): “CLERK: Get your family’s blessing, and everything SHOULD go back to normal. But you gotta do it by sunrise!”

So I don’t see Timelock. But what are the options? I think @Tous got it with the ‘limited number of ways to get back’.

This is where I enter my “remind me” phase, but I think it might have to do with getting the family to appreciate music.

Yes, I totally agree with all these comments about the Story Limit - just wanted to make sure, because it seems as if they put the Timelock on there on top of what was already an obvious Optionlock.

Just wanted to make sure!

OK, then…so Domains for each Throughline?

My initial thoughts:

OS - Physics - the huge performances in the world of the dead/Frida Kahlo’s whole shtick; getting the pictures for the ofrenda; playing in the competition; getting back to the land of the living; flying on the colourful dog (Jim’s right. This movie is bonkers).

MC - Universe - I think this is Miguel’s status as the great-great-grandson of a musical legend, and the fact that he’s an excellent musician forbidden from playing.

IC - Mind - Héctor hates musicians; he feels immense regret for the way things went with his family; longs to see his daughter.

RS - Psychology - early on, neither one is telling the other the whole story to manipulate them for whatever reason; Miguel says Ernesto is his only family to get Héctor’s help, and Héctor doesn’t tell Miguel that he wrote Ernesto’s songs.


I agree with this breakdown, though not with all of the reasons necessarily. We can get to that in the next phase.


Sweet - so onto the Concerns…