Characters / Coco

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Protagonists

    Miguel Rivera 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/miguel_7.png
"I'm gonna be a musician!"
Voiced by: Anthony González (English), Luis Ángel Gómez Jaramillo (Latin American Spanish), Hiiro Ishibashi (Japanese)

A young boy and an aspiring musician. Despite the fact that his fascination with music puts him at odds with his family, he loves all of them dearly. He accidentally stumbles upon the Land of the Dead after trying to "borrow" Ernesto de la Cruz's guitar, and now needs to get back to the world of the living before sunrise.
  • Accidental Pervert: Walks in on a lady skeleton without any clothes on while she posed for an artist. Miguel freezes for a moment as he processes what he just saw before scurrying off with a "sorry."
  • Air Guitar: Near the beginning of the film, which serves as an introduction to his passion for music.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He is extremely excited to meet Ernesto de la Cruz, especially after he tells Miguel that he was born to be a musician. Subverted when Miguel learned Ernesto's true colors, but played straight again when he learned that his actual great-great grandfather was an amazing musician.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Miguel was able to play the guitar simply by watching old videos of Ernesto's guitar playing.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Downplayed. He's not the youngest Rivera at the time the film takes place, but is the youngest of the older children. As a result, he tends to get treated as such, with his family members referring to him as mijo or "my son" as a sign of affection. His abuelita takes this further, referring to him as Mijito Chiquito Miguelito, or roughly, "My dearest, sweetest, tiny son Miguel". Héctor also begins referring to Miguel as mijo rather than chamaco or muchacho (boy or kid) after learning that they're related.
  • Beauty Mark: Has a mole on his upper lip.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted to become a musician like Ernesto de la Cruz. He got more than what he bargained for.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Miguel is a pretty nice guy, except when he loses his temper.
  • Big "NO!": He gives a few out before he gets sent in to the cenote with Héctor.
  • Body Horror: The longer Miguel stays in the Land of the Dead, the more his skeleton transformation takes effect. It's funny at first, but becomes rather disturbing when it spreads to his torso, as told by Ernesto's reaction. It's rather terrifying when it's nearly complete, just before Imelda and Héctor send him home with their blessing.
  • Book Dumb: While Miguel is street smart and witty, he's somewhat lacking in the academic department, believing that vitamins were just a thing made up by adults. Justified by his age, family situation (the Riveras seem more interested in continuing the family trade than heading off to college), and the Riveras' relatively low financial standing.
    Miguel: This isn't a dream then. You were all really out there!
    Tía Victoria: You thought we weren't?
    Miguel: Well, I dunno. I thought that it mighta been one of those made up things that adults tell kids, like vitamins.
    Tía Victoria: Miguel, vitamins are a real thing.
    Miguel: Well, now I'm thinking maybe they could be.
  • A Boy and His X: Dante saves Miguel multiple times and guides him through the underworld. Eventually, he becomes Miguel's personal guide animal and an Alebrije.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor kid has been put through the wringer several times, but the scene where he discovers that his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, is a fraud really stands out.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: Calls out Imelda of all characters for not respecting his wish to pursue music in his Kick the Dog moment.
  • Character Development: Miguel's motivations are incredibly sympathetic, but he ultimately wishes to single-mindedly follow in the footsteps of his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, regardless of what his family thinks of him after years of having his dreams stifled. He's talented and passionate, but inexperienced and insecure all the same. He was also somewhat unappreciative of Día de Muertos and traditions in general, believing them to be made up for the sake of it. His trip to the Land of the Dead turned his perspective on its head, breaking his blind idolization of Ernesto, becoming far more appreciative of what Día de Muertos stands for, giving him a huge confidence boost thanks to his new experience, and reconnecting with his family rather than leaving them behind in pursuit of his musical career. This is best emphasized by the beginning and end of the film, which starts with Miguel informing the audience about how different he was from his family in internal monologue, before ending with Miguel calling out to his entire family in song.
  • Childish Tooth Gap: Has a gap on the left side of his upper row of teeth.
  • Child Prodigy: Miguel is an excellent performer, guitar player, and singer despite having few opportunities to practice due to his family's traditions, making a crowd go wild in his first live (well, not live as in living) performance after getting over his initial stage fright. Frida Kahlo is soon asking him for musical advice, which Miguel provides, much to her delight. Lee Unkrich also says that the finale song, "Proud Corazón", was written In-Universe by Miguel.
  • Cool Big Bro: The epilogue shows Miguel is now an older brother to his newborn sister. During his scene with her, he teaches her about their family in a soothing manner and tone.
  • Cry Cute: He is shedding tears the moment he returns home to Coco and is singing "Remember Me" to restore her memory. You can actually hear the sadness in his voice as he sings; it’s even in the soundtrack.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Averted. Stealing Ernesto's guitar and strumming it curses him to become an unseen spirit and slowly turns into a skeleton in return. To break it, he has to have a dead family member of his give him a blessing.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Kid Hero trope. He has all the traits (plucky, Street Smart) found in the character type, but still needed a lot of help from the adult characters to get him by.
  • Dem Bones: Is gradually being turned into a spirit during his time in the Land of the Dead, with all of the corresponding traits. The change begins in his fingers before spreading up his arm and throughout his body, which gives him an odd mix of skeletal and living features.
  • Disney Death: He's nearly completed his skeleton transformation until Imelda sends him home just in time with her blessing.
  • Epic Fail: Miguel's grito, which the Spanish word for "scream" and is used by Mariachi singers, is unimpressive at first, being a high-pitched, crackly squeak that makes even the otherwise happy-go-lucky Dante cringe. Luckily for Miguel, he manages to fix this before he gets on stage for the first time.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see Miguel, he goes out into the plaza listening to music and shoeshining a mariachi guitarist's shoes.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: His reaction when he realizes that Ernesto not only poisoned Héctor to death but stole his songs and his guitar is of understandable shock.
  • Fatal Flaw: Selfishness, or more accurately, narrow-minded ambition. Miguel is so determined to fulfill his long-repressed aspirations that he denounces his loving (if flawed) family, performs numerous Kick the Dog moments, and nearly becomes a spirit. It also leads Miguel to forsake the foresight and advice of others if they don't apply to his "here and now", generally rushing to what seems to be the simplest and most direct answer to his problems without considering the potential consequences.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Héctor, who came across as unreliable and sketchy to the point that Miguel tried to bail on him soon after they met. Even then, they only worked together to achieve their own goals, but after getting each other out of more than a few sticky situations, they've become fast friends.
  • Fisher Kingdom: Staying too long in the Land of the Dead causes him to steadily transform into a skeleton over time. How much he’s transformed shows how much time he has left to get home before he’s stuck there forever.
  • Gadgeteer Genius:
    • Miguel has a shrine to Ernesto De La Cruz, with an old black and white TV and ancient VCR which looks as though it was scavenged from the garbage.
    • Miguel made his guitar from scratch. Those weren't frets: they were nails. He probably spent years scavenging parts to build it, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when Elena destroys it.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Grimaces while watching Ernesto kiss a woman in one of his films. That said, he's perfectly happy playing wrestler with his great-grandmother Coco, so he seems to be more allergic to romance than girls.
  • The Hero: The main protagonist of the film.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Miguel is very close to stray dog, Dante.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Goes through a brief one when he realizes that Ernesto's not the idol he seems to be after all.
  • Identical Grandson: With Héctor. A subtle clue that they are actually related is that they share the same straight, parted bangs while Ernesto's bangs are curled. They also share another similar physical trait in having only one dimple.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He bears a rather uncanny resemblance to Anthony González.
  • In the Hood: Wears his hood up as part of his skeleton disguise.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Despite his Magnetic Hero qualities, his single-minded goal of getting home, running away, and becoming a musician leads him to be unintentionally dismissive of those he believes aren't helping him along, not believing Héctor when he is being completely genuine and leading to his Parting Words Regret later on in the movie. This is best seen when Dante is trying to guide Miguel back to the other Riveras, upon which Miguel says that Dante isn't his spirit animal and that he's just a dumb dog, which clearly hurts Dante.
  • I See Dead People: Suddenly gains this ability after crossing over to the Land of the Dead. He ultimately loses it at the end, after being properly sent back to the Land of the Living by Mamá Imelda. Nevertheless, his experiences have given him an immense appreciation for Día de Muertos and he seems to instinctively know when Héctor and his other deceased relatives are present.
  • It Runs in the Family: Subverted and played straight. Miguel's family have been well-known shoemakers for nearly a century, but Miguel himself is far more interested in becoming a musician. On the other hand, his great-great grandfather was a talented musician, with Miguel taking more after him then the other members of his family. The climax and ending of the film reveal that the musical gift was more widely spread than was initially thought, as not only is Mama Imelda, Miguel's great-great grandmother and the one who instituted the "No Music" policy, an amazing singer, but Miguel's cousins who previously belittled him for his musical interests are also playing instruments at the following year's Diá de Muertos.
  • It's All About Me: As stated under Miguel's Fatal Flaw section, he often puts his own interests ahead of more important matters.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed. Miguel is a sweet, gentle, and kind person with a sympathetic plight. However, while his plight is sympathetic it also causes him to be selfish which leads him to do anything to fulfill his dream as a musician and meet Ernesto de la Cruz. This, in turn, causes him to lose his temper after the talent show when he believes that Héctor, Dante, and Imelda are keeping him from said aspirations, and thus Miguel said hurtful things to all of them. After a huge amount of Character Development and the reveal of his true great-great grandpa, he becomes more emotionally mature and makes up for his earlier hurtful remarks.
  • Kick the Dog: An almost literal case after the Land of the Dead talent show. First, he calls off his deal to help save Héctor from becoming Deader Than Dead just to pursue his own musical dream. Then, when Dante tries to get Miguel to go back, Miguel harshly yells at him to go away, and says Dante is not an alebrije but a dumb dog, which visibly hurts Dante. Later, he insults Imelda for not respecting his wishes to pursue his dreams.
  • Kid Hero: He's just twelve years old, making him the second-youngest Pixar protagonist after Arlo from The Good Dinosaur.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Or more like Like Great-Great Grandfather, Like Great-Great Grandson. Both he and Héctor share the same bangs, same musical talent, and even the same penchant for lying and/or tricking others to get what they want, running away from their families to pursue a musical career.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: His family comes from a line of shoe-makers. On the other hand, Miguel hopes to be a musician. On the other hand, his Great-Great Grandfather was a musician and Miguel hopes to follow in his footsteps.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Zigzagged. He has other shirts, as seen during the montage of Elena shutting out any kind of music, but he's almost always seen in his hoodie, white tank top, and jeans during the events of the movie. Justified, in that he doesn't exactly have a lot of time to get a change of clothes when he's rushing to get out of the Land of the Dead before sunrise.
  • Magnetic Hero: He ultimately gets many people to help him with his journey, between Dante, Héctor, Frida Kahlo, and numerous others. He's also a real crowd-pleaser who is simply likable to everyone he meets.
  • Must Make Amends: By the end of the film, he decides to make amends with his family after running away from them.
  • Naughty Is Good: Due to living under Elena's stern discipline for his entire life, Miguel is prone to lying and scheming to get around her rules. Nevertheless, he is still a Nice Guy with a solid moral compass.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • He's understandably shocked when he realizes that Ernesto isn't what he seemed to be.
    • He also has a moment of terror when his body eventually becomes skeletal.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: While his gradual transformation into a skeletal spirit helps, he manages to completely evade his family and avoid sticking out in the Land of the Dead simply by painting skeletal designs on himself with white nail polish and black face paint and covering his ears with his hood, making no other effort to change his clothes, his voice, or otherwise anything else that would give him away. Albeit, this is somewhat justified by the fact that everyone was looking for a living boy, and thus they were likely looking for his living skin tone.
  • Parting Words Regret: In the first half of the film, Miguel flat-out says that he doesn't want to be part of his family, given their generation-long stance against music. He ends up regretting what he said at one point after learning the truth about Ernesto.
  • Performance Anxiety: Suffers from this right before heading on stage due to it being his first actual performance, but a few choice words from Héctor help him get over it just in time to win over the crowd with "Un Poco Loco"note , a song he's never played or sung before.
  • Pet the Dog: To the very same people he performed a Kick the Dog moment to earlier — First, Héctor, who is in despair, states that he feels bad for Miguel for having a great-great grandfather like him, Miguel immediately states that he's proud that they are related. Second, after being rescued by Imelda, Pepita, and Dante, Miguel enthusiastically calls Dante his Alebrije. Thirdly, he gives a genuine apology to Imelda for his earlier actions with the promise to respect her wishes.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Says this to Héctor as he and Imelda are giving him their blessing to send him home, just as the sun is coming up.
  • Pretend We're Dead: In order to blend in with the Land of the Dead, he has Héctor paint his face to look like a skeleton. Unfortunately for him, it wears off after falling into the swimming pool and he has to be rescued by Ernesto.
  • Primary-Color Champion: He wears a white t-shirt underneath his red hoodie along with blue jeans. And his mariachi attire is mainly red with gold linings.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted. As shown in the quote under Book Dumb, Miguel uses "mightas", "dunnos", Buffy Speak, and plenty of other realistic syntax from a boy his age. He also adheres to the Gratuitous Spanish trope used throughout the movie as well as the distinct Latino accent shared by most of the cast (i.e. pronouncing Mexico as Me-hi-co as it would sound in Spanish rather than the Mex-i-co used in English).
  • Red Is Heroic: Wears a red hoodie.
  • Robbing the Dead: He steals Ernesto de la Cruz's guitar from his mausoleum to participate in the talent show, kickstarting the events of the plot due to the curse placed upon those who rob the dead. The robbing part becomes more of a "taking back what's rightfully his" scenario when it's revealed that the guitar is actually Héctor's, meaning that Miguel is the guitar's rightful owner as Héctor's great-great grandson.
  • The Runaway: Of the Circus variety. He runs away from his family in the Living and Dead world because he feels that neither one support his decision to be a musician.
  • Sadistic Choice: Imelda's condition to send Miguel back to the Land of the Living is to abandon music forever, with the blessing being revoked if he so much as grabs a guitar. Miguel's other option is to stay in the Land of the Dead longer to find his great-great grandfather and hope that he'll be able to send him home, in turn risking the possibility of being trapped in the Land of the Dead forever. To add insult to injury, he angrily shouted to his family that he didn't want his picture on the ofrenda. This means it would only be a matter of time before he suffers his final death if he couldn't make it back before sunrise. Miguel chooses the latter option, seeking out Ernesto de la Cruz to try and receive his blessing.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • After his grandmother destroys his guitar, he decides to leave his family so that he can participate in the talent contest.
    • When Mamá Imelda attempts to give his blessing on the condition that he abandon his ambitions as a musician, he is forced to escape from them which leads to the Stern Chase.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: In the final scenes of the movie, Miguel is seen with a full set of mariachi clothes, indicating that his entire family has fully embraced music again and finally allowed him to follow his passion.
  • Thicker Than Water: Initially deconstructed, as Miguel is genuinely miserable over his inability to do what he loves due to his family ties. Reconstructed by the end of the film, as his family fully supports his musical endeavors as he sings about how proud he feels to be a Rivera.
    Miguel: [At his family gathering] ¡Ay mi familia!note  ¡Oiga mi gente! note  Canten a coronote , let it be known! Our love for each other will live on forever in every beat of my proud corazón!
  • Token Minority: Of the Pixar franchise as a whole, being the first human non-Caucasian protagonist in a full-length Pixar film.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Miguel's attempt to use Ernesto's guitar to participate in a talent contest ends up causing him to cross over into the Land of the Dead and steadily transform into a skeleton over time.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The epilogue shows he now plays Héctor's guitar.
  • White Sheep: In a way, Miguel is the first in his family in generations to share his great-great grandfather's instinctive passion for music, rejecting his family's attempts to stifle it. This drives a wedge between him and them, since they can't accept him for who he is despite loving him dearly.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Is shown making believe that he's a lucha libre wrestler while hanging out with Mamá Coco.
  • Your Tradition Is Not Mine: The Rivieras are a clan of shoemakers, a tradition passed down from Imelda to Coco onwards. Miguel doesn't want to be another shoemaker though after his time with Héctor and Ernesto, he's okay about it as he learns to put family above his ambitions. Luckily Imelda and the other matriarchs relent about their disdain for music and let him pursue his dream.

    Héctor 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/8388a3cc_93f2_4c46_8a4b_4b36d8095119.jpeg
"I could help you, you could help me, we could help each other! But most importantly, you could help me!"
Voiced by: Gael García Bernal (English and Latin American Spanish)

A disheveled inhabitant of the Land of the Dead who no one has left an offering for, leaving him unable to cross over to the world of the living. He claims to know Ernesto de la Cruz and strikes a deal with Miguel to take him to meet him in exchange of Miguel placing his picture on his family offering so he can visit the Land of the Living.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. Héctor may seem like a selfish, incompetent jerk, but he knows his way around the Land of the Dead, proving essential to Miguel's efforts to return home. He is also an excellent musician, tutoring Miguel well-enough to pull off multiple show-stopping performances in a row despite Miguel's inexperience.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Lives in the slums of The Land of the Dead with the rest of the forgotten, and wears tattered rags and no shoes. Once he is reunited with his family, he is given a handsome pair of Rivera-made dress shoes.
  • Beneath the Mask: Héctor is introduced as a flaky, selfish conman with a winning smile and cheerful demeanor. In actuality, he's a miserable, desperate father whose only goal has been to see his daughter one last time before he dies for good.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jerkish moments aside, he's an all around nice guy who avoids conflict when possible, but when he learns that he was actually murdered by his own friend Ernesto, he completely loses his cool and tackles him.
  • Big "NO!": Gives several, once when being dragged away by Ernesto's bodyguards after learning that his former best friend stole not only his songs, but his life from him and another when said former best friend tosses his great-great grandson off a tower, presumably to his death.
  • Black Sheep: To the Rivera family for abandoning his family to pursue his musical aspirations.
  • Break the Cutie: While he'd already been somewhat broken long before the events of the film, Héctor still remains fairly cheerful and upbeat throughout, until he finally breaks down upon learning the truth about his death, and the real reason why he never got to see his family again.
  • Butt-Monkey: An unfortunate and tragic example. Héctor has had it bad in almost every way possible. Not only has he been living in squalor for decades knowing that his family has never put his photo up on their ofrendas, it turns out that he was a brilliant songwriter who was murdered by his best friend for his music, which made said friend rich and famous. To add salt to the wound, Héctor has been deprived not only of the fame and success he left his family for, but his family itself. By the time the movie begins, he's dressed in rags, walks with a very noticeable limp, and is forced to use trickery and charm to get just about everything.
  • Childhood Friends: The novel "Coco: A Story of Music, Shoes, and Family" reveals that he and Ernesto were childhood friends to the point where Hector feels that Ernesto is like his brother.
  • Con Man: Often lies about himself and his connections in order to get what he wants. Unfortunately for him, he's been doing it for so long that most of the denizens in his world are well aware of his tricks and have very limited tolerance for him. This trait also causes Miguel to doubt him more than once, even when Hector is being completely genuine with him.
  • Connected All Along: Who would have thought that he was Miguel's true great-great grandfather?
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Héctor died in 1921 from having his tequila poisoned by Ernesto. There's even a vivid flashback of Héctor dying from the poison.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He is a disheveled skeleton, but is an all around Nice Guy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shows shades of this when he's frustrated, in stark contrast to his upbeat conman persona.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Hits one after being thrown in the cenote after The Reveal that his best friend was also his murderer. It doesn't help that this is also the moment when it hits home that his daughter is finally forgetting him, meaning that he will soon experience the Final Death without ever being able to see her again.
  • Despair Speech: Goes along with the above. Héctor mourns to Miguel that he never should have left his family, and that now he has no chance to make things right with his beloved daughter; much less to even see her again.
  • Determinator: He's going to get across that bridge if it (re-)kills him, and he'll do just about anything- including dress like Frida Kahlo and help a little boy meet a celebrity- if it makes that happen. Justified, as time is running out for him to see his daughter one last time before he dies for good.
  • Deuteragonist: He's the second focal character of the film after Miguel.
  • Disappeared Dad: He is Miguel's real great-great grandfather, who left the family to pursue a career in music. He did try to come back, but was killed before he could do so.
  • Disguised in Drag: Several times, including his introduction, as Frida Kahlo.
  • Disney Death: He comes within two seconds of his Final Death, but Miguel's song to Coco (his great-grandmother and Héctor's daughter) manages to save him.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: One of few residents of the Land of the Dead to be constantly barefoot. He gains a pair of shoes after being reaccepted by the Riveras.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And how! After spending the entire movie being mocked, ridiculed, and in danger of being permanently forgotten, he finally catches a break when Miguel helps Coco remember him. Not only that, but he makes amends with Imelda, his picture is put up on the family ofrenda, he finally gets to see Coco again, and his musical legacy is finally recognized. Considering the trauma that he had to endure even after he was murdered, it's safe to say that he deserved it.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: While trying to sneak into Ernesto's house, a few musicians address him by his embarrassing nickname, "Chorizo", because he died choking on one in 1921. Héctor clarifies it was food poisoning from the chorizo. This moment gets harder to look at since it was revealed that Ernesto poisoned Héctor's drink and when Héctor was about to die from said poisoning, Ernesto mockingly claims it might've been the chorizos he had.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Even after all those years, Héctor never once suspected that his best friend would have killed him for his songs, though he knew that Ernesto never gave him the credit he deserved. He's completely shocked by the revelation that he was not only betrayed by his best friend, but murdered by him.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Ernesto secretly poisoned Héctor so that he could steal his music and become the star he is today. The moment Héctor dies is also explicitly shown onscreen, with him clutching his stomach in pain before collapsing onto the street.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Miguel, who was originally skeptical of Héctor's reliability. Initially, they only worked together to achieve their own goals, but after getting each other out of more than a few sticky situations, they become fast friends.
  • Go Out with a Smile: The last impression he leaves Miguel with prior to his Final Death. He does get better.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: He's been in a long one ever since he left his family and it goes From Bad to Worse when he realizes that Ernesto poisoned his tequila.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Zig-Zagged. On one hand, he really did abandon his family for his career. On the other, he really did want to come home and make amends before he was poisoned by his selfish Big Bad Friend on his way back.
  • Hidden Depths: When Héctor is first introduced, he's a silly conman cross dressing as Frida Kahlo so he can get across the marigold bridge like everyone else. He seems to hate music and musicians almost as much as Miguel's own family, saying that Ernesto and other musicians are like monkeys performing for strangers. Then come to find out that he's actually bereaved and desperate over the impending loss of contact with his daughter. Not only that, he's a brilliant musician whose works were so good that they made another man insanely rich.
  • It's All My Fault: How Héctor truly feels about why his family doesn't put his photo up. Said almost verbatim to Imelda when she begins to show regret over trying to forget him in life.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed. Héctor is initially introduced as a selfish con-artist who is only helping Miguel in order to get what he wants. However, over the course of the movie his true, much more noble intentions become clear and he drops the conman persona altogether.
  • Large Ham: When he’s not feeling down about not being able to go into the living world, Héctor is jocular and lively, singing and joking with just about everyone, especially Miguel. Removing parts of himself seems to be his favorite trick.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Or more like Like Great-Great Grandfather, Like Great-Great Grandson. Both he and Miguel share the same bangs, same musical talent, and even the same penchant for lying and/or tricking others to get what they want.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Héctor turns out to be Miguel's actual great-great grandfather.
  • Lovable Rogue: He's a crafty Con Man who is nonetheless caring and responsible around Miguel. He was like this in life too, sacrificing his chance at fame when he realized he needed to be there for his family... after running off to seek fame to begin with.
  • Lyric Swap: Does this with "Everyone Knows Juanita" when he remembers a particular lyric is a bit dirty for Miguel. The fact he's able to do this in a second and play it off so that only somebody who knows the song catches it is foreshadowing of his musical talents, and the fact that he was a father.
  • Manchild: He acts a bit young to be Miguel's great-great grandfather. Justified, though, since he was confirmed by Unkrich to have been only 21 when he was murdered.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: With Imelda. From the glimpses we've seen of their relationship, he's sensitive, artistic, and submissive where she is more fierce, dominating, and harsh.
  • May–December Romance: Zigzagged with Imelda. Both of them were about the same age when alive, but he died when he was 21, while Imelda's Skunk Stripe implies she died sometime at an elderly age (Unkrich confirmed early 70's). Nonetheless, Imelda (eventually) forgives Héctor and they rekindle their romance.
  • Must Make Amends: For leaving his family. It's implied that he has tried to do so with Imelda since she died, only to be turned away each time. Now, he's left helplessly wishing that he could apologize to Coco too.
  • My Greatest Failure: Again, leaving his family to pursue his music dream, and especially dying before seeing his daughter Coco again.
  • Mysterious Parent: Was the faceless and nameless father who abandoned Coco before the events of the film.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe. Dying by choking on chorizo, which the other shantytown skeletons won't let him forget. Hector nevertheless insists it was food poisoning. Turns out, it was just plain poison.
  • Nice Hat: Wears a small straw hat.
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
    • Unlike the other skeletons whose bones are pure white, Héctor's bones are a deep, faded rustic gold which is what alerts him he's in danger of being forgotten. His bones turn back to white at the end of the movie after Coco remembers him.
    • He is the only skeleton who walks in a strange, jerky fashion, which Miguel points out— much to Héctor's irritation. This is also a symptom of being forgotten, as the magic holding the bones together deteriorates the more you deteriorate from others' memories. It doesn't help that he's also the only skeleton holding some of his bones together with tape.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Invokes this during the song "Everyone Knows Juanita", much to the irritation of his older audience.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When he realizes that Ernesto is the one who killed him and stole his songs.
    • He has a moment of terror when he is about to approach his Final Death.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • When he learns Ernesto was directly at fault for denying him a chance to see his daughter Coco (both in life and death), Héctor is absolutely livid and doesn't hesitate to beat up Ernesto.
    • Becomes this to Miguel, especially after learning the boy is his great-great grandson. He does everything in his power to protect the boy from the murderous Ernesto.
  • Parental Love Song: Wrote one for his daughter, Coco. "Remember Me", which Ernesto twisted into a cheesy romantic ballad.
  • Parents as People: Héctor deeply loved his daughter, Coco, and regretted being away from her as a musician.
  • Pet the Dog: When Miguel is thrown into the cenote, Héctor immediately comforts the boy, who is crying over being betrayed by Ernesto. What makes Héctor's act truly kind is that this is before they both realize their related. As such, Héctor still believes that Miguel is the great-great grandson of his murderer. This is coupled with the fact with the fact that, earlier on, Miguel called off their deal because Héctor was about to take him back to his other family members. Despite all of this, Héctor gives genuine comfort and soothing words to the distressed Miguel.
  • Posthumous Character: He's been dead for decades (specifically since 1921) before the start of the story.
  • Retirony: Ultimately planned on giving up being a traveling musician in order to spend time with his family. Unfortunately, Ernesto had other plans...
  • Sad Clown: Acts fun, upbeat, and charming, but there are noticeable cracks in this facade which betray a sadder, more serious side. Héctor is actually much sadder than he lets on, having lost his family and knowing that there's a very slim chance that he'll ever even see his daughter again.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Héctor and Ernesto, in life. Héctor was the sensitive song writer who intended to give up on his dream of being famous to go back to his family, while Ernesto was the macho singer who was alright with murdering his best friend to achieve fame and fortune. This also comes through in the way both he and Ernesto sing and play music. Ernesto plays and sings in a loud, bombastic way, while Héctor's playing and singing is much more soft and tender.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Miguel. Héctor is by no means a bad person, but he represents the negative outcomes that could've happened to Miguel had the latter left to pursue a music career and not been remembered by his family.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Both he and Miguel, his great-great grandson are musicians who want (or wanted) to share their music with the world.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: In the epilogue, three important changes happen in his appearance — First, his bones have become pure white like the skeletons which show he's been revitalized. Second, he now sports a pair of shoes as a sign he's back in the Rivera family. Thirdly, he now has vest and pants that aren't tattered, showing he's no longer going to be forgotten.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: He speaks in an odd, goofy tone of voice which becomes deeper and more serious when he's singing.
  • Skeletal Musician: He still sings and plays guitar despite being dead.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: His relationship with ImeldaHis song, "Un Poco Loco" was written about her (as confirmed by Lee Unkrich), which details how she makes him crazy but he still loves her. On Imelda's side, she was rightfully upset with him for leaving their family but slapped Ernesto with her shoe for killing "the love of [her] life".
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: Since he died at the age of 21 while Coco was still very young, the latter appears much older than both her parents when they reunited in the afterlife.
  • Technician Vs Performer: Has shades of this with Ernesto. Héctor is the sincere, heart-felt Performer to Ernesto's polished and pristine but emotionally vacant Technician. It's especially apparent in how they both sing "Remember Me": Ernesto turned it into a cheesy love ballad aimed at no one in particular, while Héctor originally wrote it as a lullaby for his beloved daughter. And then, there's that Ernesto stole Héctor's songs because he knew he wasn't gifted enough to make it on his own artistic merit.
  • Together in Death: The epilogue shows that Héctor was finally able to reunite with Coco after she died.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Let's see, he lived in squalor, was teased for dying in a way he didn't, was forgotten and hated by his family, watched his friend living the high life without giving him any credit for the music he wrote, couldn't cross the bridge to see his daughter one last time, is on the verge of dying the final death, and then he learns that he was murdered by his best friend on the night that he was trying to return home to his family. It's amazing the guy has any sanity left.
  • The Trickster: He often lies and tricks other citizens, mostly because he is desperately poor and needs things they are unwilling to give him unless he hoodwinks them into doing so.
  • Undignified Death: Some of the residents of the Land of the Dead mock him for supposedly choking to death on a chorizo, though he claims it was actually the result of food poisoning. Subverted later, as it's discovered it wasn't food poisoning that did him in.
  • Un-person: There is a reason why there are no offerings set out for him in the world of the living... After all, he is Miguel's great-great grandfather, the man who disappeared from his family's life and triggered a whole tradition of hating and shunning music. He had every intention to come back, really, but his partner had other plans...
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: After he was killed by Ernesto while trying to return home, he's indirectly responsible for causing his wife to forbid the Riveras from playing music.
  • Vindicated by History: An In-Universe example, since, as shown in the epilogue, he's revealed to be the actual talent behind de la Cruz's music. As such, the Ernesto de la Cruz crypt was permanently desecrated by a sign saying to forget him, and Hector is remembered as the actual musical genius.
  • Walking Spoiler: Starts out as Miguel's sketchy sidekick and ends up being his real great-great grandfather, not to mention the actual writer of Ernesto's songs.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Ernesto de la Cruz, who was his business partner back in the day.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: What Héctor knows is happening to him, which is why he's especially desperate to see his daughter one final time.

Rivera Family

Living

    Abuelita Elena 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5c366cc0_77bb_41ca_8f17_ef8dbc45af5a.png
"No music!"
Voiced by: Renée Victor (English), Angélica Maria (Latin American Spanish)

The current matron of the family and the ultimate enforcer of the Rivera family's ban on music. She loves her family very much and will do anything to protect them. But when she gets angry, she wields a mean slipper.
  • Almighty Mom: Or "Almighty Grandmother" in Elena's case. She's the dominant voice in the living Rivera household, with her word being law. A lot of the conflict in the beginning of the film stems from her adamant refusal to allow Miguel to experience music in any kind, with no one else being able to raise a word to stop her.
  • Anger Born of Worry: She gets angry at Miguel because she just doesn't want Miguel to lose sight of his family.
  • Apron Matron: The firm, no-nonsense matriarch of the Riveras who nonetheless loves all her family members deeply and has their best intentions in mind. She looks the trope, too, as she's a rather stocky woman wearing an apron.
  • Berserk Button: Anything that reminds her of music, especially Ernesto De La Cruz will make her furious. At least until the end of the film.
  • Big Good: For the living family members of the Riveras as she is the matriarch there.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": We only hear her given name from Mamá Coco near the end of the film.
  • Doting Grandparent: She has a soft spot towards her grandson Miguel, even if she's overprotective of him.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Mother: A grandmother example. Elena resorts to drastic measures to stop Miguel's musical ambitions. Forms of measures include scaring off any musicians that come close to Miguel using her chancla, destroying his guitar in front of the Riveras to make a point, and so on. She eventually reconsiders when Miguel revitalizes Coco with "Remember Me".
  • Good Parents: Despite making a catastrophic mistake by forbidding Miguel from playing music, she's ultimately a good grandmother.
  • Irony: By forbidding Miguel from exploring his passion for music and breaking his guitar, Elena inadvertently drives Miguel to pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and steal Ernesto's guitar in order to participate in the talent show, which is exactly the outcome she wanted to avoid.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: She asks Miguel if he wants to be forgotten by his own family. Later, it turns out that she has a reason for it: Héctor is forgotten by all except one of the Riveras.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, she can go overboard especially in the case of Miguel's interest in music, but she's a loving grandmother underneath it all.
  • Large Ham: She has a boisterous personality, especially when it comes to enforcing her family's ban on music.
    Elena: No music!!!
  • Mama Bear: She's protective of all her descendants and grandson.
  • My Beloved Smother: Although she's Miguel's grandmother, Elena can be quite overprotective, watching him at every hour of the day to keep his mind off of music and making him eat more when he doesn't really want to.
    Elena: [putting tamales on Miguel's plate] Here, have some more.
    Miguel: [gently] ¡No gracias!note 
    Elena: [threatening] I asked if you would like more ta-ma-les...
    Miguel: [nervous with a pause] Sí?note 
    Elena: [happily as she loads tamales on Miguel's plate] That's what I thought you said!
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After she destroys Miguel's guitar, she has a visible look of guilt on her face when Miguel runs off.
  • Pet the Dog: She is willing to listen to Miguel sing to Coco towards the end of the film.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Wears a pink apron.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Even if she continues the family's ban on music started by Imelda, Elena is willing to listen to Miguel and values her family above all else.
  • Say My Name: Screams Miguel's name angrily just as he is about to play guitar for the mariachi guy. Doubles as Incoming Ham.
  • Skunk Stripe: Has a few white strands going through her grey hair.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Elena has absolutely nothing good to say about music or musicians, being exceptionally irritable in their presence. But she values her family above all and is exceptionally sweet to them, especially Miguel, whom she gives extra tamales to at dinner (even if he doesn't want them) and showers him in hugs and kisses.
  • Tough Love: Alternates between this and My Beloved Smother in regards to her grand-parenting Miguel. When she's not doting on him with lots of food, hugs, and kisses, she's harshly admonishing him for showing any interest in music, and pushing him to join the family shoemaking business. As she herself notes, she's tough on him because she cares.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Elena destroying Miguel's personal guitar to make an example of why the Riveras don't want music in the first place gave him the opportunity to steal Ernesto's guitar to participate in the talent contest.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By destroying Miguel's guitar, it convinces him to steal Ernesto de la Cruz's own guitar and cross over into the Land of the Dead.
  • Weapon of Choice: Wields the traditional and feared weapon of choice of Mexican mothers: La Chancla. She doesn't use it on her family in the film, though she smacks a mariachi around to keep him away from Miguel and then throws it at Dante to keep him away from her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Elena goes overboard in her efforts to stop Miguel from exploring music, hounding him every time he remotely shows signs of being interested in music or if a musician so much as passes by the Rivera house. But she does so not out of malice but love and the fear that Miguel would lose sight of his family, run away to be a musician, and never come home again, just as his great-great-grandfather did. Outside of the whole music issue, she's a fairly doting, if strict, grandmother. Unfortunately, her actions end up causing Miguel to steal Ernesto's guitar and end up in the Land of the Dead.

    Mamá Coco 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coco_26_5.png
Voiced by: Ana Ofelia Murguía (English), Elena Poniatowska (Latin American Spanish, speaking), Rocío Garcel (Latin American Spanish, singing)

Miguel's great-grandmother and Elena's mother. She is wheelchair bound and can barely move. Due to her advanced age she sometimes mistakes her family members for one another, still she is Miguel's favorite playmate and in her brief moments of lucidity still mentions how much she misses her dad.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She's Héctor's long lost daughter not Ernesto's. Since she's losing her mind due to her old age she's starting to forget about her dad which will mean permanent death for Héctor. Miguel singing "Remember Me" to her triggers her memory and helps save Héctor.
  • Cool Old Gal: The oldest living member of the Riveras at the start of the film and is shown to be warm and loving during her moments of lucidity.
  • Daddy's Girl: Even with the assumption that her father abandoned her, Coco still holds him dearly to her heart.
  • Died Happily Ever After: She passes away during the Time Skip, but is shown to be happy in the afterlife, reunited with her parents and visiting her living family members during Dia de los Muertos. She also seems to be more lucid as a spirit than she was towards the end of her life.
  • Eureka Moment: Goes through one near the end of the film as Miguel sings "Remember Me" for her, restoring her memory and remembering her father Héctor.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Due to her age, she can barely open her eyes anymore.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Coco has kept her braids from her youth. Which makes it doubly heartbreaking when you see Héctor's flashbacks with Coco when she was just a young child.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: She wore pigtails from her childhood to old age, and is even shown wearing them in the afterlife.
  • I Will Wait for You: She never stopped loving her father Héctor and always waited for him, keeping all of his letters and the torn part of the family photo with his his face on it.
  • Killed Offscreen: Possibly the most benevolent version of this trope, given her age. She died sometime before the Time Skip in the final scene. Her death also means she's reunited with her father and mother.
  • Miniature Senior Citizen: Her height is hard to make out since she's wheelchair-bound, but it seems she's barely taller than Miguel. In the end, once she passes on, we see her finally reunited with Héctor (who appears to be of an average adult's height) in the Land of the Dead. She stands just a little above his waist, playing this trope straight.
  • Morality Pet: Due to her extremely old age, she functions this way for much of her family.
    • To Miguel, despite being an impulsive Black Sheep who tries to sneak away from his family to play music at every opportunity, gladly spends lots of time with and helps take care of Coco.
    • To Elena, despite being a tough matriarch who rules her family with an iron fist, is shown to be very gentle when interacting with her mother.
    • And Hector's love for his daughter Coco is what inspired his world-famous songs, convinced him to quit show business to come home (which also led to his murder at Ernesto's hands), and ultimately redeems him in Miguel's (and the audience's) eyes.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: She and her husband Julio are notably not intimate with each other when reunited in the afterlife, in stark contrast to her parents who are belligerent for most of their scenes until the ending.
  • Only Sane Woman: She's the only living Rivera other than Miguel who is against the "no music" rule.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: She outlived her daughter Victoria.
  • The Pollyanna: Her (living) relatives sans Miguel are visibility more bitter over her Disappeared Dad's Parental Abandonment than she herself was. And that says a lot about her character considering she's also a widow and had one child whom she Outlived.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: A realistic example, and played very sympathetically. She's often deeply submerged in her memories of her dad, and sometimes she even fails to recognize her family members, either misnaming them or downright asking them who they are. Her family, however, understands this is due to her extreme age and continue to talk to her. Her dementia actually plays into the plot: She's the only living person who knew Héctor in life and still remembers him. However, due to her dementia, she's starting to forget him, and it's only a matter of time before she forgets completely and Héctor disappears for good from the Land of the Dead. Fortunately, she averts this towards the end of the film when Miguel plays her the song Héctor wrote for her, which triggers her memories of her dad and snaps her back into reality, making her much more lucid as she talks to her family, reminiscing about Héctor.
  • Secondary Character Title: Coco is Miguel's great-grandmother, but warrants the title because she's also Héctor's daughter — the muse who inspired his songs and the last person in the Land of the Living who remembers him.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Averted. Of all the grown Riveras, she appears to be the only one that does not hold a grudge against her musician dad. It's unclear as to whether she's always been like that, or if she was as resentful as Imelda and Elena until she mellowed out with age, but she genuinely seems to have forgiven her father at this point, and still wishes for him to come back in her old age. So much so that she's been keeping Héctor's face that was ripped from the family photo in la ofrenda, along with all the letters he sent her, for decades. She did it despite the fact that Mamá Imelda would've probably lost it if she found them.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Late in the film, it's revealed that she kept the part of the photo in the ofrenda with Héctor's face that was ripped off, along with all the letters with song lyrics Héctor sent her when he was traveling as a musician. The former means that Héctor can have his picture in the ofrenda next year and finally come back, while the latter is definitive proof that Ernesto is a fraud and Héctor was the true author of his songs, giving Héctor the credit he deserved.
  • Walking Spoiler: Her relationship with her father marks a huge twist in the plot and its resolution.
  • Widow Woman: Her husband Julio has been dead for quite some time.

    Papá Enrique 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/enrique_rivera.png
Voiced by: Jaime Camil (English), César Costa (Latin American Spanish)

Miguel's father.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Like the rest of the Riveras, Enrique would rather see Miguel become a shoemaker than a musician.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Indeed looks very much like Jaime Camil full-on.
  • Pet the Dog: When Miguel sings to Coco, Enrique has Elena listen to him for once.

    Mamá Luisa 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/luisa_rivera.png
Voiced by: Sofía Espinosa (English and Latin American Spanish)

Miguel's mother, she's pregnant with her second child for most of the film.
  • Babies Ever After: At the end of the film, her second child ends up being a girl and she and her husband name their new daughter after Mama Coco.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: She's basically an animated version of Sofía Espinosa, right down to the face and small ponytail.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Wears a pink apron.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Has her hair styled in a small, loose ponytail.

Deceased

    Mamá Imelda 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coco_imelda_render_crop.jpg
"Never forget how much your family loves you."
Voiced by: Alanna Ubach (English), Angélica Vale (Latin American Spanish)

Miguel's great-great grandmother, Imelda is the one that started the family shoemaking business and strictly forbade music after her husband left her and Coco to become a musician. She's strict and unwavering, and is the matriarch of the deceased Riveras. No one in her family (dead or alive) dares to stand up against her.
  • Almighty Mom: Like her granddaughter Elena in the Land of the Living, all of the Riveras defer to Imelda in the Land of the Dead. Even Ernesto plays along when she begins singing "La Llorona"note  while trying to to get Héctor's photo back.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Towards the end of the film, she slaps Ernesto with her shoe for murdering Héctor.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Spent her whole life trying to forget the man who walked out on her, and make Coco forget him too. When she sees that Hector is dying the Final Death thanks to Coco forgetting him, she's visibly horrified and remorseful to see that it's worked all too well.
    Imelda: [ruefully] I spent years trying to forget you. Trying to make Coco forget you...
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She may be a noble woman with a soft heart, but you'd do well not to make her angry.
  • Big Good: For the Riveras, as she's the one responsible for her family's shoemaking business.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards Héctor. She's understandably upset when they see each other again for the first time in several years. However, after learning the truth about what happened to Héctor, she hits Ernesto for killing him, rushes into his arms after her performance, and didn't seem to mind Héctor's presence when giving Miguel her blessing note . The epilogue shows her and Héctor together again, implying she did eventually forgive him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When we finally get to meet her, she's thoroughly terrorizing a poor immigration agent, yelling and slamming the employee's computer with her boot, because she allegedly did not have her picture in an ofrenda. Indeed, as this implies, she's strong willed, imposing, and she does not back down when she believes she's in the right (which is most of the time).
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Mother: A great-great grandmother example. She's so insistent on keeping music out of the family that she would only send Miguel back with her blessing if he promised to give up on music (even with the knowledge that he would die if he wasn't sent back before sunrise). Though she ultimately changes her mind in the final stretch of the film thanks to Miguel telling the truth about Héctor.
  • Freudian Slip: To Ernesto regarding her murdered husband.
    Imelda: That's for murdering the love of my life!
    Héctor: I'm the love of your life?!
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Wears a purple gown, a purple pendant, and has purple markings on her skull. It may also be a very subtle hint of foreshadowing as to who her true husband is: Héctor is the only other character in the movie to wear purple.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Stands out amongst the rest of the characters in the English version, since she's the lead singer for the only song to be performed entirely in Spanish in the film itself.
  • Grumpy Bear: She's the most cynical of the dead Rivera family members.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Judging from her picture, which was taken when she was in her very early 20's, Imelda has worn her hair in the same braided, bun-like hairstyle her entire life.
  • Hero Antagonist: For most of the movie, she's trying to lift the curse on Miguel trapping him in the Land of the Dead but under the condition he gives up music, which sets her into the role of the Stern Chase.
  • Iron Lady: The matriarch of the Rivera clan and the one who single-handedly started their family business, which has lasted for multiple generations. She is so fierce and no-nonsense that most of her family (and even outsiders) have difficulty finding the courage to contradict her. However, this is balanced out by the fact that everything she does is out of love for her family.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though she can be a jerk at times, she's a kind-hearted matriarch towards her descendants.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Wears a fairly formal dress and jewelry but has no problems manhandling Ernesto and his goons to retrieve Héctor's photo while singing.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Her alebrije is a giant, winged, cat-based creature named Pepita. Later on (and in a canon story book) it is revealed that, in life, Pepita was her beloved pet cat.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: A grandmother/granddaughter version; we first recognize her in the afterlife due to her using her Weapon of Choice in the same manner as her granddaughter, Elena.
  • Mama Bear: Like Elena, she's fiercely protective of her descendants—and that includes Miguel.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Has shades of this with Hector. From the glimpses we've seen of their relationship, she's fierce, dominating, and harsh while he's more sensitive, artistic, and submissive.
  • May–December Romance: Zigzagged with Héctor. Both of them were about the same age when alive, but he died when he was 21 according to Unkrich, while Imelda's Skunk Stripe implies she died sometime at an elderly age (Unkrich confirmed early 70's). Nonetheless, Imelda (eventually) forgives Héctor and they rekindle their romance.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • She was a renowned shoemaker in life. Coincidentally or not, there's former First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos, who is infamous for collecting shoes.
    • Imelda is a derivative of the German name Irmhild, which means warrior woman, universal battle, or powerful fighter — all of which describe Imelda's character perfectly.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Has a small one early in the film when Miguel chastises her for forcing him into an untenable position of choosing between his family and music.
    • She has this expression when she realizes that Coco is forgetting Héctor and that he'll disappear forever once Coco forgets him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ironically, it's her ban on music that almost forces Miguel to do what her husband did and leave his family— the very thing the ban was imposed to prevent!
  • Not So Different: As it turns out, she used to love singing as well, and showcases her own musical talent by singing a powerful rendition of the famed song "La Llorona"note  while fending off Ernesto and his goons on stage to avoid alarming the audience. Her actress, Alanna Ubach, is also a real-life singer.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Her only known siblings are twins Oscar and Felipe.
  • Pet the Dog: While she is still angry at Héctor for abandoning their family to pursue music, she decides to help him be saved from the Final Death.
  • Posthumous Character: She's been dead for decades.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Wears a purple dress and an amethyst choker, and is the most commanding voice in the Rivera family in the Land of the Dead.
  • Rejected Apology: Even after learning her husband didn't mean to abandon her and died as he was trying to return home, she still doesn't forgive him for all the pain she went through due to his absence. It takes her learning he was murdered to finally start to think about forgiving him. During the epilogue, we can see Imelda and Héctor together again implying she did eventually forgive him.
  • Say My Name: Similar to Elena and doubling as Incoming Ham, she shouts out Miguel's name when she catches him talking to Héctor just before sneaking off.
  • Self-Made Woman: After her husband left her, she took charge and started the family shoe making business, which is successful enough to comfortably support her growing family of descendants.
  • Skunk Stripe: Her black hair has several white streaks going through it.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Her relationship with HéctorHis song, "Un Poco Loco" was written about her (as confirmed by Unkrich), which details how she makes him crazy but he still loves her. On Imelda's side, she was rightfully upset with him for leaving their family but slapped Ernesto with her shoe for killing "the love of [her] life".
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: She died several decades before Coco, and thus appears a lot younger than her daughter when they're reunited in the afterlife.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Very likely—Word of God says that Héctor and Imelda were in mid/late-teens when they first met, and since Héctor was only 21 when he died, he and Imelda probably got married and had Coco when they were still teenagers.
  • Tsundere: When she and Héctor reunite, she is still angry and bitter towards him for abandoning their family. Learning he was murdered by Ernesto before he could return home, softens her and while she still doesn't forgive him, she agrees to help him. When the family was sneaking into the Sunrise Concert, Imelda was having trouble removing her Frida Kahlo costume, Héctor offered to help, but she quickly and angrily rejects it. And when she is face-to-face with Ernesto, she goes Violently Protective Girlfriend on him for murdering Héctor, "the love of [her] life". And when her statement is brought up twice, she denies ever saying. After performing "La Llorona", she energetically leaps into Héctor's arms before shyly moving away. A year later, she is shown to have reconciled with Héctor, as they both share a kiss, hold hands, and dance with one another while visiting their living family.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: A spouse variant, her reaction to learning that Héctor was killed by Ernesto is to hit the murderer with her shoe when she runs into him.
  • Weapon of Choice: Similar to her granddaughter, Elena, Imelda uses her shoe. However instead of her chancla she uses the heel of her boot.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Banned all music in the Rivera family in an attempt to keep it together and prevent future generations from suffering the same heartbreak she did when her husband left and never returned home.
  • Woman Scorned: Her husband walked out on her to play music for the world. She responded by banishing all music from the house, tearing out his picture from the family portrait (and presumably throwing out all other photos), and doing everything in her power to make sure the whole family forgets him for generations to come. Even in death, she rejected his many attempts to apologize or explain, and refused to help him restore his place on the family ofrenda (even knowing it would mean hastening his Final Death), relenting only when she learns he was murdered before he could return home to her.

    Papá Julio 
Voiced by: Alfonso Arau (English and Latin American Spanish)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/papa_julio_coco.png

Miguel's great-grandfather and Coco's late husband. He's the first family member in the Santa Cecilia graveyard to recognize Miguel.

    Tío Oscar & Tío Felipe 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coco_44.png
Voiced by: Herbert Siguenza (English), Héctor Bonilla (Latin American Spanish)

Imelda's brothers and Miguel's great-great granduncles—a pair of twins who always stand together and dress identically.

    Tía Rosita 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tia_rosita_coco.png
"Aww. I don't know what I'd do if no one put up my photo."
Voiced by: Selene Luna (English), Cecilia Suárez (Latin American Spanish)

Miguel's great-grandaunt, Julio's sister and Mama Coco's sister-in-law. She cares for Miguel dearly and helps the rest of the family look for him when he runs away.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Out of all the dead Riveras, she's definitely the chubbiest.
  • Big Fun: Rather chubby, and has a friendly, jolly personality.
  • Fat and Skinny: The Fat to Victoria's Skinny. Rosita wears her heart on her sleeve and is very doting aunt.
  • Flowers In Her Hair: Has a crown of pink roses, which highlight her feminine personality.
  • Nice Girl: A doting aunt to her nephew, Miguel.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Wears a hot pink dress, a wreath of pink roses, and pink makeup around her eyes.
  • Posthumous Character: She's been dead for decades before the events of the movie take place.
  • Visual Pun: She's the chubbiest of the Riveras in the Land of the Dead and thus has the thickest bones. Thus she's literally "big-boned."

    Tía Victoria 
Voiced by: Dyana Ortellí (English), Ana de la Reguera (Latin American Spanish)

Miguel's stern grandaunt, and Abuelita's sister.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Wears a light blue shirt with gold accents.
  • Fat and Skinny: The skinny to Rosita's Fat, being a stern but knowledgeable individual that doesn't coddle Miguel the way Rosita does.
  • Lean and Mean: Downplayed. Compared to Rosita, Victoria is skinnier and has a stricter temperament to match, but she is not mean to her nephew and looks out for her family.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: Much like her sister Elena, Victoria clearly takes after their grandmother, Imelda. But while Elena has Imelda's fiery temper and tendency to weaponize her shoes, Victoria seems to have inherited more of Imelda's strict, stern disposition and formal, ladylike deportment.
  • Posthumous Character: She died before the events of the movie take place.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: She's much more proper and stoic than her other family members, and fittingly has her hair in a bun.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Wears glasses and is the one to inform Miguel that the Land of the Dead and vitamins are real.
  • The Stoic: Quiet, unsmiling, and practical. When Miguel challenges Mamá Imelda's blessing early in the film and tries to get one from his other family members in the room, all of them look terrified, flinching and cowering from the cempazúchitl petal in turn (Imelda is a pretty imposing woman). The one exception is Victoria, who just looks at Miguel disapprovingly and quietly shakes her head at him.

"Inhabitants" of the Land of the Dead

    Ernesto de la Cruz 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/be33d3e7_20d1_4f65_9f93_d87d939d8bc4.jpeg
"I have to sing. I have to play. The music... it's... it's not just in me, it is me."
Voiced by: Benjamin Bratt (English), Antonio Sol (English, singing voice except for "Remember Me"), Marco Antonio Solís (Latin American Spanish)

Miguel's idol and a famous singer/guitarist/actor born in the same town as Miguel. His past has personal ties with Miguel's great-great-grandfather.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Ernesto only became the star he was after he murdered Héctor and stole his songs.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Everyone in the Land of the Dead rejoiced after Ernesto is exposed as a fraud/murderer and gets killed by a bell again.
  • Bait the Dog: When he first appears, it seems he's just as amazing as he was in life. He also willingly bonds with his supposed great-great-grandson Miguel and encourages him to follow his dream. Then it's revealed he's a fraud who he murdered his best friend and stole his songs to become famous. After this, he tries to murder Miguel, even though at the time he thought he was his great-great-grandson.
  • Big Bad: He's the main villain of the film. He was responsible for poisoning Héctor to death and stealing his songs and guitar and is willing to make sure he's forgotten by the Riveras.
  • Big Bad Friend: He was once friends with Héctor Rivera but after poisoning him to death, he becomes the Big Bad of the film.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Even though he may appear as a well-respected Mexican singer, his true personality is something much worse.
  • Broken Pedestal: Miguel idolizes him as a musician. However, he's saddened to realize that Ernesto killed Héctor, Miguel's real great-great-grandfather, and stole his songs and guitar from him.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Seize your moment." He attributes this mentality to his success and encourages others to do the same. It takes on an incredibly dark turn when you discover just how exactly he seized his moment.
  • Caught on Tape: How the Riveras exposed his true colors to the audience at the Sunrise Spectacular.
  • Childhood Friends: The novel "Coco: A Story of Music, Shoes, and Family" reveals that he and Héctor were childhood friends to the point where Hector feels that Ernesto is like his brother.
  • Death as Comedy: He was killed when a bell fell down on him while performing for a big audience.
  • Death by Irony:
    • He died immediately after finishing singing a song about leaving somewhere for good when a bell dropped on him. For added irony, he gets double-killed in a similar fashion after being exposed.
    • Not only that, he died while singing a bastardized version of the lullaby his friend wrote for his daughter, whom Ernesto made certain he would never see again.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: He's on the poster looking so affable, you would not have suspected him of being the villain.
  • Dirty Coward: He proves to be this when Héctor beats him up, despite being bigger of the two.
  • Dishonored Dead:
    • He not only poisoned his friend Héctor, but let Héctor's family believe he abandoned them to follow his dream. As a result, they hated him, forgot his memory and refused to put his picture on the ofrenda.
    • One year later, he gets a taste of his own medicine when the residents of the living world learn the truth about his crimes and close off his monument for good, putting a sign beneath his bust that says "Forget You".
  • Et Tu, Brute?: His reaction when Héctor decides to abandon the music industry and return home to his family is of tranquil outrage, to the point that he ended up murdering his friend.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted.
    • When Miguel first appears and claims to be his great-great-grandson, Ernesto is excited to have a great-great-grandson and quickly bonds with him and encourages him to follow his dreams. But when Miguel learns that Ernesto was a fraud and murderer, Ernesto did not hesitate to try to kill him to cover his tracks, even though he really did think Miguel was his great-great-grandson at the time.
    • When Héctor confronts him about stealing his songs, Ernesto reasons that he did to honor his friend. Then, it was revealed that Ernesto killed Héctor to steal his songs for fame. He even coldly states that he did consider Héctor his best friend, but was and still is willing to kill him for fame.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Couldn't understand why his friend would want to give up a chance at fame and fortune to go home to his family, since all Ernesto himself cared about was the stardom that came with music rather than the music itself. So he murdered Hector and stole his guitar and songs.
  • Evil Counterpart: To both Miguel and Héctor. Just like them, Ernesto was an aspiring musician with a certain degree of selfishness. However, unlike the other two, Ernesto was willing to do anything to accomplish his goals, including murder.
  • False Friend: Double Subverted. Ernesto did consider Héctor his best friend, but he ultimately cared more about gaining fame than their friendship. As such, when Héctor was planning to return to his family, Ernesto poisoned Héctor and stole his work.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: After Ernesto is exposed as a fraud, he'll spend the rest of his life in the Afterlife shunned and alone, unable to cross to the land of the living (since it's unlikely people will still put up ofrendas for him after what happened). His only chance of getting out of that situation is when people will actually forget about him and he dies for good. But since he was so popular in the world of the living there is little chance he'll be forgotten for at least a century as people will still tell his story for years. So he has nothing to live for in a world where everyone now hates him and he can't even off himself. What's worse, they hate him so much that they probably won't even rescue him from under that bell, so he's stuck underneath it for who knows how long! It goes from Asshole Victim to an And I Must Scream situation pretty quickly. Quite a grim outcome for a formerly beloved character.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's started out as a polite person who befriends his longtime fan Miguel, but later drops the charade when he sent Héctor and Miguel into a cenote after they learned of his true colors. He even taunted Héctor of his imminent fate of being forgotten after throwing Miguel off a cliff to his death, though Miguel was saved at the last minute.
  • Foil: To Héctor. Héctor, despite his Con Man nature, Butt-Monkey status, and disheveled appearance, is ultimately a good person who regretted leaving his family for selfish reasons. On the other hand, Ernesto, despite his successful career, respect by millions, and bright clothing, turns out to be a pure sociopath willing to kill anyone to get and maintain his fame. Adding to the contrast between the duo, while Héctor was a devoted (if flawed) Family Man who wanted to share his music with the world, Ernesto only cared about fame and is hinted to have been someone who Really Gets Around.
  • Irony:
    • He died in 1942 during a performance courtesy of a large bell. By the end of the film, he is once again crushed by a bell, this time in the Land of the Dead.
    • One of his quotes is "Never underestimate the power of music". It's music that not only restores Coco's memory of Héctor, but sets off a chain reaction where people learn the truth and condemn Ernesto's shrine.
    • His most famous song, one that which he had stolen, was "Remember Me." It's implied that he will ultimately be forgotten by both the Lands of the Living and the Dead.
    • His fan who would always follow Ernesto's tips was ultimately the one who revealed him as a murdering fraud.
  • It's All About Me: He only cares about being rich and famous, and he doesn't care what he has to do to pursue it. Even murdering a friend note  or his supposed great-great-grandson.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Earlier on, while spending time with Miguel, even he recognizes that the boy should be allowed to follow his heart and play music.
  • Karmic Death: While initially portrayed as a tragedy, he is killed by a bell while singing the song and playing the guitar of the man he murdered. Said song is also the lullaby he sung to his young daughter, and Ernesto killed Héctor due to choosing his family over his musical career.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • He throws Héctor and Miguel into a cenote and takes Héctor's picture from him. In context, this would ensure Héctor's forgotten and rendered Deader Than Dead, and Miguel, whom Ernesto believes to be his own great-great-grandson, would die of his curse.
    • Ernesto murdering Héctor was already unforgivable, but the flashback showed that while Héctor was dying, Ernesto makes a smug comment that it was probably the chorizos Héctor ate earlier.
    • Not only did he murder his best friend for his songs, he even based a scene in one of his movies on the murder, only arranging it so he's the hero in Héctor's role and giving himself a happy ending by figuring out he was (nearly) poisoned.
    • A far more personal violation? Stealing the song 'Remember Me' after murdering Héctor. A song he wrote as a gentle, loving ballad to his beloved daughter as a way of keeping them in one another's hearts...and Ernesto turns it into a bombastic, meaningless ladykiller ballad, stripping it of the love and emotion Héctor created it with.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gets crushed by a bell again, this time in the Land of the Dead. It's further implied that he will ultimately be forgotten by the Lands of the Living and the Dead.
  • Light Is Not Good: Wears pastel colors as part of his wardrobe (light blue in the "Remember Me" video, white in the Land of the Dead), but he's not what he seems.
  • Man in White: In the Land of the Dead, he is dressed in an immaculate white suit, fitting for his shining celebrity reputation and his sinister personality.
  • Miles Gloriosus: His movies display him as daring and bold and brave. He even brags to Miguel that he did all his own stunts in the movies. But later, when Héctor tackles him for murdering him, he cowers and resorts to calling security to take care of his fight for him.
  • Narcissist: He has his movies playing on the walls of his mansion in the Land of the Dead. Every. Single. Movie. At all times. For that matter, everything in his mansion is basically designed around him, from the swimming pool to the mansion itself, which resembles his sombrero.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: He acts nice and cheerful in his movies and onstage, but the real him is cold and cruel, and actually stole the music from Héctor to become famous.
  • Nice Hat: Wears an oversized sombrero with each outfit he has.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: According to Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Ernesto's performances are based on well-known Mexican musicians such as Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete and Vicente Fernández. In fact, Benjamin Bratt watched video clips of Infante and Negrete to prepare for his role.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The shape of his head looks more resembling to when he was alive, while the other skeletons have virtually nearly the same head shape. Also while a lot of the skeletons wear multicolored clothes, he wears predominately silver, appearing almost black and white. This is a clue that he's not what he appears to be.
  • Offing the Offspring: While still under the impression that Miguel was his great-great grandson, Ernesto is still willing to kill him to protect his secret.
  • Oh, Crap!: When his actions are exposed by the Riveras and he gets crushed by a bell yet again. Especially when Pepita slowly advances upon him.
  • Pet the Dog: He didn't hesitate to rescue Miguel when he accidentally fell into his pool. Though he didn't know him at the time and Miguel didn't know the truth yet.
  • Posthumous Character: Assuming the movie takes place in 2017, Ernesto had been dead for at least 75-years (since 1942) by the time the movie's events take place.
  • Rags to Riches: He was a simple music businessman who was friends with Héctor until he poisoned the latter's drink and stole his songs and guitar, thereby achieving fame in both the Lands of the Living and the Dead.
  • Really Gets Around: Implied. He was unmarried, was shown to be a Chick Magnet in his life, and when Miguel states that he is Ernesto's great-great grandson, the musician is surprised but also believes the statement relatively quickly. A subtle Getting Crap Past the Radar moment.
  • Rescue Introduction: When Miguel falls into Ernesto's guitar-shaped swimming pool in the palace, he ends up rescuing him.
  • Robbing the Dead: Big time. After murdering Héctor, Ernesto took his guitar, his music, his family's respect for him, his duly deserved fame and fortune, and his chance to see his daughter again, all to further his own career. However, Miguel returns the guitar and fame to its rightful owner once and for all.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Lets out a high-pitched scream (which he hides as a grito) when Imelda stomps on his foot to steal Héctor's picture back.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Ernesto and Héctor, in life. Ernesto was the macho singer who was alright with murdering his best friend to achieve fame and fortune, while Héctor was the sensitive song writer who intended to give up on his dream of being famous to go back to his family. This also comes through in the way both he and Héctor sing and play music. Ernesto plays and sings in a loud, bombastic way, while Héctor's playing and singing is much more soft and tender.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • To Héctor — Ernesto represents Héctor if the latter was devoid of any true familial love for his relatives.
    • To Miguel — Ernesto represents Miguel if the latter had let his own self-interest become the more important than his loved ones. What's more telling, both Ernesto and Miguel perform hurtful acts in the pursuit of their goals, but while Miguel realizes his mistakes and makes it up, Ernesto doesn't.
  • Smug Snake: It takes a special kind of smug to take the moment you poisoned your former best friend and business partner and add the entire scene to one of your movies, giving the villain the exact thing you said then while rewriting yourself as the hero who unlike reality realizes his drink was poisoned. So smug in fact that seeing the scene gives Héctor an epiphany of what really happened the night he died.
  • The Social Darwinist: He is of the Struggler and Straw Meritocrat types. He's willing to do what it takes to be successful, even if he has to murder his own best friend to achieve fame. And he's not squeamish about this.
  • The Sociopath: A particularly creepy example, Ernesto comes off as a kind, fatherly, lovable sort of person whom anyone would want to know. In reality, he's a frighteningly arrogant murderer willing to off anyone— including his best friend and supposed great-great grandson, a child— who gets in his way.
  • Stupid Evil:
    • Putting in a movie the way you murdered your friend along with the exact words you said to him doesn’t exactly scream brilliant.
    • Tearing the picture of Héctor could've saved Ernesto a lot of trouble.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: He poisoned Héctor's drink, resulting in the latter's death.
  • Technician Vs Performer: Has shades of this with Héctor. Héctor is the sincere, heart-felt Performer to Ernesto's polished and pristine but emotionally vacant Technician. It's especially apparent in how they both sing "Remember Me": Ernesto turned it into a cheesy love ballad aimed at no one in particular, while Héctor originally wrote it as a lullaby for his beloved daughter. And then, there's the fact that Ernesto stole Héctor's songs because he knew he wasn't gifted enough to make it on his own artistic merit.
  • Tranquil Fury: He hid his fury when he poisoned Héctor's drink.
  • The Unfettered: Ernesto is willing to do anything to secure his success, including murdering his best friend to steal his songs, and condemning the boy he believes to be his great-great-grandson to his death to cover up his secret.
    Ernesto: Success doesn't come for free. You have to do whatever it takes to seize your moment.
  • Un-person: At the end of the film, his memorial is closed off for good with his bust wearing a sign saying "Forget You."
  • Villainous Rescue: He dove in to rescue Miguel from drowning in his mansion's swimming pool after meeting him for the first time. Averted when it turns out that he only did it to save face of his reputation rather than for the well-being for Miguel.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Despite being the Big Bad of the film, Ernesto's quite beloved in his home country and in the Land of the Dead. At least until the Rivera family exposes his evil intentions at the Sunrise Spectacular.
  • Walking Spoiler: As can be seen from the spoilers in this section, a lot more is revealed about him than just being a famous singer.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Héctor claims they used to be friends and he taught Ernesto everything he knows, even though they don't associate currently. Since it's Héctor it's hard to know how truthful he's being at first. It turns out that they were best friends but that ended because Ernesto took credit for all of Héctor's songs after he died in 1921. Then moments after the audience finds that out, Héctor finds out Ernesto actually murdered him for those songs making him a Big Bad Friend.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Had no problem with attacking Imelda if it meant keeping his shameful and dark secret.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He's willing to throw Miguel into a cenote with Héctor after his true identity is revealed. Later, he attempts to send Miguel falling to his death.

    Chicharrón 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/olmoscoco.jpg
Voiced by: Edward James Olmos (English), Víctor Trujillo (Latin American Spanish)

A "friend" of Héctor's, living with all the other skeletons who do not get offerings on Día de los Muertos. He is forgotten and disappears for good shortly after he is introduced.
  • Black Comedy: He lent Héctor a whole bunch of things he never gave back, including his right femur, for whatever reason. He craftily replaced it with a length of pipe tied to his other bones with string.
  • Deader Than Dead: Being forgotten means he disappears permanently in the Land of the Dead.
  • Famous Last Words: After Héctor performs "Everyone Knows Juanita", Chicharrón peacefully says, "Brings back memories. Gracias.note " Then, he has his Final Death.
  • Go Out with a Smile: He is smiling peacefully when he vanishes from existence, just as Héctor is finishing his song to him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is shown to be a cantankerous man and initially refuses to help Héctor, but he quickly decides to do so and genuinely thanks Héctor for doing his Last Request.
  • Last Request: He asks Héctor to sing his play his favorite song, "Everyone Knows Juanita," before he dies.
  • Nice Hat: He wears a cowboy hat.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What is his story? What happened to his family? Why was he forgotten?
  • Trash of the Titans: His place has a whole bunch of junk lying around. Even the hammock he's laying in is chock full of random trash.
  • Un-person: He's forgotten about completely in the Land of the Living, ensuring that he falls victim to his Final Death.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Despite his limited screen time, it's implied this is his relationship with Héctor since the latter steals from him all the time, but Chicharrón still asks him to play his favorite song on the guitar.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Only seen for a brief portion of the film before he disappears forever due to being forgotten for too long, existing primarily just to show what happens if someone is completely forgotten in the Land of the Dead.

    Frida Kahlo 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frida.png
Voiced by: Natalia Cordova-Buckley (English), Ofelia Medina (Latin American Spanish)

The Real Life, world-famous painter, who after her death still works as an artist lending her talents to prestigious celebrities.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: She is in fact the only skeleton to still have eyebrows but without the unibrow it wouldn't be Frida.
  • Eccentric Artist: Par for the course, much like her real-life counterpart. Her opening act for Ernesto's concert is all you need to see how strange her perception is.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Since Frida Kahlo was a person who actually existed.
  • Nice Girl: Despite being a Mad Artist, she's shown to be nothing but kind and supportive to Miguel. When she sees a random kid crash her rehearsal she merely asks him for feedback instead of telling him to get out, praises him for having "an artist's soul" when he gives her good advice, dotes on his dog Dante, and doesn't hesitate to help him near the climax when he and his family need help sneaking into Ernesto's concert backstage, even lending them around ten Frida costumes even though it would mean some ten less performers on stage for her beloved art.
  • Posthumous Character: She's been dead since 1954. Though nobody will be forgetting her any time soon.

Animals and Alebrijes

    Dante 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coco_dante.png

A somewhat goofy Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican hairless dog) stray dog that follows Miguel around. When Miguel is sent to the land of the dead he manages to cross over and help Miguel find his family.
  • Achievement In Ignorance: At times, it seems Dante can cross over to the Land of the Dead because he's too goofy to realize he's not supposed to be able to see the dead. Subverted when it's revealed that he really is an Alebrije.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: After becoming Miguel's Alebrije, he becomes tie-dye colored.
  • Canine Companion: Accompanies Miguel throughout his adventure in the Land of the Dead.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He has black fur, but he is very funny and humorous.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Downplayed. Dante is not the sharpest tool in the shed, with his silliness and constant energy providing much of the film's comic relief. But Dante also displays enough sense to try and guide Miguel back to the Riveras rather than de la Cruz. This trope is played more soberly when Miguel dismisses Dante's efforts, telling Dante that he wasn't an alebrije and was just a dumb dog, much to Dante's discomfort.
  • Ear Notch: Dante is missing a part of his right ear, probably as a result of living rough on the streets.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: He is a Mexican hairless dog, while Pepita is a ferocious jaguar Alebrije.
  • From Stray to Pet: Dante is Miguel's pet in all but name, being receptive, friendly, and loving. He is later accepted into the family by the film's epilogue.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In-universe, most characters can't decide whether he's an Alebrije, or just a regular dog. It settles firmly on Magic when it turns out Dante really is an Alebrije.
  • Meaningful Name: There's another famous Dante that traveled to the underworld and back. In-universe, he's named after Ernesto's horse from one of his films.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: After becoming an Alebrije, he gains small wings.
  • Undying Loyalty: Even after Miguel angrily calls him a "dumb dog", Dante stills follows after Miguel to make sure he's safe.

    Pepita 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ccs_pepita1_120per16n120__resize__coco__cropped_7.jpg

Imelda's personal Alebrije, or spirit guardian. Pepita's a massive multi-colored winged jaguar with ram's horns and the ability to reveal and follow a person's tracks. She helps Imelda track down Miguel after he runs off.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: She's green, purple, and blue.
  • Big Damn Heroes: She rescues Miguel and sends Ernesto flying into the bell similar to the one that killed him.
  • Death Glare: Wears a perpetual one, though she's not that bad. Of particular note is the slow, terrifying glare she gives Ernesto as she's slowly advancing on him for trying to kill Miguel.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: She's a jaguar Alebrije, while Dante is a hairless Mexican dog.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: "Pepita" is Spanish for "pumpkin seed", which is often eaten as a snack or as an ingredient in Mexican cuisine. This name was given...to a giant ferocious winged jaguar. Inverted in the epilogue; when Pepita crosses over to the land of the living she's shown to be an adorable house cat smaller than Dante.
  • Mama Bear: As Mama Imelda's personal Alebrije, Pepita is very protective of the Rivera family as a whole. After she saves Miguel, Ernesto learns this the hard way.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Comes naturally, being an Alebrije. She has a jaguar's body, wings, eagle talons, and ram horns.
  • Panthera Awesome: Has an intimidatingly large panther body, and is a highly competent tracker and reliable companion to Imelda.
  • Stern Chase: Is the main force tracking Miguel for most of the movie.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Wherever Miguel flees, Pepita will be right behind him. Though she's doing this to bring him back to his family, not to eat him.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Rivera family. She brutally attacks Ernesto after he tries to kill Miguel.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: She's a massive jaguar with wings that resemble a bird of prey's.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/Coco