Today, Disney+ subscribers in Australia and New Zealand can now enjoy the Maori version of the Pixar animated film, “Coco”, which is the first Pixar film re-versioned into Te Reo Māori to be developed and produced by Matewa Media in association with Pixar Animation Studios.
The film tells the story of, Miguel, who despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, he dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
The new version was produced locally in Aotearoa by Matewa Media, Tweedie Waititi (Producer/Director), Chelsea Winstanley and Mia Henry-Teirney (Producers), Rob Ruha and Pere Wihongi (Music Directors). “Coco Reo Māori” is a celebration of Te Reo o Te Tai Rāwhiti, drawing on its specific and unique mita (dialect) to bring the story into Te Ao Māori.
The new version includes Mānuera Mānihera who made his debut as the voice of aspiring musician Miguel, while multi-award-winning Māori musician and actor Troy Kingi plays Héctor, a charming trickster in the Land of the Dead. Justin Rogers (The Lion King Reo Māori) returned as the most famous musician in history, Ernesto De La Cruz, and haka idol Naomi Herewini-Houia plays the family matriarch, Mamá Imelda.
Edd Rivera, hailing from the home of Mariachi, and multilinguist Hana Mereraiha, has ensured the Spanish language is honoured throughout the film. Translations for the film were completed by father/son duo and renowned Tai Rāwhiti natives, Tā Selwyn Parata (chair of Te Matatini) and Ngarimu Parata.
This version of “Coco” was released in cinemas across Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. Disney has previously made versions of its animated hits “Moana”, “The Lion King” and “Frozen”. The team behind “Coco Reo Māori” are also working on a version of “Encanto”.
Are you looking forward to watching “Coco Reo Māori”? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.