Any Mexican who has watched “Coco” knows that “Abuelita” is a true representative of most Mexican grandmothers. Their tenderness, strictness, always wanting you to eat more – what’s not to love? The inspiration for this version of grandma came from a real Mexican grandmother.
Pueblito Guzmán, an 88-year-old abuela, inspired the fictional character. She has a lot of grandkids, and one of them is the wife of one of Coco’s directors, Nick Rosario.
Guzmán was delighted to serve as a reference, but a problem occurred – she didn’t speak English and Rosario didn’t speak Spanish. The director asked Alonso Martinez, a Mexican colleague at the studio to be their interpreter in the process. Martinez is an Articulator, who is in charge of the 3D modeling.
The head of the Rivera family is caring and loving, but also very tough. Those characteristics reminded Rosario of his wife’s grandmother. “To animate physical features in the most realistic way possible, is necessary to have a human reference,” said Rosario.
He said Guzmán was perfect for that and decided to take her to the studio. Rosario and Martinez asked Guzmán to move her “Bingo wings,” which they said was one of the most difficult parts.
For those of you that read my previous post about Coco…here is my abuela, it was her who they modeled the Abuela with…
“There were many people taking pictures. They asked me to make many faces and move my arms,” said Guzmán. The production got her framed pictures of the faces she made, as a way of thanking her for her most appreciated collaboration.
This article was inspired by Latina // This Adorable Grandma Was the Inspiration for Abuelita in ‘Coco’