Making the Movie Coco: Culture and Representation with Marcela Davison Aviles

Marcela Davison Aviles served as the lead consultant for Pixar’s animated feature Coco (2017), and advised on the film’s music video with Miguel and Natalia Lafourcade. In this talk, Aviles will discuss how her work as a cultural translator of Mexican heritage and culture impacted all aspects of the production, including script development, casting, art direction, and music as well as public relations, consumer products, and marketing.

Davison Aviles’s work is relied upon by major Hollywood studios and arts organizations to ensure that their storytelling is culturally authentic, relevant, and accurate. A lawyer by training, she has a passion for the arts and film that led eventually to her working with Disney and subsequently with Pixar. A native of Nogales, Arizona, and a child of Mexican immigrant parents, Davison Aviles now heads the Chapultepec Group, a consulting firm. She is currently the cultural advisor for Disney’s animated program Elena of Avalor.