Dante’s Lunch—A Short Tail, which debuted this morning on Yahoo Movies, introduces audiences to Dante, the endearing dog that stars in Disney•Pixar’s Coco. Director Lee Unkrich told Yahoo Movies that his team created it to help them flesh out the canine character who is based on a Xolo (or Xoloitzcuintli), an ancient breed that can be traced as far back as 3,500 years and, Unkrich said, “figures very prominently in Aztec legends about the afterlife. It was said that in order to make the journey through the afterlife, you needed to have one of these Xolo dogs with you.”
In the film, Dante serves as companion to Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez), who dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Disney•Pixar’s Coco opens in theaters in the U.S. on November 22. The film is co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist Monsters University) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3).