By JESSICA GELT
Los Angeles Times
“Coco” centers on the practice of mourning the departed through the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. That tradition proved healing to Robert Lopez after his mother died in August and his family honored her in early November, when the Day of the Dead honors lost loved ones.
“She was the main force in my childhood who encouraged me to play piano and write music, and go for my dream,” Robert Lopez said in the press room.
“She told him if he didn’t practice she would make him eat the piano,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez said.
“Remember Me” is a song about leaving people you love, Robert said. “We sang it at the funeral, and it was very important in helping me in heal.”
From now on, the couple’s family will celebrate Day of the Dead like Christmas and Halloween, Kristen said. “Because loss is inevitable. . I want to pass that tradition on to our daughters.”
The pair did not dare dream of another Oscar win after nabbing their first for the epic ballad “Let It Go” from the 2014 animated feature “Frozen.” The timing of this win, however, was serendipitous, since they just wrapped up the first week of previews for stage adaptation of “Frozen” at the St. James Theatre on Broadway. The musical includes new songs by the couple.
The Lopezes talked about the importance of “Coco” to the Spanish-speaking world. Robert lamented that even though his family immigrated from the Philippines – his father was born on a boat on the way from Manila – he never learned Spanish himself.
“It’s one of the great regrets of my life,” he said, concluding, “I’ve always felt ’other’ even though I was assimilated. . I want to encourage every brown kid to pursue their dream just like my mom did.”