Bear River High School grad Adrian Molina wins Golden Globe for best animated film ‘Coco’ (VIDEO) |

Bear River High School grad Adrian Molina wins Golden Globe for best animated film ‘Coco’ (VIDEO)

The Union staff
Adrian Molina, far right, joined by Darla K. Anderson and Lee Unkrich, won a Golden Globe for best animated film for "Coco" at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Sunday in Beverly Hills.
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP | Invision

‘Coco’ on screen now

Sierra Cinemas, 840 E. Main St., Grass Valley, 12:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. today through Thursday.

It’s a long way from the pastoral scenes of South Nevada County to the glitz and glamour of the Beverly Hilton’s red carpet for the 75th Golden Globes ceremony.

But that’s where Adrian Molina’s journey took him Sunday night, when the Bear River High School graduate’s film “Coco” won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film.

The Pixar production, which took six years to produce, has drawn widespread praise for the culturally authentic way it presents Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” culture.

“… It was an incredible opportunity for us to display all the things about the culture, which as a Mexican-American we take pride in and that we want to share and want the world to see,” Molina said Sunday, during a press conference at the Golden Globes. “And to be able to reflect that in a family on a national and international level is something that we’re very touched that people have really come to love this story and this family.”

Not only has the Hollywood Foreign Press honored the film, but fans have given it a 97 percent approval rating at and some 55,000 reviewers give it 8.7 out of 10 stars at

And, according to the Associated Press, Molina and his teammates shouldn’t be surprised to hear “Coco” announced as an Academy Award nominee on the morning of Jan. 23.

“The Disney and Pixar collaboration is considered a leading contender for an Academy Award for best animated feature,” the Associated Press reported Sunday night. “It tells the story of a Mexican boy who dreams of being a musician despite his family’s wishes and falls into the realm of the dead.”

“Coco” has drawn widespread praise for the culturally authentic way it presents Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” culture.

A Telemundo reporter asked the filmmakers Sunday what was the message “for the Mexican people who love this movie?”

“The message is the same across the world, about the power of remembering where you come from, who you come from,” Molina said. “But especially for the Mexican people, I think there’s also a special message to take pride in their traditions, to take pride in their families. And to see yourself on screen is a transformative experience.

“And I think a lot of the feedback we’ve been hearing — especially from Mexico, especially from Latino or Hispanic families — is that this is a very special moment watching your story on the screen, to see that that story relates universally, to see that story has legs and can touch people all over the world, gives you a validation that once you have it, you can’t take away.”

Molina graduated from Bear River High School and later studied character animation at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita.

While in elementary school, Molina said, he came to the realization that “these films I loved were being made by someone. I realized that was an actual job.”

Molina got his foot in the door at Pixar more than a decade ago, when he landed an internship doing story art for the animation studio. Later, Pixar hired him as a full-time story animator.

He’s worked on a variety of films for the company, including “Toy Story 3,” “Monsters University” and “The Good Dinosaur.” “Coco,” he said, was the first project he co-directed and took a leading role writing the screenplay.

The movie was first released in Mexico — where it’s become the country’s highest-grossing film of all time — just days before Dia de los Muertos, which takes place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

Late December box office totals brought the film’s domestic cumulative gross to $178.9 million. Combined with an estimated international gross of $359 million, “Coco’s” global box office gross stood at an estimated $537.9 million.

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