No more hiding, Dante. I gotta seize my moment!
~ Miguel

Miguel Rivera is the main protagonist of the Pixar film, Coco. Miguel is only twelve years old but aspires to be a great musician. The Rivera family has a generations-old ban on music, yet despite this Miguel's dreams remain firm. When accidentally invokes a curse that sends him to the Land of the Dead, Miguel seeks out his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, to help him return to the Land of the Living before he is stuck there forever.

Despite his family's objection of him to become a musician, Miguel is innate musician to the marrow of his bones.


Miguel has dreamed of being a musician for years. However, due to a family taboo against music, Miguel keeps his dreams mostly to himself. The only ones who know of Miguel's dreams are his great grandmother "Mamá" Coco and his dog Dante. A traveling mariachi mentions a music contest being held on Día de los Muertosto to Migue and though he is quickly chased off by Abuelita Rivera, Miguel decides to enter.

While preparing his family's ofrenda for the festival, Miguel contemplates why his family has banned music, with it going back to his great-great grandmother. After Miguel's dog, Dante, stirs their ofrenda, resulting in a photo of his great-great grandparents falling out. Miguel shortly recognizes that his great great grandfather's guitar is that of the famed Ernesto de la Cruz, his idol. Miguel concludes that Ernesto is his great great grandfather. With renewed vigor, Miguel decides to follow his passions, starting by entering the contest. Miguel's family tries to disuade him, stating such vocation will only lead tragedy like his great-great grandfather. When Abuelita puts Miguel on the spot by choosing between family and his dreams; when Miguel still desires to be a musician, prompting Abuelita to angrily destroy his guitar.

Miguel defiantly enters the contest. But with his guitar gone he starts to seek a replacement. After much reluctance he enters de la Cruz's mausoleum to steal his guitar. After briefly playing the guitar, Miguel finds he can no longer interact with the living and has traveled to the spirit-world. Though none of the people can see him, Dante still can. While in the spirit world, Miguel meets his deceased family members who soon guide him to the Land of the Dead to help turn Miguel back to normal. Miguel speaks with his great-great grandmother Imelda, who states she is unable to cross-over for Día de los Muertosto due to her photo being knocking out of the family ofrenda. They soon learn that a curse was placed on Miguel due to his theft of the guitar, which had trapped him in the Land of the Dead. If Miguel remains in the land after sunrise, he will become a spirit and remain trapped in the land forever. When they learn that the curse can be broken via a family member's blessing, Imelda says she will give him her blessing if he gives up music. Miguel refuses, running off to seek his great-great grandfather instead to get his blessing instead.

Miguel meets Héctor who offers to help after he hears that he knows de la Cruz. Héctor agrees to help Miguel find de la Cruz if he puts his picture on an ofrenda when he gets home, which Miguel gladly agrees to. The two hear of a contest to meet de la Cruz. Upon getting Miguel a guitar, he performs in the contest. During the contest, the deceased Riveras show up. Héctor confronts Miguel about the family as he lied and said Ernesto was his only family. Shortly after Miguel leaves Héctor and Dante to go find Ernesto by himself. Miguel escapes his family by running into an alleyway. Imelda says that she didn't ban music because she hated it, but because her family meant more. Miguel continues toward Ernesto's mansion, unpersuaded. After he gets inside, Miguel gets Ernesto's attention by singing a song. He tells Ernesto he is his great great grandson and how he needs his blessing in order to go home. Ernesto agrees, but is interrupted by Héctor, who shows up to remind Miguel of their deal.

Héctor reveals that all Ernesto is famous songs were actually written by him. When Héctor says Ernesto once said he would move heaven and earth for him, Miguel points out how that quote was actually used in one of de la Cruz's films. As Héctor retraces the events of his last night alive out loud and he suddenly accuses Ernesto of poisoning him. Ernesto has his guards take Héctor away. With Héctor dragged off, Ernesto asks Miguel if he believes Héctor. Miguel tries to assure Ernesto that he doesn't but Ernesto recognizes the doubt in Miguel's voice and calls for his guards to take Miguel away as well. Miguel protests, saying the two of them are family but Ernest ignores the pleas.

Miguel is thrown in the ceneto, where he finds Héctor. Eventually, while recounting their regrets, they piece together that Héctor is Miguel's real great-great grandfather. Shortly after the discovery Dante leads the other Riveras to them to save them.Though Imelda is still hostile toward Héctor, Miguel mends the relationship. Imelda soon agrees to help as Coco is losing her memory of them. The Riveras arrive at Ernesto's concert to get Héctor's photo back. Imelda and Héctor get ready to give their blessing to send Miguel back with the photo, however Ernesto drop Miguel from the building, interrupting the blessing. Dante tries to save him but Miguel is too heavy and he loses the photo mid-fall. Miguel is saved by Pepita at the last second, while Ernesto's crimes are exposed to the audience. With Dawn on it's way Miguel is almost completely a spirit. Héctor is starting to fade away and though Miguel does not want to leave him, he is forced to accept Imelda's blessing to save him and Coco.

Upon awakening in Ernesto's mausoleum, Miguel immediately runs back home. Once home, Miguel finds Mamá Coco catatonic, having lost most of her memory. Miguel, heartbroken at seeing his great-grand-mother in he deteriorated state, breaks-down before his parents. Suddenly, Miguel recalls Héctor's guitar and sings "Remember Me" to Coco to reminder of Héctor. Coco suddenly recalls her father and she reveals to the other Riveras. The film's finale skips ahead one year, where Héctor and music are now a celebrated part of the Rivera family. Miguel now has a new baby sister, "Sorocco" named in honor of after his now-deceased grandmother.


English Spanish
Anthony Gonzalez Luis Angel Gomez Jaramillo



  • Miguel is Pixar's first non-Caucasian human protagonist for a full length feature film.
  • Miguel is the second youngest protagonist to appear in a Pixar movie, the youngest being Arlo.
  • His last name is a reference to a Pixar Producer, Jonas Rivera.
  • His last name Rivera, is a reference to El Tigre.


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