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

Miguel Rivera is the main protagonist of the Pixar's 19th full-length animated feature film, Coco. He is a 12-year-old aspiring musician who struggles against his family's generations-old ban on music. When a magical mishap lands him in 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 it's too late.

He is voiced by Anthony Gonzalez.

Role in the film

Among the rest of the Rivera family, Miguel stands out by his love and passion for music. However, because of the generation-spanning taboo his family has towards music, he must keep this side of himself hidden. The only ones who are aware of his passion are his elderly great grandmother Mamá Coco and his dog Dante. At the beginning of the film, Miguel is encouraged to play music by a mariachi only for the mariachi to get scared away by Abuelita, but not before informing him of a music contest being held on Día de los Muertos.

While looking at his family's ofrenda, Miguel wonders about his family's past that motivated his great-great grandmother to ban music in the first place. After Miguel narrowly evades Abuelita from finding his guitar, Dante causes the ofrenda to shake, where the photo of his great-great grandparents falls off and breaks. After Miguel notices in the picture that his great great grandfather holding the guitar of Ernesto de la Cruz, his idol, he concludes that Ernesto is his great great grandfather and decides to enter the content to become a musician. Announcing this to the Rivera household, Miguel's family tries to convince him to give up the idea, fearing such a dream would lead Miguel to end up like his great-great grandfather. Abuelita confronts him personally to make him choose between family and his dream; when Miguel still stands firm for music, Abuelita angrily destroys his guitar.

Undeterred, Miguel runs off to enter the contest. However, since he needs an instrument to enter, he (reluctantly) enters de la Cruz's mausoleum and steals his guitar. Tempted by the guitar's quality, Miguel briefly plays it. As a result, he discovers that he can't interact with the living. He meets the deceased members of his family and discovers that Dante can still see him. They take him to the Land of the Dead to help turn Miguel back to normal. At the Grand Central Station, Miguel meets his great-great grandmother Imelda, who was unable to cross over due to Miguel knocking off her picture on the ofrenda. The family learns that Miguel had a curse placed on him for stealing the items of the deceased, which got him trapped 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 to break the curse a member of his family must give him their blessing, Imelda tells him she will give him her blessing if he gives up music. Miguel refuses and runs off to seek his great-great grandfather instead, believing him to be de la Cruz.

He enlists Héctor's help after he hears that he knows de la Cruz. Héctor agrees to help him if he puts his picture on an ofrenda when he gets home to which Miguel agrees. The pair hear about a contest where the winner will get to meet de la Cruz. After they get Miguel a guitar, Miguel performs in the contest. However during the contest, the deceased Riveras show up. Héctor confronts Miguel about this as he lied and said Ernesto is his only family. This makes Miguel ditch Héctor and Dante to go find Ernesto himself. Miguel escapes Imelda and her alebrije Pepita by running into an alleyway. Imelda tries to stop him by revealing that she didn't ban music because she hated music, but because she loved her family more. Miguel isn't moved and continues toward Ernesto's mansion. After the winners of the contest get him inside, Miguel gets his idol's attention by singing a song. He tells Ernesto he's his great great grandson and that he needs his blessing so he can go home. Ernesto agrees, but before he can give it Héctor show up to remind him of their deal.

Héctor reveals that he wrote all of the songs Ernesto is famous for singing. When Héctor says Ernesto once said he would move heaven and earth for him, Miguel points to one of de la Cruz's films where he says the same line. Héctor remembers his last night alive out loud and suddenly accuses Ernesto of poisoning him. After Ernesto's guards take him away, Ernesto asks Miguel if he thinks Héctor is right. Miguel tries to assure him he doesn't but enough of the doubt oozes into his voice to alert Ernesto to the fact that he does. Ernesto tells his guards to take Miguel away too. Miguel protests that he's his family to which Ernesto coldly says that Héctor was his best friend confirming that Héctor is right.

Ernesto's guards throw Miguel in a ceneto, where Miguel finds Héctor there with him. While lamenting, they learn that Héctor is Miguel's real great-great grandfather. Soon, they are saved by Dante and the other Riveras. While Imelda still holds hostility toward Héctor, Miguel tells her what really happened and she agrees to help as Coco is losing her memory of . Together, they infiltrate Ernesto's concert and get Héctor's photo back. Imelda and Héctor prepare to send Miguel back with the photo with not additional conditions, however Ernesto interrupts the blessing to drop Miguel from the building. As Miguel plummets down to the ground, Dante tries to save him but Miguel is too heavy and he loses the photo in mid-fall. Fortunately, Miguel is saved by Pepita at the last minute, while Ernesto's crimes are exposed to the audience. At that moment, sunrise approaches and Miguel is almost completely a spirit. Miguel refuses to leave Héctor as the latter starts to fade away, but he is forced to accept Imelda's blessing to save him and Coco.

Awakening back in to Ernesto's mausoleum, Miguel immediately runs back home. Once home, Miguel finds Mamá Coco catatonic, having forgotten most of her memory. Heartbroken to see his great grandmother in this state, Miguel breaks down to his parents. Suddenly, he remembers Héctor's guitar and helps Mamá Coco remember Héctor by singing "Remember Me" to her. The song restores Coco's memories and she reveals the truth of her father to everyone in the family. By the following year, his family have accepted Héctor and music, and Miguel has a new baby sister named Sorocco named after his now-deceased Mamá Coco.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Miguel is Pixar's first non-Caucasian human protagonist for a full length feature film.
  • Miguel is the second youngest protagonist of Pixar, the youngest being Arlo.
  • His last name is a reference to a Pixar Producer, Jonas Rivera.
  • Miguel is shared to Manolo Sánchez from 2014 film of The Book of Life. Both of them are Musician. Both plays the guitar. Both met their ancestral family.And both of them go to a place called land of dead.
  • His last name Rivera, is a reference to El Tigre.

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           Pixar Heroes


Toy Story
Woody | Buzz Lightyear | Slinky Dog | Rex | Mr. Potato Head | Hamm | Bo Peep | Jessie | Bullseye | Andy Davis | Barbie | Ken | Big Baby | Stretch | Chunk

A Bugs Life
Flik | Princess Atta | Dot | The Queen of Ant Island | Francis | P.T. Flea | Heimlich | Slim | Gypsy | Manny | Dim | Rosie | Tuck | Roll | The Bird

Monsters Inc
James P. Sullivan | Mike Wazowski | Boo | Celia Mae | CDA | Roz | Don Carlton | Terri & Terry | Scott Squishy Squibbles | Art

Finding Nemo and Finding Dory
Nemo | Marlin | Dory | Crush | Gill | Nigel | Bruce, Anchor and Chum | Squirt | Hank | Destiny | Bailey | Jenny | Charlie

The Incredibles
Mr. Incredible | Elastigirl | Dash Parr | Violet Parr | Frozone | Jack-Jack Parr

Cars
Lightning McQueen | Mater | Doc Hudson | Sally Carrera | Fillmore | Sarge | Luigi | Guido | Sheriff | Ramone | Flo | Lizzie | Red | Mack | Finn McMissile | Holley Shiftwell | Cruz Ramirez

Ratatouille
Remy | Alfredo Linguini | Colette Tatou | Django | Auguste Gusteau | Emile | Anton Ego

WALL.E
WALL-E | EVE | Captain McCrea | M-O | Hal

Brave
Princess Merida | Queen Elinor | King Fergus

Inside Out
Joy | Sadness | Bing Bong | Fear | Disgust | Anger | Riley Andersen

Good Dinosaur
Arlo | Spot | Butch | Nash & Ramsey | Poppa Henry | Momma Ida | Buck | Libby

Coco
Miguel Rivera | Dante | Héctor | Imelda | Pepita | Mamá Coco

Others
Andy's Toys | Woody's Roundup Toys | Oozma Kappa

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