Disney’s New ‘Coco’ Trailer Uses Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’

A cover version of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” is the backing track to the new trailers for Walt Disney/Pixar release Coco, coming to U.S. screens Nov. 22 with a score by Michael Giacchino. The film, which is themed around Mexican Dia de Muertos folklore, premieres at the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico on Oct. 20  and opens in theaters there on Oct. 27.

The trailers were cut by Trailer Park, which also created the tune-sational Cars 3 trailer featuring The Eagles’ “Take It to the Limit.”

Coco is a story in which music plays a central role. The yarn spins around aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez), who ends up in the Land of the Dead, where he teams up with a trickster spirit guide (Gael Garcia Bernal) to get rid of his “curse.” The ethereal synth progressions of a “bittersweet symphony of life” seem perfectly calibrated to the film’s themes of life, death and letting go. Pretty heavy stuff for kids! The airy tune provides an accessible entry point.

Coco is directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc.) Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin and Julio Iglesias all provide voicing.

British alt rockers The Verve released “Bittersweet Symphony” in June of 1997, and it became their signature hit. It was the first single from the album Urban Hymns,  and was on the U.K. charts for three months, peaking No. 2.  As the band gained prominence in the U.S. the song in March 1998 hit No. 12 on the Billboard hot 100.

Eventually the track became the subject of a lawsuit for using sampled versions of an orchestral version of the Rolling Stones song “The Last Time” created by the band’s longtime producer Andrew Loog Oldham. The legal wranglings eventually resulted in Mick Jagger and Keith Richards being added to the songwriting credits.

Coco will be the fourth film of 2017 to feature the work of composer Michael Giacchino, who supplied the score for Fox’s The War for the Planet of the Apes, Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and Focus Features’ The Book of Henry.  He won an Academy Award for music for the Disney/Pixar 2010 film Up.

Earlier Coco trailers use the slightly more epic but equally string-driven Hit House track “Eustace,” by composer Martyn Corbet. The finished film will also contain original songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, best-known for collaborating on the Frozen tunes. Earlier trailers also featured Immediate Music’s “Fantasy Kingdom.”

Here is the official synopsis for Coco:

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) 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.

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