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ALL SCRIPTS





                               COCO




                         Original story by

       Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich & Adrian Molina


                          Screenplay by

                Adrian Molina & Matthew Aldrich
                                                                      1.


      EXT. MARIGOLD PATH - DUSK

      A path of marigold petals leads up to an altar lovingly
      arranged in a humble cemetery. An old woman lights a candle
      as the smoke of burning copal wood dances lyrically upward...

      CARD: DISNEY PRESENTS

      CARD: A PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS FILM

      The smoke lifts up toward lines of papel picado ­- cut paper
      banners -- that sway gently in the breeze.

      PAPEL PICADO CARD: "COCO"

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Sometimes I think I'm cursed...
                  'cause of something that happened
                  before I was even born.

      A story begins to play out on the papel picado.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  See, a long time ago there was this
                  family.

      The images on the papel picado come to life to illustrate a
      father, a mother, and a little girl. The family is happy.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  The papá, he was a musician.

      The papá plays guitar while the mother dances with her
      daughter.

                             MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  He and his family would sing, and
                  dance, and count their blessings...
                      (beat)
                  But he also had a dream... to play
                  for the world.
                      (beat)
                  And one day he left with his
                  guitar... and never returned.

      The man walks down a road, guitar slung on his back. In
      another vignette his daughter stands in the doorway, watching
      her papá leave. Two feet step up next to her. It is her
      mamá, hardened.

      She shuts the door.





                                                                     2.


                             MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  And the mamá...? She didn't have
                  time to cry over that walkaway
                  musician!
                      (beat)
                  After banishing all music from her
                  life...

      The woman gets rid of all of her husband's instruments and
      records.

                             MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  She found a way to provide for her
                  daughter...
                      (beat)
                  She rolled up her sleeves and she
                  learned to make shoes.
                      (beat)
                  She could have made candy!

      Amongst the papel picado, a stick swings at a strung up
      piñata which bursts with candy...

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Or fireworks!

      Fireworks go off in the background...

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Or sparkly underwear for wrestlers!

      Sparkly underwear and a luchador mask hang on a line amongst
      other linens...

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  But no... she chose shoes...

      On the papel picado, the little girl becomes a young woman.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Then she taught her daughter to
                  make shoes. And later, she taught
                  her son-in-law.

      She introduces a suitor to the family business.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Then her grandkids got roped in.
                  As her family grew, so did the
                  business.

      In the next vignette, a bunch of goofy grandchildren join in
      the shoemaking. The shoe shop is full of family!




                                                                     3.


                             MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Music had torn her family apart,
                  but shoes held them all together.
                      (beat)
                  You see, that woman was my great-
                  great grandmother, Mamá Imelda.

      TILT DOWN from the papel picado to the


      OFRENDA ROOM - DAY

      where a photo sits at the top of a beautiful altar. The
      photo features MAMÁ IMELDA -- serious, formidable. She holds
      a baby on her lap. Her husband stands beside her, but his
      face has been torn away.

                             MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  She died WAY before I was born.
                  But my family still tells her story
                  every year on Día de los Muertos --
                  the Day of the Dead...
                      (beat)
                  And her little girl?

      Fade from the face of the little girl to present day MAMÁ
      COCO (97), a living raisin, convalescing in a wicker
      wheelchair.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  She's my great grandmother, Mamá
                  Coco.

      A boy (12) walks into frame and kisses her on the cheek.
      This is our narrator, MIGUEL.

                            MIGUEL
                  Holá, Mamá Coco.

                            MAMÁ COCO
                  How are you, Julio?

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Actually, my name is Miguel. Mamá
                  Coco has trouble remembering
                  things... But it's good to talk to
                  her anyway. So I tell her pretty
                  much everything.

      QUICK CUTS of Miguel with Mamá Coco:





                                                                         4.


      EXT. COURTYARD

                            MIGUEL
                  I used to run like this...

      Miguel pumps his arms with his hands in fists.           Then he
      switches to flat palms.

                            MIGUEL
                  But now I run like this which is
                  way faster!

                                                       CUT TO:


      INT. MAMÁ COCO'S ROOM

      Miguel, in a luchador mask, climbs onto the bed, arms raised.

                            MIGUEL
                  And the winner is... Luchadora
                  Coco!

      Miguel leaps off the bed onto a pile of pillows that bursts,
      sending feathers onto Mamá Coco who wears a mask of her own.

                                                       CUT TO:


      EXT. DINING AREA

      Miguel leans toward Mamá Coco at the dinner table.

                            MIGUEL
                  I have a dimple on this side, but
                  not on this side. Dimple. No
                  dimple. Dimple. No dimple--

                             ABUELITA
                  Miguel!   Eat your food.

      Miguel's ABUELITA (70s) runs the table like a ship captain.
      She gives Mamá Coco a kiss on the head.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  My Abuelita? She's Mamá Coco's
                  daughter.

      Abuelita piles extra tamales on Miguel's plate.

                            ABUELITA
                  Aw, you're a twig, mijo.         Have some
                  more.




                                                                       5.


                            MIGUEL
                  No, gracias.

                            ABUELITA
                  I asked if you would like more
                  tamales.

                               MIGUEL
                  S-sí?

                            ABUELITA
                  That's what I THOUGHT you said.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Abuelita runs our house just like
                  Mamá Imelda did.

                                                   CUT TO:


      INT. OFRENDA ROOM - DAY

      Abuelita adjusts the photo of her beloved Mamá Imelda. Then
      she perks her ear at a hooting sound.


      INT. KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER

      Miguel idly blows into a glass soda bottle.     Abuelita takes
      the bottle away.

                               ABUELITA
                  No music!


      INT. MAMÁ COCO'S ROOM - DAY

      Miguel listens as a truck drives by the window, blaring radio
      tunes. Abuelita angrily slams the window shut.

                               ABUELITA
                  No music!!


      EXT. STREET - EVENING

      A trio of gentlemen serenade each other as they stroll by the
      family compound.

                            MUSICIANS
                      (singing)
                  AUNQUE LA VIDA--





                                                                      6.


      Abuelita bursts out of the gate and chases them away.

                            ABUELITA
                  NO MUSIC!!!

      Terrified, the musicians stumble as they run away.

                            MIGUEL (V.O)
                  I think we're the only family in
                  México who hates music...


      INT. RIVERA WORKSHOP - DAY

      We see the Rivera family tinkering in the shoe shop, no music
      to be heard. Miguel jogs past them.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  And my family's fine with that...

      He grabs his shine box, and heads out of the shoe shop.

                              MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  But me?

                            MAMÁ
                  Be back by lunch, mijo!

                            MIGUEL
                  Love you, Mamá!

      Once outside, Miguel makes his way through the small town of


      SANTA CECILIA - MORNING

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  I am NOT like the rest of my
                  family...

      He passes a woman sweeping a stoop.

                            WOMAN
                  Hola, Miguel!

                              MIGUEL
                  Hola!

      He passes a band of musicians playing a tune. Miguel joins
      with some air guitar and the further down the street he goes,
      the more instruments and sounds layer in. The bells of the
      church chime in harmony, a radio blares a cumbia rhythm.





                                                                      7.


      Running past a food stand, Miguel grabs a roll of pan dulce
      and tosses the vendor a coin.

                            MIGUEL
                  Muchas gracias!

                            STREET VENDOR
                  De nada, Miguel!

      As Miguel passes all these scenes, the music synthesizes and
      he can't help but tap out rhythms along a table of alebrijes.
      The fantastical wooden animal sculptures each play a
      different tone like a marimba. Miguel finishes with a SMACK
      on a trash can, out of which a pops up a scrappy hairless
      Xolo dog. The dog, DANTE, barks and jumps up to lick Miguel,
      who laughs.

                              MIGUEL
                  Hey, hey!    Dante!

      Miguel holds the pan dulce over Dante's head.

                             MIGUEL
                  Sit. Down. Roll over.        Shake.
                  Fist bump.

      Dante obeys to the best of his ability.

                            MIGUEL
                  Good boy, Dante!

      Miguel tosses the pan dulce to his furless friend who topples
      back into the trash can.

                                                    CUT TO:


      MARIACHI PLAZA - MOMENTS LATER

      Miguel rounds the corner toward the town square. Vendors
      sell sugar skulls and marigolds, and musicians fill the
      square with music.

                             MIGUEL (V.O)
                  I know I'm not supposed to love
                  music -- but it's not my fault!
                      (beat)
                  It's his: Ernesto de la Cruz...

      Miguel approaches a statue of a handsome mariachi at the
      heart of the plaza.





                                                                      8.


                            MIGUEL (V.O)
                  ...The greatest musician of all
                  time.

      A tour group and their TOUR GUIDE are gathered around the
      base of the statue.

                            TOUR GUIDE
                  And right here, in this very plaza,
                  the young Ernesto de la Cruz took
                  his first steps toward becoming the
                  most beloved singer in Mexican
                  history!

                                                   CUT TO:

      CLIPS of de la Cruz in his hay day: playing as a young man in
      the plaza, serenading bystanders in a train car...

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  He started out a total nobody from
                  Santa Cecilia, like me. But when
                  he played music, he made people
                  fall in love with him.

      MORE CLIPS from de la Cruz's films. He leaps from a tree
      branch onto a galloping horse. He plays his signature skull
      guitar with flourish and flair.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  He starred in movies. He had the
                  coolest guitar... He could fly!

      A CLIP features de la Cruz dressed as a hovering priest, held
      up by strings, in front of a cycling sky flat.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  And he wrote the best songs! But
                  my all-time favorite? It's--

      A CLIP of de la Cruz performing in a fancy nightclub.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                      (singing)
                  REMEMBER ME
                  THOUGH I HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE
                  REMEMBER ME
                  DON'T LET IT MAKE YOU CRY
                  FOR EVEN IF I'M FAR AWAY
                  I HOLD YOU IN MY HEART
                  I SING A SECRET SONG TO YOU
                  EACH NIGHT WE ARE APART
                  REMEMBER ME
                            (MORE)


                                                                     9.

                            DE LA CRUZ (CONT'D)
                  THOUGH I HAVE TO TRAVEL FAR
                  REMEMBER ME
                  EACH TIME YOU HEAR A SAD GUITAR
                  KNOW THAT I'M WITH YOU THE ONLY WAY
                  THAT I CAN BE...

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  He lived the kind of life you dream
                  about... Until 1942...

      As the audience swoons over de la Cruz, an absent-minded
      stagehand leans on a lever. Ropes and pulleys go flying.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  UNTIL YOU'RE IN MY ARMS AGAIN
                  REMEMBER ME!

      De la Cruz is subsequently crushed by a giant bell.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  When he was crushed by a giant
                  bell.

                                                   CUT TO:


      MARIACHI PLAZA - DAY

      Miguel gazes up at the statue of de la Cruz in awe.

                            MIGUEL (V.O)
                  I wanna be just like him.

                                                   CUT TO:


      EXT. CEMETERY - MOMENTS LATER

      Miguel weaves up to de la Cruz's mausoleum and peeks in the
      window. He catches a glimpse of de la Cruz's signature skull
      guitar.

                            MIGUEL (V.O.)
                  Sometimes, I look at de la Cruz and
                  I get this feeling... like we're
                  connected somehow. Like, if HE
                  could play music, maybe someday I
                  could too...





                                                                       10.


      EXT. MARIACHI PLAZA - DAY

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  ...If it wasn't for my family.

                            PLAZA MARIACHI
                      (playful)
                  Ay, ay, ay, muchacho.

                              MIGUEL
                  Huh?

                            PLAZA MARIACHI
                  I asked for a shoe shine, not your
                  life story.

      Miguel comes out of his reverie and looks up at the PLAZA
      MARIACHI whose shoes he is shining.

                            MIGUEL
                  Oh, yeah, sorry.

      He goes back to scrubbing the man's shoe.    As Miguel shines,
      the mariachi plucks his guitar idly.

                            MIGUEL
                  I just can't really talk about any
                  of this at home so...

                            PLAZA MARIACHI
                  Look, if I were you I'd march right
                  up to my family and say, "Hey! I'm
                  a musician. Deal with it!"

                            MIGUEL
                  I could never say that...

                            PLAZA MARIACHI
                  You ARE a musician, no?

                            MIGUEL
                  I don't know. I mean... I only
                  really play for myself--

                            PLAZA MARIACHI
                  Did de la Cruz become the world's
                  best musician by hiding his sweet,
                  sweet skills? No! He walked out
                  onto that plaza and he played out
                  loud!





                                                                     11.


      The mariachi gets an idea. He points to the gazebo where
      organizers are setting up for a show. They unfurl a canvas
      poster which reads "TALENT SHOW."

                            PLAZA MARIACHI (CONT'D)
                  Ah, mira, mira! They're setting up
                  for tonight. The music competition
                  for Día de Muertos. You wanna be
                  like your hero? You should sign
                  up!

                            MIGUEL
                  Uh-uh, my family would freak!

                            PLAZA MARIACHI
                  Look, if you're too scared, then,
                  well... have fun making shoes.

      Miguel considers this.

                              PLAZA MARIACHI (CONT'D)
                  C'mon.    What did de la Cruz always
                  say?

                            MIGUEL
                  ...Seize your moment?

      The mariachi appraises Miguel, then offers his guitar.

                            PLAZA MARIACHI
                  Show me what you got, muchacho.
                  I'll be your first audience.

      Miguel's brows rise, surprised. He reaches to take the
      instrument, regarding it as if holding a holy relic.

      Miguel spreads his fingers across the strings anticipating
      his chord and...

                              ABUELITA (O.S.)
                  MIGUEL!

      Startled, Miguel impulsively throws the guitar back onto the
      mariachi's lap. He turns to see Abuelita marching toward
      him. Miguel's TÍO BERTO (40s) and PRIMA ROSA (16), follow
      with supplies from the market.

                              MIGUEL
                  Abuelita!

                            ABUELITA
                  What are you doing here?





                                                                      12.


                               MIGUEL
                  Um...uh...

      Miguel quickly packs away his shine rag and polishes.
      Abuelita barrels up to the mariachi.

      She hits his hat with her shoe and waves him away.

                            ABUELITA
                  You leave my grandson alone!

                            PLAZA MARIACHI
                  Doña, please -- I was just getting
                  a shine!

                            ABUELITA
                  I know your tricks, mariachi!
                      (to Miguel)
                  What did he say to you?

                            MIGUEL
                  He was just showing me his
                  guitar...

      Gasps from the family.

                            TÍO BERTO
                  Shame on you!

      Abuelita lords over the mariachi, shoe aimed directly between
      his eyes.

                            ABUELITA
                  My grandson is a sweet little
                  angelito querido cielito -- he
                  wants no part of your music,
                  mariachi! You keep away from him!

      The mariachi scrambles away, snatching his hat off the
      ground before he goes. Abuelita hugs Miguel protectively to
      her bosom.

                            ABUELITA
                  Ay, pobrecito! Estás bien, mijo?

      She peppers him with kisses then releases him from the
      embrace. He gasps for air.

                             ABUELITA
                       (distressed)
                  You know better than to be here in
                  this place! You will come home.
                  Now.




                                                                     13.


      Abuelita turns toward home. Miguel sighs and gathers his
      shine box. Then, seeing a flyer for the plaza "TALENT SHOW",
      he can't help but pocket it. He follows Abuelita.


      EXT. STREET - MOMENTS LATER

      Miguel catches up to his family.

                             TÍO BERTO
                  How many times have we told you --
                  that plaza is crawling with
                  mariachis!

                            MIGUEL
                  Yes, Tío Berto.

      Dante ambles up to Miguel, sniffing and whining for a treat.

                            MIGUEL
                  No, no, no!

      Abuelita shoos him away.

                            ABUELITA
                  Go away, you! Go!

      Dante darts off, scared.

                            MIGUEL
                  It's just Dante...

      Abuelita throws her shoe at the dog.

                             ABUELITA
                  Never name a street dog.         They'll
                  follow you forever.
                      (beat)
                  Now, go get my shoe.

                                                       CUT TO:

      INT. RIVERA WORKSHOP

      The Rivera workshop is abuzz with family making shoes.
      WHOMP! Miguel is plopped onto a stool, ready for a lecture.

                            ABUELITA
                  I found your son in Mariachi Plaza!

                            PAPÁ
                      (disappointed)
                  Miguel...




                                                                              14.


                             MAMÁ
                  You know how Abuelita feels about
                  the plaza.

                            MIGUEL
                  I was just shining shoes!

                            TÍO BERTO
                  A musician's shoes!

      Gasps from the family. PRIMO ABEL (19) is so shocked he
      loses his grip on the shoe he is polishing, which zips away
      from the polisher and lodges itself in the roof.

                            MIGUEL
                  But the plaza's where all the foot
                  traffic is.

                            PAPÁ
                  If Abuelita says no more plaza,
                  then no more plaza.

                            MIGUEL
                      (blurting)
                  But what about tonight?

                            PAPÁ FRANCO
                  What's tonight?

                            MIGUEL
                  Well they're having this talent
                  show-

      Abuelita perks her ear, suspicious.          Miguel squirms, deciding
      whether to go on.

                            MIGUEL
                  And I thought I might...

      Mamá looks at Miguel, curious.

                            MAMÁ
                  ...Sign up?

                            MIGUEL
                  Well, maybe?

                            PRIMA ROSA
                      (laughing)
                  You have to have talent to be in a
                  talent show.





                                                                   15.


                            PRIMO ABEL
                  What are YOU going to do, shine
                  shoes?

      The shoe from the ceiling falls back down on Abel's head.

                            ABUELITA
                  It's Día de los Muertos -- no one's
                  going anywhere. Tonight is about
                  family.

      She deposits a pile of marigolds in Miguel's arms.

                            ABUELITA
                  Ofrenda room. Vámonos.

                                                   CUT TO:


      INT. OFRENDA ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

      Miguel follows his Abuelita to the family ofrenda, holding
      the pile of flowers as she arranges them on the altar.

                             ABUELITA
                  Don't give me that look. Día de
                  los Muertos is the one night of the
                  year our ancestors can come visit
                  us.
                      (beat)
                  We've put their photos on the
                  ofrenda so their spirits can cross
                  over. That is very important! If
                  we don't put them up, they can't
                  come!
                      (beat)
                  We made all this food -- set out
                  the things they loved in life,
                  mijo. All this work to bring the
                  family together. I don't want you
                  sneaking off to who-knows-where.

      She looks up to find Miguel sneaking away.

                            ABUELITA (CONT'D)
                  Where are you going?

                            MIGUEL
                  I thought we were done...





                                                                 16.


                            ABUELITA
                  Ay, Dios mío... Being part of this
                  family means being HERE for this
                  family... I don't want to see you
                  end up like--

      Abuelita looks up to the photo of the faceless musician.

                            MIGUEL
                  Like Mamá Coco's papá?

                            ABUELITA
                  Never mention that man!      He's
                  better off forgotten.

                            MIGUEL
                  But you're the one who--

                            ABUELITA
                  Ta, ta, ta-tch!

                            MIGUEL
                  I was just--

                              ABUELITA
                  Tch-tch!

                              MIGUEL
                  But--

                              ABUELITA
                  Tch!

                              MIGUEL
                  I--

                              ABUELITA
                  Tch-tch!

                              MAMÁ COCO
                  Papá?

      They look to find Mamá Coco agitated.

                            MAMÁ COCO (CONT'D)
                  Papá is home...?

                            ABUELITA
                  Mamá, cálmese, cálmese.

                            MAMÁ COCO
                  Papá is coming home?





                                                                      17.


                             ABUELITA
                  No Mamá.   It's okay, I'm here.

      Mamá Coco looks up at Abuelita.

                            MAMÁ COCO
                  Who are you?

      Sadness rises in Abuelita; she swallows it down.

                            ABUELITA
                  Rest, Mamá.

      Abuelita returns to the ofrenda.

                             ABUELITA (CONT'D)
                  I'm hard on you because I care,
                  Miguel.
                      (beat)
                  Miguel... Miguel?

      She looks around the room. Miguel is nowhere to be found.
      Abuelita steps up to the ofrenda.

                             ABUELITA (CONT'D)
                      (sigh)
                  What are we going to do with that
                  boy...?

      She looks to the photo of Mamá Imelda.       Abuelita's eyes
      brighten with an idea.

                            ABUELITA (CONT'D)
                  You're right. That's just what he
                  needs!

                                                    CUT TO:


      EXT. SIDE STREET

      Tío Berto unloads rolls of leather from a truckbed. Nearby,
      Dante sleeps under the shade of a tree. He startles awake by
      a faint TWANGING. The dog scrambles up to the roof.

      He reaches a shoe sign advertising the Rivera Family business
      and lifts it up.


      INT. ROOFTOP HIDEOUT

      Dante pokes his head in.      Miguel turns and gasps.





                                                                    18.


                            MIGUEL
                  Oh, it's you. Get in here, c'mon,
                  Dante. Hurry up.

      Dante wriggles into the hideout. Miguel is huddled over
      something. The dog peeks around his shoulder.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  You're gonna get me in trouble,
                  boy. Someone could hear me!

      Miguel reveals a makeshift guitar, cobbled together from a
      beat up old soundboard and random other items.

      He takes a china marker and sketches a nose on what appears
      to be his own version of a skull guitar head.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  I wish someone wanted to hear me...

      Miguel tunes the guitar.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Other than you...

      Dante gives Miguel a big sloppy lick. Miguel gives a grossed-
      out chuckle. He lifts his guitar and strums.

                              MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Perfecto!

      He crawls to the far side of the attic where he's built his
      own ofrenda to Ernesto de la Cruz. Posters, candles, and
      songbooks are arranged with care. Miguel lights the candles
      with reverence, illuminating an album cover of de la Cruz
      holding his skull guitar.

      Miguel compares the head of his guitar to the album cover.
      Then he imitates de la Cruz's pose and smile.

      He switches on a beat up old TV and pushes a tape into the
      VCR, "Best of de la Cruz" scrawled on the spine.

      A montage of the greatest moments from de la Cruz's films
      plays out.

      A clip from "A QUIEN YO AMO:"

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  I have to sing. I have to play.
                  The music, it's -- it's not just in
                  me. It is me.





                                                                     19.


      Miguel strums his guitar as de la Cruz imparts his wisdom.
      More clips run in the background as Miguel plays:

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  When life gets me down, I play my
                  guitar.

      In a clip from "A QUIEN YO AMO:"

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  The rest of the world may follow
                  the rules, but I must follow my
                  heart!

      De la Cruz kisses a woman passionately.      Miguel cringes.

      Another clip from "A QUIEN YO AMO:"

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  You know that feeling? Like
                  there's a song in the air and it's
                  playing just for you...

      As Miguel watches de la Cruz play guitar in the video, he
      repeats the melody on his own guitar.

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                      (singing)
                  A FEELING SO CLOSE
                  YOU COULD REACH OUT AND TOUCH IT
                  I NEVER KNEW I COULD
                  WANT SOMETHING SO MUCH
                  BUT IT'S TRUE...

      As a good-natured priest in "NUESTRA IGLESIA:"

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  You must have faith, sister.

                            NUN (FILM CLIP)
                  Oh but Padre, he will never listen.

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  He will listen... to MUSIC!
                      (singing)
                  ONLY A SONG
                  ONLY A SONG
                  HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE A HEART...

      Miguel loses himself in the music.





                                                                         20.


                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  Never underestimate the power of
                  music...

      Miguel's tune intertwines with the melodies on the TV set.
      The clip jumps forward:

                            LOLA (FILM CLIP)
                  But my father, he will never give
                  his permission.

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  I am done asking permission. When
                  you see your moment you mustn't let
                  it pass you by, you must seize it!

      The tape ends with an interview clip.

                            INTERVIEWER (FILM CLIP)
                  Señor de la Cruz, what did it take
                  for you to seize your moment?

                             DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  I had to have faith in my dream.
                  No one was going to hand it to me.
                  It was up to me to reach for that
                  dream, grab it tight, and make it
                  come true.

                            MIGUEL
                  ...and make it come true.

      The tape ends. The words sink into Miguel.        He reaches for
      the flyer for the plaza "TALENT SHOW."

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

      Dante wags his tail, panting happily.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  I'm gonna play in Mariachi Plaza if
                  it kills me!

                                                    CUT TO:


      EXT. RIVERA COMPOUND - SUNSET

      Children run by with sparklers as Abuelita opens the doors to
      the family compound.





                                                                      21.


                            ABUELITA
                  Día de los Muertos has begun!

      In the courtyard, two TODDLER COUSINS haphazardly scatter
      marigold petals from their baskets.

                            MAMÁ
                  No, no, no, no, no.

      Mamá corrects them, creating a path from the ofrenda room to
      the front gate.

                            MAMÁ (CONT'D)
                  We have to make a clear path. The
                  petals guide our ancestors home. We
                  don't want their spirits to get
                  lost. We want them to come, and
                  enjoy all the food and drinks on
                  the ofrenda, sí?

      As Mamá teaches, Miguel and Dante sneak across the roof and
      drop to the sidewalk outside the compound, Miguel clutching
      his guitar.

      Suddenly Tío Berto and Papá round the corner carrying a small
      table from storage.

                            PAPÁ
                  Mamá, where should we put this
                  table?

      Miguel and Dante back up to avoid the adults, only to find
      Abuelita sweeping the sidewalk behind them! Miguel and Dante
      jump into the back into the Rivera courtyard before she sees
      them.

                            ABUELITA
                  In the courtyard, mijos.

                            PAPÁ
                  You want it down by the kitchen?

                             ABUELITA
                  Sí.   Next to the other one.


      INT. OFRENDA ROOM

      Miguel backs out of the courtyard and into the family ofrenda
      room. Nearly cornered, he ushers Dante past a sleeping Mamá
      Coco. He stashes the dog and the guitar under the ofrenda
      table.





                                                                         22.


                            MIGUEL
                  Get under, get under!

                              ABUELITA (O.S.)
                  Miguel!

      Miguel straightens up to notice the doorway of the ofrenda
      room darkened by three figures.

                              MIGUEL
                  Nothing!

      His Abuelita and parents stare straight at him.     A pit grows
      in his stomach; he's been caught.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Mamá -- Papá, I--

      Papá lifts his finger to silence his son.

                             PAPÁ
                  Miguel...
                      (beat)
                  Your Abuelita had the most
                  wonderful idea!
                      (beat)
                  We've all decided -- it's time you
                  joined us in the workshop!

      Abuelita hands Papá a leather apron, which he hangs over
      Miguel's shoulders.

                              MIGUEL
                  What?!

                            PAPÁ
                  No more shining shoes -- you will
                  be making them! Every day after
                  school!

      Abuelita shuffles toward Miguel squealing.      She squeezes his
      cheeks, full of pride.

                            ABUELITA
                  Our Migueli-ti-ti-ti-to carrying on
                  the family tradition! And on Día
                  de los Muertos! Your ancestors
                  will be so proud!

      She gestures to the shoes adorning the ofrenda.





                                                                      23.


                            ABUELITA (CONT'D)
                  You'll craft huaraches just like
                  your Tía Victoria.

                            PAPÁ
                  And wingtips, like your Papá Julio--

      Miguel crosses away from the ofrenda.

                            MIGUEL
                  But what if I'm no good at making
                  shoes?

                             PAPÁ
                  Ah, Migue... You have your family
                  here to guide you...
                      (beat)
                  You are a Rivera. And a Rivera
                  is...?

                            MIGUEL
                  ...A shoemaker. Through and
                  through.

      Papá swells.

                            PAPÁ
                  That's my boy!
                      (calling out)
                  Berto, break out the good stuff, I
                  wanna make a toast!

      Papá heads out of the room, Mamá follows. Last is Abuelita,
      who smothers Miguel with tons of kisses as she leaves.

      With the family gone, Miguel deflates.

      Suddenly, a noise comes from the ofrenda. Miguel turns to
      find Dante on the bottom tier, licking a plate of mole to his
      heart's content. Miguel is horrified!

                             MIGUEL
                  Dante!   No, Dante, stop!

      Miguel pulls the dog away from the ofrenda, but the table
      shakes. The frame with Mamá Imelda's photo sways back and
      forth, then topples to the ground with a sickening crack.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  No, no, no, no, no! No...

      Miguel picks up the old photo of Mamá Imelda, which unfolds
      to reveal another portion, hidden all these years;




                                                                      24.


      the man with no face is revealed to be holding a familiar
      skull-headed guitar.

                            MIGUEL
                  De la Cruz's guitar...?

                              MAMÁ COCO
                  Papá?

      Miguel turns, startled. Mamá Coco points a crooked finger at
      the picture in his hand.

                              MAMÁ COCO (CONT'D)
                  Papá?

      Miguel's eyes go wide as the connection dawns on him.   Could
      it possibly be true?

                            MIGUEL
                  Mamá Coco, is your papá... Ernesto
                  de la Cruz?

                             MAMÁ COCO
                  Papá!   Papá!

                                                   CUT TO:


      INT. ROOFTOP HIDEOUT

      Miguel goes to his secret ofrenda, to the record album of
      Ernesto de la Cruz. He compares the guitar in the family
      photo with the guitar on the sleeve. An exact match!

                              MIGUEL
                  Ha, ha!


      EXT. ROOFTOP

      Miguel runs to the edge of the roof, overlooking the
      courtyard, photo in one hand, guitar in the other.

                             MIGUEL
                  Papá!   Papá!

      His parents stop, looking up at Miguel.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  It's him! I know who my great-
                  great grandfather was!





                                                                     25.


                             MAMÁ
                  Miguel!   Get down from there!

                            MIGUEL
                  Mamá Coco's father was Ernesto de
                  la Cruz!

                            PAPÁ
                  What are you talking about?

      Miguel whips off his shoemaker's apron, striking a pose with
      the guitar.

                            MIGUEL
                  I'm gonna be a musician!

                                                   CUT TO:


      EXT. COURTYARD - EARLY EVENING

      Miguel's guitar is cast at his feet, along with his de la
      Cruz albums. The whole family encircles the boy.

                            ABUELITA
                  What is all this? You keep secrets
                  from your own family?

                            TÍO BERTO
                  It's all that time he spends in the
                  plaza...

                             TÍA GLORIA
                  ...Fills his head with crazy
                  fantasies!

                            MIGUEL
                  It's not a fantasy!

      Miguel hands Papá the photo and points to the skull guitar.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  That man was Ernesto de la Cruz!
                  The greatest musician of all time!

                            PAPÁ
                  We've never known anything about
                  this man. But whoever he was, he
                  still abandoned his family. This
                  is no future for my son.





                                                                         26.


                            MIGUEL
                  But Papá, you said my family would
                  guide me! Well de la Cruz IS my
                  family! I'm supposed to play
                  music!

                              ABUELITA
                  Never!    That man's music was a
                  curse!    I will not allow it!

                            MIGUEL
                  If you would just let--

                            MAMÁ
                      (warning)
                  Miguel--

                            PAPÁ
                  You will listen to your family.    No
                  more music.

                            MIGUEL
                  Just listen to me play--

                            PAPÁ
                  End of argument.

      Miguel lifts his guitar to play when Abuelita snatches the
      instrument away. She points to the man in the photo.

                            ABUELITA
                  You want to end up like that man?
                  Forgotten? Left off your family's
                  ofrenda?!

                            MIGUEL
                  I don't care if I'm on some stupid
                  ofrenda!

      Gasps from the family.      Abuelita's brow hardens.   She lifts
      the guitar in the air.

                              MIGUEL
                  No!

                              PAPÁ
                  Mamá...

      Abuelita smashes it to bits!

                            ABUELITA
                  There. No guitar, no music.
                      (softening)
                            (MORE)


                                                                    27.

                            ABUELITA (CONT'D)
                  Come. You'll feel better after you
                  eat with your family.

      She reaches out to comfort Miguel, but he is hurt beyond
      repair.

                            MIGUEL
                  I don't wanna be in this family!

      He snatches the photo from Papá and bolts out of the
      hacienda.

                             PAPÁ
                  Miguel!   MIGUEL!


      EXT. SIDE STREET

      Miguel bursts out of the compound, desperate to get away.
      Dante, nose buried in a trash bag, hears Miguel and chases
      after him. Miguel runs past a poster for the plaza "TALENT
      SHOW."


      EXT. MARIACHI PLAZA - EVENING

      Miguel approaches a STAGE MANAGER in the gazebo.

                            MIGUEL
                  I wanna play in the plaza. Like de
                  la Cruz! Can I still sign-up?

                            STAGE MANAGER
                  You got an instrument?

                            MIGUEL
                  No... But if I can borrow a guitar--

                            STAGE MANAGER
                  Musicians gotta bring their own
                  instruments...
                      (walking away)
                  You find a guitar, kid, I'll put
                  you on the list.

      Miguel looks distraught.

                                                   MOMENTS LATER:

      Miguel approaches any musician he can find.





                                                                           28.


                            MIGUEL
                  Excuse me, can I borrow your
                  guitar?

                            MUSICIAN #1
                  Sorry, muchacho.

                                                      CUT TO:

                            MIGUEL
                  You guys have a spare guitar?

                              MUSICIAN #2
                  No.

                                                      CUT TO:

                            MIGUEL
                  I need a guitar, just for a little
                  bit--

                            MUSICIAN #3
                  Get outta here, kid!

      Disheartened, Miguel walks away.       He finds himself facing the
      statue of de la Cruz.

                            MIGUEL
                  Great-great grandfather... What am
                  I supposed to do?

      No answer. Miguel's gaze falls on a plaque at the base of
      the statue that reads "Seize Your Moment!" Miguel looks at
      the photo in his hand. He moves his thumb to reveal the
      skull head guitar. Then, a firework illuminates the skull
      head guitar that the statue holds. Miguel gets an idea.


      EXT. CEMETERY - MOMENTS LATER

      A sea of candles and flowers, families gathered at graves.

      Miguel sneaks through the cemetery unnoticed, slipping from
      one shadow to the next.

      Dante suddenly catches up to Miguel.         He barks excitedly.

                            MIGUEL
                  No, no, no, no, no, Dante stop!
                  Cállate! Shhh!

      Miguel swipes a chicken leg off a neighboring grave, and
      chucks it. Dante bounds after the food.




                                                                      29.


      EXT. DE LA CRUZ'S MAUSOLEUM

      Miguel slinks around the side of the tomb.   He looks in one
      of the windows.

      Inside, the famous guitar hangs above the crypt. Fireworks
      pop; bursts of light glint off the instrument. It seems to
      beckon him. He tries the window but it's locked.

      More fireworks shoot into the sky.

                            MIGUEL
                  I'm sorry...

      Timing to the explosions, Miguel throws his shoulder into the
      rusted-shut window pane and forces it open with a scraping
      KRRRR-LANK! He slinks inside the tomb.


      INT. DE LA CRUZ'S MAUSOLEUM

      Miguel drops down to the mausoleum floor. The noise from
      outside is muffled. He climbs onto the crypt, slightly
      moving the lid. He stifles a gasp.

      He crawls over the marble sarcophagus and comes face-to-face
      with the famed guitar. Miguel wipes away a layer of dust,
      revealing the rich painted wood beneath. He looks up to the
      portrait of de la Cruz.

                            MIGUEL
                  Señor de la Cruz? Please don't be
                  mad. I'm Miguel, your great-great
                  grandson... I need to borrow this.

      Heart in his throat, Miguel lifts the guitar off its mount.
      Unbeknownst to him, some marigold petals in the mausoleum
      begin to sparkle.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Our family thinks music is a curse.
                  None of them understand, but I know
                  you would have. You would've told
                  me to follow my heart. To seize my
                  moment!

      He backs up, in full view of the painting.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  So if it's all right with you, I'm
                  gonna play in the plaza, just like
                  you did!





                                                                      30.


      Confidence building, he strums it once.

      The air around him vibrates -- radiating like a shock wave.
      The petals on the ground whirl and surge with light for just
      a moment. Miguel is visibly taken aback. What just
      happened?

      Suddenly, a flashlight shines in the window of the mausoleum.

                            VOICES (O.S.)
                  The guitar! It's gone! Somebody
                  stole de la Cruz's guitar! The
                  window's broken, look.

      Miguel hears keys jangling and the door unlocking.   A
      GROUNDSKEEPER enters with a flashlight.

                            GROUNDSKEEPER
                  Alright, who's in there?

      Startled, Miguel puts down the guitar.

                            MIGUEL
                  I... I'm sorry! It's not what it
                  looks like! De la Cruz is my...

      The groundskeeper walks straight through Miguel!   He doesn't
      even see him!

                            GROUNDSKEEPER
                  There's nobody here!


      EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

      A panicked Miguel runs out, trying to figure out what's going
      on! But the people in the cemetery walk through him too.

      Suddenly he hears a familiar voice.

                              MAMÁ
                  Miguel!

      Miguel turns to see Papá and Mamá still searching for him.

                              MIGUEL
                  Mamá!

                             PAPÁ
                  Miguel!   Come home!

      He reaches for his parents, but goes straight through them.





                                                                          31.


                            PAPÁ
                  Where are you, Miguel?!

      Frantic, Miguel trips and falls into an open grave.      A nearby
      woman gasps and peeks over the ledge of the grave.

                              WOMAN
                  Dios mío!    Little boy, are you
                  okay?

      She reaches into the grave.

                            WOMAN (CONT'D)
                  Here, let me help you.

      Miguel takes her hand and she pulls him out.

                            MIGUEL
                  Thanks, I--

      They see each other face to face.       The woman is a skeleton!
      Miguel screams! She does too!

      Miguel backs away. He turns to see another skeleton. He
      falls backwards and scoots away frantically. He bumps into
      another skeleton whose head falls off and lands in Miguel's
      hands.

                            SKELETON HEAD
                  Do you mind?

                              MIGUEL
                  Ahhh!

                              SKELETON HEAD
                  Ahhh!

                              MIGUEL
                  AHHH!

      Miguel tosses the head away from him and turns to see the
      whole cemetery is teeming with skeletons! And they can all
      see him!

      He races off and hides behind a grave. After a moment, he
      peeks over the headstone to watch the skeletons engaging with
      their living families.

      One couple dances.

      Another man reaches for offerings on his grave, which
      solidify in his hands when he takes them.





                                                                    32.


      A couple of skeletons coo over a toddler.

                            SKELETON ABUELA
                  Look how big she's getting!

      Suddenly Dante surprises Miguel and licks him on the cheek.
      Miguel screams.

                            MIGUEL
                  Dante?! You can see me?          W-wait!
                  What's going on?!

      Dante barks, points, and bounds through the crowd.

                              MIGUEL
                  Dante!    Dante!

      Miguel gives chase until -­ BAM! He runs smack into a
      mustached skeleton and falls to the ground. The skeleton's
      bones break apart and scatter. The head pops up.

                            MIGUEL
                  I'm sorry, I'm sorry...

                              PAPÁ JULIO
                  Miguel?!

      Miguel tries to gather the scattered bones.

                              TÍA ROSITA
                  Miguel?

                              TÍA VICTORIA
                  Miguel?

      The bones magically pull away from Miguel.

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  You're here! HERE here!

      PAPÁ JULIO reconstitutes himself.

                            PAPÁ JULIO (CONT'D)
                  And you can see us?!

      TÍA ROSITA charges through Papá Julio, sending his bones
      scattering again. She grabs Miguel, hugging him tight.

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  Our Migueli-ti-ti-ti-ti-to!

      Miguel, smothered by Rosita's ample ribcage, struggles for
      air.




                                                                      33.


                            MIGUEL
                      (muffled)
                  Remind me how I know you?

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  We're your family, mijo!

      Tía Rosita's ofrenda photo flashes in Miguel's memory.

                            MIGUEL
                  Tía... Rosita?

                               TÍA ROSITA
                  Sí!

      He looks at Papá Julio, whose head is still turned the wrong
      way. TÍA VICTORIA straightens it.

                            MIGUEL
                  Papá Julio?

                               PAPÁ JULIO
                  Hola.

                            MIGUEL
                  Tía Victoria?

      Tía Victoria pokes Miguel's cheek, skeptical.

                            TÍA VICTORIA
                  He doesn't seem entirely dead.

      A living person ambles through Miguel's non-corporeal form.

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  He's not quite alive either...

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  We need Mamá Imelda. She'll know
                  how to fix this!

      Suddenly twin skeleton gents run, huffing, toward the family.

                               TÍO FELIPE
                         (huffing)
                  Oye!

                            TÍO OSCAR
                      (winded)
                  It's Mamá Imelda--





                                                                       34.


                            TÍO FELIPE
                      (huffing)
                  --She couldn't cross over!

      The others gasp.

                            TÍO OSCAR
                  She's stuck--

                            TÍO FELIPE
                  --On the other side!

      Miguel sees pictures of his Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe flash in
      his memory.

                               MIGUEL
                  Tío Oscar?     Tío Felipe?

                            TÍO OSCAR
                  Oh, hey Miguel.

      Tía Victoria turns her gaze on Miguel.

                            TÍA VICTORIA
                  I have a feeling this has something
                  to do with you.

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  But if Mamá Imelda can't come to
                  us...

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  ...Then we are going to her!
                  Vámonos!

      Papá Julio grabs Miguel by the arm and the family rushes
      through the cemetery, trailed by Dante.


      EXT. CEMETERY - MOMENTS LATER

      Miguel and his family weave through the graves, rounding a
      corner.

      His gaze falls upon a glowing MARIGOLD BRIDGE arching before
      them.

                               MIGUEL
                  Whoa...

      The bridge extends into the mist.        A stream of skeletons
      amble across for the holiday.





                                                                      35.


      The family passes through an invisible barrier onto the
      bridge. Their bodies change from ghostly to solid. Miguel
      hesitates at the threshold.

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  Come on, Miguel. It's ok.

      Miguel follows after the family, the petals glowing under his
      feet. Dante takes off.

                             MIGUEL
                  Dante!   Dante! Dante, wait up!

      Miguel runs after Dante, finally catching up to the dog as he
      rolls in the petals at the crest of the bridge. He sneezes
      some petals into Miguel's face.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  You gotta stay with me, boy.       We
                  don't know... where...

      Out of the mist, the sparkling cityscape of the Land of the
      Dead emerges. It's breathtaking. His family sidles up.

                            MIGUEL
                  This isn't a dream, then.        You're
                  all really out there...

                            TÍA VICTORIA
                  You thought we weren't?

                            MIGUEL
                  Well I don't know, I thought it
                  might've been one of those made up
                  things that adults tell kids...
                  like... vitamins.

                            TÍA VICTORIA
                  Miguel, vitamins are a real thing.

                            MIGUEL
                  Well, now I'm thinking maybe they
                  could be...

      As skeletons pass in the other direction, Miguel receives
      some strange looks. A little skeleton girl gasps, pointing
      at him.

                            SKELETON MOTHER
                  Mija, it's not nice to stare at--
                      (seeing Miguel)
                  Ay! Santa Maria!





                                                                     36.


      The woman goes wide-eyed, her head turning backwards to gawk
      at Miguel as she walks in the opposite direction. Miguel
      puts up his hood.

      The Riveras continue on toward an arrivals area on the far
      side of the bridge. Miguel sees fantastical creatures
      crawling, flying, making nests in the nearby architecture.

                            MIGUEL
                  Are those...? Alebrijes!         But
                  those are--

                            TÍO OSCAR
                  REAL alebrijes. Spirit
                  creatures...

                             TÍA ROSITA
                  They guide souls on their
                  journey...

                            TÍO FELIPE
                  Watch your step, they make caquitas
                  everywhere.

      They get to the far edge of the Marigold Bridge.

      EXT. MARIGOLD GRAND CENTRAL STATION

                            CANNED LOOP (V.O.)
                  Welcome back to the Land of the
                  Dead. Please have all offerings
                  ready for re-entry. We hope you
                  enjoyed your holiday!

      A sign reads RE-ENTRY.

                            ARRIVALS AGENT
                  Welcome back! Anything to declare?

                            TRAVELER
                  Some churros... from my family.

                            ARRIVALS AGENT
                  How wonderful! Next!

                            CANNED LOOP (V.O.)
                  ...If you are experiencing travel
                  issues, agents at the Department of
                  Family Reunions are available to
                  assist you.

      Miguel and family get into the line for RE-ENTRY, along with
      other skeletons returning from the Land of the Living.




                                                                      37.


      Nearby, skeletons exit the Land of the Dead through a gate
      marked DEPARTURES. Miguel watches.

                            DEPARTURES AGENT
                  Next family, please!

      An ELDERLY COUPLE steps in front of a camera-mounted monitor.
      The monitor scans their faces and returns an image of their
      photos on an altar in the Land of the Living.

                            DEPARTURES AGENT (CONT'D)
                  Oh, your photos are on your son's
                  ofrenda. Have a great visit!

                               ELDERLY COUPLE
                  Gracias.

      The couple unites with the rest of their family. They all
      step onto the bridge, which begins to glow as they gain
      footing.

                            CANNED LOOP (V.O.)
                  ...And remember to return before
                  sunrise. Enjoy your visit!

                               DEPARTURES AGENT
                  Next!

      A skeleton man, a smile full of braces, steps up to the
      monitor.

                            DEPARTURES AGENT (CONT'D)
                  Your photo's on your dentist's
                  ofrenda. Enjoy your visit!

                               JUAN ORTODONCIA
                  Grashiash!

                               DEPARTURES AGENT
                  Next!

      HÉCTOR (early 20s), a ragged fellow, steps up to the monitor,
      disguised as Frida Kahlo.

                             HÉCTOR
                  Yes, it is I. Frida Kahlo.
                      (beat)
                  Shall we skip the scanner? I'm on
                  so many ofrendas, it'll just
                  overwhelm your blinky thingie...

      The monitor scans him, but an "X" appears, accompanied by a
      negative buzzing sound.




                                                                         38.


                            DEPARTURES AGENT
                  Well shoot. Looks like no one put
                  up your photo, Frida...

      Héctor peels off his unibrow and throws off his frock.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Okay, when I said I was Frida...
                  just now? That... that was a lie.
                  And I apologize for doing that.

                            DEPARTURES AGENT
                  No photo on an ofrenda, no crossing
                  the bridge.

                            HÉCTOR
                  You know what, I'm just gonna zip
                  right over, you won't even know I'm
                  gone.

      Héctor bolts for the bridge. A security guards blocks the
      gate. Héctor splits in two and slides past the guard, half
      going over, half under.

                              HÉCTOR
                  Ha HA!

      Héctor reaches the bridge at a sprint, but the magic doesn't
      engage; he sinks right into the petals.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Almost there, just a little
                  further...!

      The guards saunter to the bridge and casually pull Héctor
      back toward the Land of the Dead.

                            OFFICER
                  Upsy-daisy...

                            HÉCTOR
                  Fine, okay. Fine, who cares...
                  Dumb flower bridge!

      Miguel watches as the guards haul him out.      Tía Rosita looks
      up in time to see his back.

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  I don't know what I'd do if no one
                  put up my photo.

                              ARRIVALS AGENT (O.S.)
                  Next!




                                                                      39.


                             TÍA ROSITA
                  Oh!   Come mijo, it's our turn.

      The arrivals line moves forward. The Dead Riveras crowd
      around the gate. The arrivals agent leans out from his
      window.

                            ARRIVALS AGENT
                  Welcome back, amigos! Anything to
                  declare?

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  As a matter of fact, yes.

      The family pushes Miguel to the front, very much alive.

                              MIGUEL
                  Hola.

      The arrivals agent's jaw literally drops.

                                                    CUT TO:


      INT. MARIGOLD GRAND CENTRAL STATION

      Miguel and his family are escorted by a security guard across
      an arching second floor walkway.

                            VOICE OVER P.A.
                  Paging Marta Gonzales-Ramos. Marta
                  Gonzales-Ramos, please report to
                  Level 7.

      Dante happily trots alongside.       Miguel looks up to see
      gondolas traveling by.

                              MIGUEL
                  Whoa...

      Skeletons stare at Miguel as he walks by. Suddenly Miguel
      notices Tío Oscar staring at his face in deep contemplation.

                            TÍO OSCAR
                  I miss my nose...

      At the end of the walkway are doors emblazoned with
      "DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY REUNIONS." The family passes through.

      INT. DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY REUNIONS

      Inside, they find case workers helping travelers work out
      holiday snafus.




                                                                     40.


                             DISTRESSED TRAVELER
                  C'mon! Help us out amigo... We
                  gotta get to a dozen ofrendas
                  tonight...

                                                   CUT TO:

                            MIFFED WIFE
                  We are NOT visiting your ex-wife's
                  family for Día de Muertos!

                                                   CUT TO:

      In a far corner, one traveler in particular is raising hell.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  I demand to speak to the person in
                  charge!

      A beleaguered CASE WORKER cringes as Mamá Imelda tears into
      her.

                            CASE WORKER
                  I'm sorry, señora, it says here no
                  one put up your photo--

      Mamá Imelda coldly eyes the Macintosh 128k on the woman's
      desk.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  My family always -- ALWAYS -- puts
                  my photo on the ofrenda! That
                  devil box tells you nothing but
                  lies!

      In a swift movement, Mamá Imelda removes her shoe and smacks
      the computer.

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  Mamá Imelda?

      She turns her shoe on Papá Julio, who leans back and yelps.
      Mamá Imelda softens.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Oh, mi familia! They wouldn't let
                  me cross the bridge! Tell this
                  woman and her devil box that my
                  photo is on the ofrenda.

                             PAPÁ JULIO
                  Well, we never made it to the
                  ofrenda...




                                                                         41.


                               MAMÁ IMELDA
                  What?!

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  We ran into... um...

      Mamá Imelda's eyes fall on Miguel.

      Miguel looks at Mamá Imelda.       Her photo flashes before him.

                               MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel?

                            MIGUEL
                  Mamá Imelda...

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  What is going on?

      Just then, a door opens and a CLERK pokes his head out.

                            CLERK
                  You the Rivera family?

      The computer short circuits.

                                                    CUT TO:


      INT. CLERK'S OFFICE

                            CLERK
                  Well, you're cursed.

      The family gasps.

                               MIGUEL
                  What?!

      The clerk searches through a huge stack of papers.

                            CLERK
                  Día de los Muertos is a night to
                  GIVE to the dead. You STOLE from
                  the dead.

                            MIGUEL
                  But I wasn't stealing the guitar!

                               MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Guitar...?





                                                                    42.


                            MIGUEL
                  It was my great-great
                  grandfather's, he would have wanted
                  me to have it--

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Ah-ah-ah! We do not speak of
                  that...
                      (disgust)
                  ...musician! He is DEAD to this
                  family!

                            MIGUEL
                  Uh, you're all dead.

      Dante balances his paws at the edge of the clerk's desk and
      tries to reach a plate of food.

                           CLERK
                  ACHOO! I am sorry, whose alebrije
                  is that?

      Miguel steps up, trying to pull Dante away from the treats.

                            MIGUEL
                  That's just Dante.

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  He sure doesn't look like an
                  alebrije.

      Tía Rosita gestures to the fantastical creatures fluttering
      on the other side of the window.

                            TÍO OSCAR
                  He just looks like a plain old
                  dog...

                            TÍO FELIPE
                  ...Or a sausage someone dropped in
                  a barbershop.

                            CLERK
                  Whatever he is, I am -- ACHOO! --
                  terribly allergic.

                            MIGUEL
                  But Dante doesn't have any hair.

                            CLERK
                  And I don't have a nose, and yet
                  here we are -- ACHOO!!





                                                                      43.


                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  But none of this explains why I
                  couldn't cross over.

      Miguel realizes something.        He sheepishly pulls out the
      folded photo.

                               MIGUEL
                  Oh...

      He unfolds the photo.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  You took my photo off the ofrenda?!

                            MIGUEL
                  It was an accident!

      Mamá Imelda turns to the clerk, fire in her eyes.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  How do we send him back?!

                            CLERK
                  Well, since it's a family matter...
                      (flipping pages)
                  The way to undo a family curse is
                  to get your family's blessing.

                               MIGUEL
                  That's it?

                            CLERK
                  Get your family's blessing, and
                  everything SHOULD go back to
                  normal. But you gotta do it by
                  sunrise!

                            MIGUEL
                  What happens at sunrise?

                             PAPÁ JULIO
                  Híjole!   Your hand!

      Miguel looks at his hand. The tip of one of his fingers has
      started to turn skeletal. He turns pale. He starts to faint
      when Papá Julio picks him up and gently slaps him awake.

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  Whoa, Miguel. Can't have you
                  fainting on us.





                                                                              44.


                             CLERK
                  But not to worry! Your family's
                  here, you can get your blessing
                  right now.

      The clerk searches the ground near Tía Rosita.

                            CLERK
                  Cempasúchil, cempasúchil.        Aha!
                  Perdón, señora.

      Tía Rosita titters. The clerk plucks a marigold petal from
      the hem of her dress. He hands the petal to Mamá Imelda.

                            CLERK
                      (to Imelda)
                  Now, you look at the living and say
                  his name.

      Imelda turns to Miguel.

                               MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel.

                               CLERK
                  Nailed it.     Now say: I give you my
                  blessing.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  I give you my blessing.

      The marigold petal glows in her fingers.            Miguel brightens.
      But Mamá Imelda is not finished.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA (CONT'D)
                  I give you my blessing to go
                  home...

      The glow of the marigold petal surges.

                             MAMÁ IMELDA (CONT'D)
                  To put my photo back on the
                  ofrenda...

      Each added condition makes the petal glow brighter.           Imelda
      delivers it like a scolding, but Miguel nods.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA (CONT'D)
                  And to never play music again!

      The petal surges one last time.





                                                                          45.


                             MIGUEL
                  What?   She can't do that!

                            CLERK
                  Well technically she can add any
                  conditions she wants.

      Miguel stares her down.      Imelda is firm in her resolve.

                              MIGUEL
                  Fine.

                            CLERK
                      (to Imelda)
                  Then you hand the petal to Miguel.

      Imelda extends the petal to Miguel, who reaches for it.

      He grabs the petal. WHOOOOSH!        He's consumed by a whirlwind
      of petals and disappears.

      DE LA CRUZ'S MAUSOLEUM - NIGHT

      He reappears in a whirlwind of petals. It seems like he's
      solid. He runs to the window and looks out.

                            MIGUEL
                  No skeletons!

      Miguel laughs, relieved. Then, a mischievous smile on his
      face, he turns and eyes de la Cruz's guitar.

      Miguel quickly grabs the guitar.

                            MIGUEL
                  Mariachi Plaza, here I come--

      He takes two steps toward the door, then WHOOOOSH!

      CLERK'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

      Miguel appears back in the clerk's office in another flash of
      the marigold whirlwind, without the guitar. The family
      turns, shocked to see him back so soon.

      Miguel realizes his hands are still in guitar-holding
      position.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Two seconds and you already break
                  your promise!





                                                                       46.


                            MIGUEL
                  This isn't fair, it's my life!     You
                  already had yours!

      Miguel grabs another petal, he marches over to Papá Julio.

                            MIGUEL
                  Papá Julio, I ask for your
                  blessing.

      Papá Julio shakes his head and pulls his hat down.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Tía Rosita? Oscar? Felipe?       Tía
                  Victoria?

      They all shake their heads.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Don't make this hard, mijo.      You go
                  home my way, or no way.

                            MIGUEL
                  You really hate music that much?

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  I will not let you go down the same
                  path he did.

      Miguel gets an idea.     He pulls the photo out and turns from
      the group.

                            MIGUEL
                  The same path he did.

      He gazes at the man with no face.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                      (to himself)
                  He's family...

                            TÍA VICTORIA
                  Listen to your Mamá Imelda.

                            TÍO OSCAR
                  She's just looking out for you.

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  Be reasonable.

      Miguel starts back toward the door.





                                                                     47.


                            MIGUEL
                  Con permiso, I... need to visit the
                  restroom. Be right back!

      Miguel sees himself out.      The family waits for a beat.

                            CLERK
                  Uh, should we tell him there are no
                  restrooms in the Land of the Dead?


      INT. STAIRCASE - MOMENTS LATER

      Miguel hustles down a staircase with Dante. Once on the
      ground floor, they huddle beneath the staircase. He looks to
      the upper floor. The Dead Riveras are there. Tío Oscar asks
      a PATROLWOMAN about a boy of Miguel's height. The
      patrolwoman picks up her walkie-talkie.

      Miguel scopes the ground floor and spies a revolving door
      exit.

                              MIGUEL
                  Vámonos.

      Miguel puts up his hood, tightening it to a tiny eye hole,
      and heads out. Dante pads after him.

                            PATROLWOMAN
                  We got a family looking for a
                  LIVING BOY.

                            MIGUEL
                  If I wanna be a musician, I need a
                  MUSICIAN'S blessing. We gotta find
                  my great-great grandpa.

      The exit gets closer when Miguel is stopped by a PATROLMAN.

                            PATROLMAN
                  Hold it, muchacho.

      Miguel's hoodie loosens to reveal his living face.

                              PATROLMAN
                  Ahh!

      The patrolman frantically grabs for his walkie-talkie.

                            PATROLMAN
                  I've found that living boy!





                                                                        48.


      A large family passes between Miguel and the officer, chatty,
      arms full of offerings.

                            PATROLMAN
                  Uh whoa, excuse me, excuse me
                  folks! Excuse me--

      Once the family clears, Miguel is nowhere to be seen.

                                                   CUT TO:


      INT. NEARBY CORRIDOR

      Miguel and Dante hide from the patrolman.     But Dante wanders
      off to inspect a side room.

                            MIGUEL
                  No, no -- Dante!

      INT. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

      Miguel catches up to Dante.      He overhears an exchange in a
      nearby cubicle.

                            CORRECTIONS OFFICER
                  ...disturbing the peace, fleeing an
                  officer, falsifying a unibrow...

                            HÉCTOR
                  That's illegal?

                            CORRECTIONS OFFICER
                  VERY illegal. You need to clean up
                  your act, amigo.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Amigo?
                      (verklempt)
                  Oh, that's so nice, to hear you say
                  that, because...
                      (misty)
                  I've just had a really hard Día de
                  Muertos, and I could really use an
                  amigo right now.

      Héctor leans gratefully toward the officer, overwhelmed with
      mock emotion.





                                                          49.


                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  And amigos, they help their amigos.
                  Listen, you get me across that
                  bridge tonight and I'll make it
                  worth your while.

      Héctor spies a de la Cruz poster at the officer's
      workstation.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  Oh, you like de la Cruz? He and I
                  go way back! I can get you front
                  row seats to his Sunrise
                  Spectacular Show!

      Miguel perks at the mention of de la Cruz.

                              CORRECTIONS OFFICER
                  Uh--

                             HÉCTOR
                  I'll -- I'll get you backstage, you
                  can meet him!
                      (beat)
                  You just gotta let me cross that
                  bridge!

      The corrections officer pulls away.

                             CORRECTIONS OFFICER
                  I should lock you up for the rest
                  of the holiday...
                      (beat)
                  But my shift's almost up, and I
                  wanna visit my living family... so
                  I'm letting you off with a warning.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Can I at least get my costume back?

                              CORRECTIONS OFFICER
                  Uh, no.

      In a huff, Héctor marches out of the room.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Some amigo...

      Miguel follows him.





                                                                     50.


      INT. HALLWAY

                              MIGUEL
                  Hey. Hey!     You really know de la
                  Cruz?

                            HÉCTOR
                  Who wants to--
                      (noticing Miguel)
                  Ah! You're alive!

                              MIGUEL
                  Shhh!

                                                   CUT INTO:

      INT. PHONEBOOTH

      Miguel pulls Héctor into a phone booth to avoid suspicion.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Yeah I'm alive. And if I wanna get
                  back to the Land of the Living, I
                  need de la Cruz's blessing.

                            HÉCTOR
                  That's weirdly specific.

                            MIGUEL
                  He's my great-great-grandfather.

                            HÉCTOR
                  He's your wha-whaat...?

      Hector's eyes drop into his mouth. He pops them back up with
      a punch to his jaw. Miguel is a little grossed out.

      Héctor turns to conference with himself.

                             HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
                  Wait, wait...
                      (gasp)
                  Wait, no, wait, wait, wait. Wait,
                  wait, wait, wait, wait, wait?
                      (beat)
                  Yes! You're going back to the Land
                  of the Living?!

                             MIGUEL
                  D'ya know what, maybe this isn't
                  such a g--





                                                                      51.


      Héctor snaps his fingers rapidly, pistons firing.

                            HÉCTOR
                  No, niño, niño, niño, I can help
                  you! You can help me. We can help
                  each other! But most importantly,
                  you can help ME.

      Miguel suddenly spies his family hurrying down a staircase.
      Mamá Imelda spots Miguel.

                              MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel!

                              MIGUEL
                  AH!

      Héctor extends his hand.

                            HÉCTOR
                  I'm Héctor.

                            MIGUEL
                  That's nice!

      Miguel grabs Héctor by the wrist and drags him to the exit,
      away from his family.


      EXT. MARIGOLD GRAND CENTRAL STATION

      Miguel and Dante burst out the door and rush down the stairs.
      Héctor's arm snaps to get Miguel's attention. Miguel
      realizes it's no longer attached to Héctor's body. The arm
      signals backwards to Héctor who is ten paces behind.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Espérame chamaco!

      Miguel throws the arm back to Héctor an they disappear into a
      dense crowd.

      Moments later, the Dead Riveras burst from the revolving
      doors. Mamá Imelda scours the crowd for Miguel. He's
      nowhere to be found.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Ay, he is going to get himself
                  killed... I need my spirit guide,
                  Pepita.

      Mamá Imelda looks to the night sky, puts two fingers to her
      mouth, and lets out a piercing whistle.




                                                                             52.


      FWOOOMP! A giant winged jaguar lands in front of Mamá
      Imelda. She turns to the family.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Who has that petal Miguel touched?

                              PAPÁ JULIO
                  Here!

      Papá Julio steps forward with a marigold petal.      He creeps
      forward, jittery, holding it out for Pepita.

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  Nice alebrije...

      Pepita sniffs the petal's scent.

      Suddenly Pepita's head darts, narrowing in on the scent.         She
      takes to the air.


      EXT. UNDERPASS TUNNEL - NIGHT

      Miguel sits on a wooden crate. Héctor uses his thumb to
      smudge black and white shoe polish on the boy's face.

                             HÉCTOR
                  Hey, hey, hold still.
                      (beat)
                  Look up. Look up. A ver, a ver...
                  look up. Up, UP!... Ta-da!

      Héctor opens a small mirror.       Miguel's face is painted to
      look like a skeleton.

                             HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  Dead as a doorknob.
                      (beat)
                  So listen, Miguel: this place runs
                  on memories. When you're well-
                  remembered, people put up your
                  photo and you get to cross the
                  bridge and visit the living on Día
                  de Muertos.
                      (beat)
                  Unless you're me.

                            MIGUEL
                  You don't get to cross over.





                                                                           53.


                             HÉCTOR
                  No one's ever put up my picture...
                      (beat)
                  But you can change that!

      He unfolds an old picture.        In it is a young, living Héctor.

                            MIGUEL
                  This is you?

                            HÉCTOR
                  Muy guapo, eh?

                            MIGUEL
                  So you get me to my great-great
                  grandpa, then I put up your photo
                  when I get home?

                             HÉCTOR
                  Such a smart boy! Yes! Great
                  idea, yes!
                      (beat)
                  One hiccup: de la Cruz is a tough
                  guy to get to. And I need to cross
                  that bridge soon. Like TONIGHT.
                      (upbeat)
                  So, you got any other family here,
                  you know? Someone a bit more...
                  accessible?

                               MIGUEL
                  Mmm, nope.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Don't yank my chain, chamaco.      You
                  gotta have SOME other family.

                            MIGUEL
                  ONLY de la Cruz. If you can't help
                  me, I'll find him myself.

      Miguel marches out of the alley, whistling for Dante to
      follow.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Okay, okay, kid, fine -- fine!
                  I'll get you to your great-great
                  grandpa...!

                                                     CUT TO:





                                                                     54.


      EXT. BUSTLING STREET

      They make their way through a pedestrian path.

                             HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  ...It's not gonna be easy, you
                  know? He's a busy man.
                      (beat)
                  What are you doing?

      Miguel slink-walks next to Héctor goofily.

                            MIGUEL
                  I'm walking like a skeleton.
                  Blending in.

                            HÉCTOR
                  No, skeletons don't walk like that.

                            MIGUEL
                  It's how you walk.

                            HÉCTOR
                  No, I don't.

      Miguel keeps walking funny.

                              HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  Stop it!

      Miguel notices a billboard advertising "ERNESTO DE LA CRUZ'S
      SUNRISE SPECTACULAR!;" "Remember Me" blares from attached
      speakers.

                            MIGUEL
                  Whoa..."Ernesto de la Cruz's
                  Sunrise Spectacular...!" Qué
                  padre!

                            HÉCTOR
                  Blech. Every year, your great-
                  great grandpa puts on that dumb
                  show to mark the end of Día de
                  Muertos.

                            MIGUEL
                  And you can get us in!

                              HÉCTOR
                  Ahhhh--





                                                                      55.


                            MIGUEL
                  Hey, you said you had front row
                  tickets!

                            HÉCTOR
                  That... that was a lie.      I
                  apologize for that.

      Miguel gives Héctor a withering look.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Cool off, chamaco, come on... I'll
                  get you to him.

                              MIGUEL
                  How?

                            HÉCTOR
                  'Cause I happen to know where he's
                  rehearsing!

                                                   CUT TO:


      EXT. WAREHOUSE, BENEATH WINDOWS

      Héctor uses his suspenders to slingshot his arm to a third
      floor window. The hand taps on it.


      INT. COSTUME ROOM

      CECILIA, a costumer, turns from a costume to look at the
      window. Héctor's hand waves. She rolls her eyes and goes to
      open the window.

                            CECILIA
                  You better have my dress, Héctor!

                            HÉCTOR
                  Hola, Ceci!


      EXT. BENEATH WINDOW

      She lowers a ladder so Héctor, Miguel and Dante can climb up.
      Héctor grabs his arm and reattaches it.


      INT. COSTUME ROOM

      They all crawl in through the window.





                                                                     56.


                              MIGUEL
                  Hola.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Ceci, I lost the dress--

                            CECILIA
                  Ya lo sabía! I gotta dress forty
                  dancers by sunrise and thanks to
                  you, I'm one Frida short of an
                  opening number!

                            HÉCTOR
                  Ceci -- I know, Ceci. I know, I
                  know. Ceci -- Ceci... Ceci.
                  Ceci...

      As Héctor tries to talk her down, Dante wanders away from
      the costume area.

                            MIGUEL
                  Dante... Dante!

      Miguel chases after him.


      INT. REHEARSAL AREA

                            MIGUEL
                  We shouldn't be in here...

      Miguel follows Dante through a giant warehouse, divided into
      different artists workspaces. He passes papier-mâché
      sculptures, giant paper cut out banners, a skeleton posing
      nude for a painter...

      Dante sniffs around. Suddenly an ALEBRIJE MONKEY jumps out
      at Dante. The monkey starts riding Dante, tormenting him.
      Miguel hustles after him.

                            MIGUEL
                  No, no, Dante! Ven acá!

      The monkey jumps up onto the shoulder of FRIDA KAHLO, the
      REAL Frida Kahlo, who stands in front of a rehearsal stage.
      Miguel reins Dante in just as Frida turns to find them.

                              FRIDA
                  You!    How did you get in here?

                            MIGUEL
                  I just followed my--





                                                                            57.


      Frida's eyes go wide when she sees Dante.            She kneels and
      takes his head in her hands.

                             FRIDA
                  Oh, the mighty Xolo dog...! Guider
                  of wandering spirits...!
                      (beat)
                  And whose spirit have you guided to
                  me?

      Frida takes a closer look at Miguel.

                            MIGUEL
                  I don't think he's a spirit guide.

                            FRIDA
                  Ah-ah-ah. The alebrijes of this
                  world can take many forms... They
                  are as mysterious as they are
                  powerful...

      The patterns on Frida's monkey swirl and he opens his mouth
      to breath a blue fire. He fumbles at the end with a chesty
      cough.

      Then they look to Dante, who is chewing his own leg.
      Suddenly, Frida turns back to Miguel.

                            FRIDA (CONT'D)
                  Or maybe he's just a dog.        Come!    I
                  need your eyes!

      Frida guides him to view the rehearsal space.

                             FRIDA
                  You are the audience.
                      (beat)
                  Darkness. And from the darkness...
                  A giant PAPAYA!

      Lights come up on a giant papaya prop.

                            FRIDA
                  Dancers emerge from the papaya and
                  the dancers are all me!

      Leotarded, unibrowed dancers crawl around the sides of the
      mesh papaya. Behind the papaya is an even larger half-
      finished mesh structure.





                                                                           58.


                            FRIDA (CONT'D)
                  And they go to drink from the milk
                  of their mother who is a cactus,
                  but who is also me. And her milk
                  is not milk but tears.
                      (to Miguel)
                  Is it too obvious?

                             MIGUEL
                  I think it's just the right amount
                  of obvious?
                      (beat)
                  It could use some music... Oh!
                  What if you did, like, doonk-doonk-
                  doonk-doonk...

      Frida, inspired, cues some musicians who start playing the
      tune.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Oh! And then it could go dittle-
                  ittle-dittle-ittle-dittle-ittle-
                  dittle-ittle -- WHAAA!

      The violins follow; a trombone punctuates.

                            FRIDA
                  And... what if everything was on
                  fire? Yes! Fire everywhere!

      The dancers gasp and look at each other, now concerned.

                            FRIDA
                  Inspired!
                      (leaning in)
                  You... you have the spirit of an
                  artist!

      Miguel brightens.     Frida turns back to the rehearsal.

                            FRIDA
                  The dancers exit, the music fades,
                  the lights go out! And Ernesto de
                  la Cruz rises to the stage!

      A silhouette rises from a trap door.         Miguel leans forward.

      A spotlight shines on the silhouette revealing it to be a
      mannequin.

                              MIGUEL
                  Huh?





                                                                    59.


                            FRIDA
                  He does a couple of songs, the sun
                  rises, everyone cheers--

      Miguel hustles up to Frida.

                            MIGUEL
                  Excuse me, where's the real de la
                  Cruz?

                            FRIDA
                  Ernesto doesn't do rehearsals.
                  He's too busy hosting that fancy
                  party at the top of his tower.

      She gestures out a large window to a GRAND ESTATE lit up in
      the distance, atop a steep hill.

      Suddenly Héctor rounds the corner, out of breath.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Chamaco! You can't run off on me
                  like that! C'mon, stop pestering
                  the celebrities...

      Héctor pulls Miguel away, but Miguel won't be wrangled.

                            MIGUEL
                  You said my great-great grandpa
                  would be here! He's halfway across
                  town, throwing some big party.

                            HÉCTOR
                  That bum! Who doesn't show up to
                  his own rehearsal?

                            MIGUEL
                  If you're such good friends, how
                  come he didn't invite you?

                            HÉCTOR
                  He's YOUR great-great grandpa.   How
                  come he didn't invite YOU?

      Héctor walks away from Miguel toward the musicians.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Hey Gustavo! You know anything
                  about this party?





                                                                  60.


                            GUSTAVO
                  It's the hot ticket. But if you're
                  not on the guest list you're never
                  getting in, Chorizo...

                            MUSICIANS
                  Hey, it's Chorizo! / Choricito!

                            HÉCTOR
                  Ha ha, very funny guys.      Very
                  funny.

                              MIGUEL
                  Chorizo?

                            GUSTAVO
                      (to Miguel, re: Héctor)
                  Oh, this guy's famous! Go on, go
                  on, ask him how he died!

      Miguel looks to Héctor, eyebrow cocked.

                            HÉCTOR
                  I don't want to talk about it.

                            GUSTAVO
                  He choked on some CHORIZO!

      The musicians laugh.     Miguel tries to stifle a giggle.

                            HÉCTOR
                  I didn't choke, okay -- I got food
                  poisoning, which is a big
                  difference!

      More laughter.

                            HÉCTOR
                      (to Miguel)
                  This is why I don't like
                  musicians... bunch of self-
                  important jerks!

                            MIGUEL
                  Hey, I'm a musician.

                              HÉCTOR
                  You are?





                                                                     61.


                            GUSTAVO
                  Well, if you really want to get to
                  Ernesto, there IS that music
                  competition at the Plaza de la
                  Cruz. Winner gets to play at his
                  party...

      Miguel's wheels start turning.

                            HÉCTOR
                  No, no, no, chamaco, you are loco
                  if you think--

      Miguel looks to his hands, progressed in their skeletal
      transformation.

                            MIGUEL
                  I need to get my great-great
                  grandfather's blessing.

      Miguel looks up to Héctor.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  You know where I can get a guitar?

      Héctor sighs.

                            HÉCTOR
                  I know a guy...

                                                    CUT TO:


      EXT. UNDERPASS TUNNEL - NIGHT

      Pepita sweeps across the sky, landing in a darkened corner.
      She casts a shadow on the wall, then lurches into the light.
      She sniffs out the spot where Héctor painted Miguel's face,
      finding a canister of shoe polish. She lets out a low growl.

      The Dead Riveras follow after her.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Have you found him, Pepita?      Have
                  you found our boy?

      Pepita breathes on the ground, revealing a footprint.   It
      glows for a moment. The family leans in to inspect.

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  A footprint!





                                                                         62.


                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  It's a Rivera boot!

                            TÍO OSCAR
                  Size seven...

                            TÍO FELIPE
                  ...and a half.

                              TÍA VICTORIA
                  Pronated.

                              MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel.

      Pepita leans forward, breathes again, and the glow spreads to
      reveal a trail of footprints.

                                                   CUT TO:


      EXT. NARROW STAIRWAY

      Miguel follows Héctor down a steep stairway.     Miguel looks to
      his bony knuckles, concern on his face.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Why the heck would you wanna be a
                  musician?

                            MIGUEL
                  My great-great grandpa was a
                  musician.

                            HÉCTOR
                  ...Who spent his life performing
                  like a monkey for complete
                  strangers. Blech, no, no thank
                  you, guácala, no...

                            MIGUEL
                  Whadda you know?

      As Miguel descends the staircase, de la Cruz's distant
      glowing tower is obscured by old forgotten buildings.

                            MIGUEL
                  So, how far is this guitar anyway?

                            HÉCTOR
                  We're almost there...





                                                                     63.


      Héctor jumps from the stairway and crashes on the ground
      below. But his bones reassemble immediately.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  Keep up, chamaco, come on!

      Héctor leads Miguel through a stone archway.


      EXT. SHANTY TOWN

      Graffiti on the archway depicts skeletal angels with wings
      the color of marigolds.

      Inside the archway, a group of ratty skeletons huddle around
      a burning trashcan and laugh raucously. They are gray and
      dusty, not unlike Héctor, but there's a camaraderie about
      them.

                            RATTY GROUP
                  COUSIN HÉCTOR!!

                             HÉCTOR
                  Eh!   These guys!

                               RATTY MEMBER
                  HÉCTOR!!

                             HÉCTOR
                  Hey Tío!   Qué onda!

                            MIGUEL
                  These people are all your family?

                             HÉCTOR
                  Eh, in a way... We're all the ones
                  with no photos or ofrendas, no
                  family to go home to. Nearly
                  forgotten, you know?
                      (beat)
                  So, we all call each other cousin,
                  or tío, or whatever.

      They approach three old ladies playing cards around a wooden
      crate. One, TÍA CHELO looks up.

                               TÍA CHELO
                  Héctor!

                               HÉCTOR
                  Tía Chelo!     He-hey!

      Héctor hands them a bottle.




                                                                       64.


                            OLD TIAS
                  Muchas gracias!

                            HÉCTOR
                  Hey, hey! Save some for me!      Is
                  Chicharrón around?

                            TÍA CHELO
                  In the bungalow. I don't know if
                  he's in the mood for visitors...

                            HÉCTOR
                  Who doesn't like a visit from
                  Cousin Héctor?


      INT. SHANTY BUNGALOW TENT

      Héctor holds the curtain open.       Miguel and Dante walk in.

      The tent is cramped, dark, and quiet. Piles are organized
      everywhere: stacks of old dishes, a drawer full of pocket
      watches, magazines, records. This place belongs to a
      collector of things. Miguel almost knocks one stack over.

      Héctor spies a hammock piled with old junk, a dusty hat on
      top. He lifts the hat and finds the grumpy face of
      CHICHARRÓN.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Buenas noches, Chicharrón!

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  I don't want to see your stupid
                  face, Héctor.

                            HÉCTOR
                  C'mon, it's Día de Muertos! I
                  brought you a little offering!

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  Get out of here...

                            HÉCTOR
                  I would, Cheech, but the thing
                  is... me and my friend, Miguel, we
                  really need to borrow your guitar.

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  My guitar?!

                              HÉCTOR
                  Yes?




                                                                   65.


                            CHICHARRÓN
                  My prized, beloved guitar...?

                            HÉCTOR
                  I promise we'll bring it right
                  back.

      Chicharrón sits up, incensed.

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  Like the time you promised to bring
                  back my van?

                              HÉCTOR
                  Uh...

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  Or my mini-fridge?

                            HÉCTOR
                  Ah, you see­-

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  Or my good napkins? My lasso?    My
                  femur?!

                            HÉCTOR
                  No, no, not like those times.

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  Where's my femur?! You--

      Chicharrón raises his finger to give a tongue lashing. But
      then he weakens and collapses in his hammock, a golden
      flicker flashing through his bones. Héctor rushes forward.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Whoa, whoa -- you okay, amigo?

                             CHICHARRÓN
                  I'm fading, Héctor. I can feel it.
                      (looking to guitar)
                  I couldn't even play that thing if
                  I wanted to.
                      (beat)
                  You play me something.

      Héctor looks surprised.

                            HÉCTOR
                  You know I don't play anymore,
                  Cheech. The guitar's for the kid--





                                                                           66.


                            CHICHARRÓN
                  You want it, you got to earn it...

      Héctor sighs, then reaches over Chicharrón and takes the
      instrument.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Only for you, amigo.     Any requests?

      Héctor begins tuning the guitar.

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  You know my favorite, Héctor.

      Héctor begins a lovely, lilting tune. Chicharrón smiles.
      Miguel's eyes go wide at Héctor's skill.

                             HÉCTOR
                      (singing)
                  WELL EVERYONE KNOWS JUANITA,
                  HER EYES EACH A DIFFERENT COLOR.
                  HER TEETH STICK OUT,
                  AND HER CHIN GOES IN,
                  AND HER...

      Héctor eyes Miguel.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  ...KNUCKLES THEY DRAG ON THE FLOOR.

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  Those aren't the words!

                            HÉCTOR
                  There are children present.
                      (continuing)
                  HER HAIR IS LIKE A BRIAR,
                  SHE STANDS IN A BOW-LEGGED STANCE.
                  AND IF I WEREN'T SO UGLY,
                  SHE'D POSSIBLY GIVE ME A CHANCE!

      Héctor finishes with a soft flourish.

      Chicharrón is tickled, joyful.       For a moment he's present and
      bright.

                            CHICHARRÓN
                  Brings back memories.     Gracias...

      His eyes close.    He looks at peace.        Héctor looks sad.

      Suddenly, the edges of Chicharrón's bones begin to glow.         A
      soft, beautiful light. Then... he dissolves into dust.




                                                                  67.


      Miguel is stunned, concerned.

      Héctor picks up his shot glass, lifts it in honor, and
      drinks. He places it rim down next to Chicharrón's glass,
      which is still full.

                            MIGUEL
                  Wait... what happened?

                             HÉCTOR
                  He's been forgotten.
                      (beat)
                  When there's no one left in the
                  living world who remembers you, you
                  disappear from this world. We call
                  it the "Final Death."

                            MIGUEL
                  Where did he go?

                            HÉCTOR
                  No one knows.

      Miguel has a thought.

                            MIGUEL
                  But I've met him... I could
                  remember him, when I go back...

                             HÉCTOR
                  No, it doesn't work like that,
                  chamaco. Our memories... they have
                  to be passed down by those who knew
                  us in life -- in the stories they
                  tell about us. But there's no one
                  left alive to pass down Cheech's
                  stories...

      Miguel is deep in thought.

      Héctor puts his hand on Miguel's back, suddenly cheerful.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  Hey, it happens to everyone
                  eventually.

      He gives Miguel the guitar.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  C'mon "de la Cruzcito." You've got
                  a contest to win.





                                                                         68.


      Héctor throws open the curtain and exits.      Miguel looks back
      at the glasses, then turns and follows.


      EXT. LAND OF THE DEAD

      Héctor and Miguel hang off the back of a moving trolley.
      Miguel holds Héctor's photo in his hands, scanning it, while
      Héctor fiddles on the guitar idly.

                            MIGUEL
                  You told me you hated musicians,
                  you never said you were one.

                            HÉCTOR
                  How do you think I knew your great-
                  great grandpa? We used to play
                  music together. Taught him
                  everything he knows.

      Héctor plays a fancy riff, but botches the last note.

                            MIGUEL
                  No manches! You played with
                  Ernesto de la Cruz, the greatest
                  musician of all time?

                            HÉCTOR
                  Ha-ha, you're funny! Greatest
                  eyebrows of all time maybe but his
                  music, eh, not so much.

                            MIGUEL
                  You don't know what you're talking
                  about...

      The trolley arrives at the stop for the PLAZA DE LA CRUZ.
      There's a giant statue of Ernesto de la Cruz in the center.
      Miguel pockets Héctor's photo.

                             HÉCTOR
                  Welcome to the Plaza de la Cruz!
                      (beat)
                  Showtime, chamaco!

      Héctor hands the guitar to Miguel.

      QUICK CUTS: Energetic plaza shots. Lights and colors,
      beautiful dresses, violins, pyrotechnic bullfight, dancing.
      A t-shirt vendor is selling "de la Cruz" shirts.

                             VENDOR
                  Llévelo!   T-shirts!    Bobble-heads!




                                                                        69.


      A stage is set up in the plaza.


      EXT. ON STAGE

      An EMCEE greets her audience.

                            EMCEE
                  Bienvenidos a todos!     Who's ready
                  for some música?

      The audience whoops.

                            EMCEE (CONT'D)
                  It's a battle of the bands, amigos!
                  The winner gets to play for the
                  maestro himself, Ernesto de la
                  Cruz, at his fiesta tonight!

      The audience cheers.     Héctor elbows Miguel as they head
      backstage.

                            HÉCTOR
                  That's our ticket, muchacho.

                            EMCEE
                  Let the competition begin!

      QUICK MONTAGE: Acts    perform on stage -- a tuba/violin act, a
      saxophone player, a    hard-core metal band, a kid who plays
      marimba on the back    of a giant iguana alebrije, a DJ with a
      laptop and keyboard    setup, a dog orchestra, nuns playing
      accordions...


      EXT. BACKSTAGE

      Miguel and Héctor stand amongst other contestants.

                            HÉCTOR
                  So what's the plan?     What are you
                  gonna play?

                            MIGUEL
                  Definitely "Remember Me."

      Miguel plucks out the beginnings of de la Cruz's most famous
      song. Héctor clamps his hand over the fretboard.

                            HÉCTOR
                  No, not that one.     No.





                                                                       70.


                            MIGUEL
                  C'mon, it's his most popular song!

                            HÉCTOR
                  Ehck, it's too popular.

      Elsewhere backstage, they notice multiple other acts
      rehearsing their versions.

                            SKELETON MUSICIAN
                      (singing)
                  REMEMBER ME, THOUGH I HAVE TO TRAVEL FAR,
                  REMEMBER ME...

                            OPERA SINGERS
                      (singing)
                  REMEMBER ME!
                  DON'T LET IT MAKE YOU CRY!

      One man plays water glasses to the famous tune.   Héctor looks
      at Miguel as if to ask, "Need I say more?"

                            MIGUEL
                  Um... what about "Poco Loco?"

                             HÉCTOR
                  Epa!   Now that's a song!

                            STAGEHAND
                  De la Cruzcito? You're on standby!
                      (to another band)
                  Los Chachalacos, you're up next!


      ON STAGE

      An impressive banda group steps onto stage.

                            CROWD
                  LOS CHACHALACOS!

      They burst into a mighty introduction and the audience goes
      wild. They're very good.


      BACKSTAGE

      Miguel peeks at the frenzied audience from backstage.   He
      looks sick and begins to pace, fidgety.

                            HÉCTOR
                  You always this nervous before a
                  performance?




                                                                           71.


                            MIGUEL
                  I don't know -- I've never
                  performed before.

                            HÉCTOR
                  What?! You said you were a
                  musician!

                             MIGUEL
                  I am!
                      (beat)
                  I mean I will be.     Once I win.

                             HÉCTOR
                  That's your plan?!
                      (beat)
                  No, no, no, no, no, you have to
                  win, Miguel. Your life LITERALLY
                  depends on you winning! AND YOU'VE
                  NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE?!

      Héctor reaches for the guitar.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  I'll go up there--

      Miguel recoils, keeping hold of the instrument.

                              MIGUEL
                  No!    I need to do this.

                              HÉCTOR
                  Why?

                            MIGUEL
                  If I can't go out there and play
                  one song... how can I call myself a
                  musician?

                            HÉCTOR
                  What does that matter?!

                            MIGUEL
                  'Cuz I don't just want to get de la
                  Cruz's blessing. I need to prove
                  that... that I'm worthy of it.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Oh. Oh, that's such a sweet
                  sentiment... at SUCH a bad time!

      Héctor looks in Miguel's eyes.       The kid is sincere.   Despite
      himself, Héctor softens.




                                                                    72.


                             HÉCTOR
                  Okay... okay, okay, okay. Okay.
                  Okay.
                      (beat)
                  Okay.
                      (beat)
                  Okay you wanna perform? Then
                  you've got to PERFORM!

      Miguel perks, surprised that Héctor wants to help.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  First you have to loosen up.     Shake
                  off those nerves! Sáquenlo
                  sáquenlo, sáquenlo!

      Héctor does a loose-bone skeletal shimmy and Miguel copies.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  Now gimme your best grito!

                            MIGUEL
                  My best grito?

                            HÉCTOR
                  Come on, yell! Belt it out!
                  OOOOOOH HE-HE-HEY! Ha! Ah, feels
                  good! Okay... now you.

                            MIGUEL
                      (uncertain)
                  Ah -- ah -- ayyyyy yaaaaayyyyay...

      Dante whimpers.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Oh, c'mon kid...

      On stage, Los Chachalacos wrap up to raucous applause.

                            STAGEHAND
                  De la Cruzcito, you're on now!

                            HÉCTOR
                  Miguel, look at me.

                            STAGEHAND
                  Come on, let's go!

                                HÉCTOR
                  Hey!     Hey, look at me.
                         (beat)
                                (MORE)



                                                                            73.

                            HÉCTOR (CONT'D)
                  You can do this. Grab their
                  attention and don't let it go!

                            EMCEE (O.S.)
                  We have one more act, amigos!

                               MIGUEL
                  Héctor...

                            HÉCTOR
                  Make 'em listen, chamaco!        You got
                  this!

                            EMCEE (O.S.)
                  Damas y caballeros! De la
                  Cruzcito!

      The crowd applauds as Miguel is led on stage.

                               HÉCTOR
                  Arre papá!     Hey!

      Héctor's face contorts with a mix of encouragement and dread.


      ON STAGE

      Miguel slowly takes the stage, guitar in hand.         He's blinded
      by the lights and squints out at the audience.         He's frozen
      stiff.


      OFF STAGE

                            HÉCTOR
                      (to Dante)
                  What's he doing? Why isn't he
                  playing?


      ON STAGE

      Panic is painted across Miguel's face.

                            AUDIENCE MEMBER (O.S.)
                  Bring back the singing dogs!

      The crowd begins to murmur impatiently.         Miguel looks to
      Héctor in the wing.

      Héctor makes eye contact with Miguel and does the "loosen up"
      bone shimmy.





                                                                        74.


      On stage Miguel shakes off his nerves.       Deep exhale and...

                            MIGUEL
                  HAAAAAAAI-YAAAAAAAAAAAI-YAAAAAAAAI!

      The sound is full-throated and resonant. People in the
      audience whistle and whoop. Some return the grito, some
      applaud lightly. His brows go up and he begins his guitar
      intro.

                            MIGUEL
                      (singing)
                  WHAT COLOR IS THE SKY?
                  AY MI AMOR, AY MI AMOR
                  YOU TELL ME THAT IT'S RED
                  AY MI AMOR, AY MI AMOR
                  WHERE SHOULD I PUT MY SHOES?
                  AY MI AMOR, AY MI AMOR
                  YOU SAY PUT THEM ON YOUR HEAD
                  AY MI AMOR, AY MI AMOR

      As the audience warms up, so does Miguel.      Héctor perks up,
      he's got this!

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  YOU MAKE ME UN POCO LOCO
                  UN POQUI-TI-TI-TO LOCO
                  THE WAY YOU KEEP ME GUESSING
                  I'M NODDING AND I'M YES-ING
                  I'LL COUNT IT AS A BLESSING
                  THAT I'M ONLY UN POCO LOCO...

      INSTRUMENTAL INTERLUDE. Dante grabs Héctor by the leg and
      drags him onto the stage with Miguel.

                            HÉCTOR
                  No, no, no, no...

      Once in the spotlight, Héctor warms up and busts out some
      percussive footwork to Miguel's guitar.

                            MIGUEL
                  Not bad for a dead guy!

                            HÉCTOR
                  You're not so bad yourself,
                  gordito! Eso!

                                                    CUT TO:





                                                                        75.


      EDGE OF AUDIENCE

      A ripple of glowing footprints leads Pepita and the Dead
      Riveras to the edge of the audience.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  He's close. Find him.

      The Dead Riveras fan out through the audience.


      ON STAGE

      Héctor gets more creative with his dancing, head coming off,
      limbs spinning around. The audience hoots!

                            HÉCTOR
                      (singing)
                  THE LOCO THAT YOU MAKE ME
                  IT IS JUST UN POCO CRAZY
                  THE SENSE THAT YOU'RE NOT MAKING...

                            MIGUEL
                      (singing)
                  THE LIBERTIES YOU'RE TAKING...

                 HECTOR                                MIGUEL
      LEAVES MY CABEZA SHAKING             LEAVES MY CABEZA SHAKING
      YOU ARE JUST UN POCO LOCO            YOU ARE JUST UN POCO LOCO

      The audience starts clapping in time with the song.      Dante
      lets out a howl.

      The Riveras continue their search in the audience.

                            TÍO FELIPE/TÍO OSCAR
                  We're looking for a living kid...
                  about 12?

                                                   CUT TO:

                            TÍA ROSITA
                  Have you seen a living boy?


      ON STAGE

                  HECTOR                               MIGUEL
      UN POQUI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-       UN POQUI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-
      TI-TI-TO LOCO!!                      TI-TI-TO LOCO!!

      The audience erupts into applause!





                                                                          76.


      Miguel smiles, soaking in the moment.        He feels like a real
      musician.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Hey, you did good!     I'm proud of
                  you! Eso!

      Miguel swells and looks back out the crowd when he suddenly
      spots Oscar and Felipe talking to a stranger. He looks over
      and there is Tía Rosita talking to someone else! Miguel
      looks to stage right, where he sees Papá Julio talking to the
      Emcee!

                             AUDIENCE
                  Otra!   Otra! Otra!

      Panicking, Miguel pulls Héctor off stage.         Héctor tries to
      pull back.


      OFF STAGE

                            HÉCTOR
                  Hey, where are you going?

                            MIGUEL
                  We gotta get outta here.

                            HÉCTOR
                  What, are you crazy?     We're about
                  to win this thing!


      ON STAGE

      The Emcee takes the microphone.

                             EMCEE
                  Damas y caballeros, I have an
                  emergency announcement.
                      (beat)
                  Please be on the lookout for a
                  living boy, answers to the name of
                  Miguel. Earlier tonight he ran
                  away from his family. They just
                  want to send him back to the Land
                  of the Living...

      Murmurs of concern rumble through the audience.





                                                                  77.


      OFF STAGE

                            EMCEE (O.S.)
                  ...If anyone has information,
                  please contact the authorities.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Wait, wait, wait! You said de la
                  Cruz was your ONLY family. The
                  ONLY person who could send you
                  home.

                            MIGUEL
                  I do have other family, but--

                            HÉCTOR
                  You could have taken my photo back
                  this whole time?!

                            MIGUEL
                  --But they hate music!      I need a
                  musician's blessing!

                            HÉCTOR
                  You lied to me!

                            MIGUEL
                  Oh, you're one to talk!

                             HÉCTOR
                  Look at me. I'm being forgotten,
                  Miguel. I don't even know if I'm
                  gonna last the night!
                      (beat)
                  I'm not gonna miss my one chance to
                  cross that bridge 'cause you want
                  to live out some stupid musical
                  fantasy!

                            MIGUEL
                  It's not stupid.

      Héctor grabs Miguel's arm and pulls him toward the stage.

                            HÉCTOR
                  I'm taking you to your family.

                            MIGUEL
                  Let go of me!

                            HÉCTOR
                  You'll thank me later--





                                                                        78.


      Miguel yanks his arms away.

                            MIGUEL
                  You don't wanna help me, you only
                  care about yourself! Keep your
                  dumb photo!

      He pulls Héctor's photo out of his pocket and throws it at
      him. Héctor tries to grab it but it catches a breeze and
      drifts into the crowd.

                            HÉCTOR
                  No -- no, no, no!     No...

                            MIGUEL
                  Stay away from me!

      As Héctor scrambles to catch his photo, Miguel runs away.
      Héctor looks up but Miguel is gone.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Hey, chamaco! Where did you go?!
                  Chamaco! I'm sorry! Come back!


      EXT. PEDESTRIAN THOROUGHFARE

      Miguel hustles to get away from Héctor. Dante bounds after
      him, but looks back and whimpers. He barks to get Miguel's
      attention.

                            MIGUEL
                  Dante, cállate!

      But Dante is insistent.      He tugs at Miguel's pants, pulling
      him back to Héctor.

                               MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  No, Dante!     Stop it! He can't help
                  me!

      Dante grabs onto his hoodie sleeve. Miguel tries to shake
      him off, but his hoodie slips off, revealing the arms of a
      living boy. Dante redoubles his efforts.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Dante, stop! Stop it! Leave me
                  alone! You're not a spirit guide,
                  you're just a dumb dog! Now get
                  out of here!

      Miguel yanks his hoodie away from Dante, who shrinks back,
      rebuffed. The scuffle has drawn the eyes of the crowd.




                                                                           79.


      Startled skeletons see Miguel's arms.        He hurries to get his
      hoodie back on.

                            CROWD MEMBERS
                  It's him! / It's that living boy! /
                  I heard about him. / Look! / He's
                  alive! / The boy's alive.

      Miguel runs and jumps down some scaffolding. In the
      distance, he sees de la Cruz's tower. After only a few
      paces, Pepita lands in front of Miguel, cutting off his path!
      He skids to a stop.

                               MIGUEL
                  AAHH!

      Then, peeking over the jaguar's head is an even more
      terrifying sight: Mamá Imelda riding atop.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  This nonsense ends now, Miguel! I
                  am giving you my blessing and you
                  are going home!

                            MIGUEL
                  I don't want your blessing!

      Miguel scrambles upright and bounds for a narrow alley
      staircase.

                             MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel!   Stop!

      Not able to get through on her spirit guide, Imelda is forced
      to pursue Miguel on foot.


      EXT. NARROW STAIRCASE

                               MAMÁ IMELDA (CONT'D)
                  Come back!     Miguel!

      He wriggles through an iron gate.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA (CONT'D)
                  I am trying to save your life!

      She is stopped by the gate.

                            MIGUEL
                  You're ruining my life!





                                                                        80.


                              MAMÁ IMELDA
                  What?

                             MIGUEL
                  Music's the only thing that makes
                  me happy. And you, you wanna take
                  that away!
                      (beat)
                  You'll never understand.

      Miguel heads away from her up the stairs.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                      (singing)
                  Y AUNQUE LA VIDA ME CUESTE,
                  LLORONA... NO DEJARÉ DE QUERERTE...

      Miguel stops in his tracks.      When Imelda finishes, he turns
      back, confused.

                            MIGUEL
                  I thought you hated music.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Oh, I loved it.
                      (reminiscing)
                  I remember that feeling, when my
                  husband would play, and I would
                  sing and nothing else mattered.
                  But when we had Coco, suddenly...
                  there was something in my life that
                  mattered more than music. I wanted
                  to put down roots. He wanted to
                  play for the world.

      Mamá Imelda pauses for a moment, lost in a memory.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA (CONT'D)
                  We each made a sacrifice to get
                  what we wanted. Now you must make
                  a choice.

                             MIGUEL
                  But I don't wanna... pick sides!
                      (beat)
                  Why can't you be on MY side?
                  That's what family's supposed to do
                  -- support you.
                      (beat)
                  But you never will.





                                                                      81.


      Miguel wipes the corner of his eye, frustrated. Imelda is
      shocked to see him so hurt, but Miguel turns away before she
      can answer and ascends the narrow staircase toward de la
      Cruz's tower.


      EXT. BOTTOM OF THE TOWER

      Miguel arrives at the foot of the hill to de la Cruz's tower.

      Vehicles from all eras (limousines, motor cars, carriages)
      drop off finely dressed guests who line up to get aboard a
      funicular that scales the tower to the mansion.

      A couple at the front of the line show a fancy invitation to
      a SECURITY GUARD, who then lets them onto the funicular.

                            SECURITY GUARD
                  Have a good time.

                            GUEST
                  Oh, how exciting!

      EL SANTO, the silver-masked luchador, produces a fancy
      invitation to the security guard.

                            SECURITY GUARD
                  Oh!  El Santo!
                      (giddy)
                  I'm a big fan.

      The security guard sheepishly holds up a camera.

                            SECURITY GUARD
                  You mind if I--

      El Santo nods. The security guard removes his head and hands
      it to the luchador for a selfie. His body proceeds to take
      the photo.

                            SECURITY GUARD
                  Gracias, señor!

      The security guard puts his head back on and El Santo heads
      past the velvet rope. Miguel is revealed waiting in line
      behind him.

                            SECURITY GUARD
                  Invitation?

                            MIGUEL
                  It's okay. I'm Ernesto's great-
                  great grandson!




                                                                      82.


      Miguel strikes de la Cruz's signature pose with his guitar.

                                                   CUT TO:

      Miguel is tossed out of the line. Just then he sees Los
      Chachalacos unloading their instruments from their van. He
      runs up to them.

                            MIGUEL
                  Disculpen, señores...

                            BAND LEADER
                  Hey guys, it's Poco Loco!

                            BAND MEMBER #2
                  You were on fire tonight!

                            MIGUEL
                  You too! Hey, musician to
                  musician, I need a favor...

                                                   CUT TO:

      The Band Leader hands an invitation to the security guard.

                            SECURITY GUARD
                  Ooo, the competition winners!
                  Congratulations chicos!

      Los Chachalacos file onto the funicular, the sousaphone
      player angling his instrument away from the security guard.
      After they get onto the funicular, he turns to reveal a pair
      of legs hanging out of the bell of the sousaphone. With a
      deep "TOOT!" Miguel spills out onto the floor of the
      funicular.

                            MIGUEL
                  Thanks guys!

      The funicular ascends.

      EXT. DE LA CRUZ'S MANSION

      The doors of the funicular open to reveal de la Cruz's lavish
      mansion. Los Chachalacos all file out.

                              MIGUEL
                  Whoa...

                            BAND LEADER
                  Enjoy the party, little músico!





                                                                     83.


                              MIGUEL
                  Gracias!

      Miguel heads off toward the mansion.

      On the stairs leading up, the party is bustling --
      performers, servers and guests dressed to the nines.

      A fire breather lets out flames that transform into a flurry
      of butterflies.

                            GUEST
                  Look, it's Ernesto!

      Miguel catches a glimpse of de la Cruz heading deeper into
      the party. Miguel pursues.

                            MIGUEL
                  De la Cruz...


      INT. DE LA CRUZ'S MANSION

      Miguel heads into the foyer but loses de la Cruz in the
      crowd.

                            MIGUEL
                  Señor de la Cruz!

      Miguel elbows his way through the room.

                            MIGUEL
                  Pardon me, Señor de la Cruz!     Señor
                  de la--

      He finds himself in a huge hall with hundreds of guests, the
      heart of the party. Film clips play all around the room from
      de la Cruz's movies.

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  When you see your moment, you
                  mustn't let it pass you by. You
                  must seize it.

      Miguel takes it all in. Synchronized swimmers make
      formations in a sparkling indoor pool. A DJ lays a decades-
      spanning mash-up soundtrack.

      A clip of de la Cruz riding his noble steed plays behind
      Miguel.

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  We're almost there, Dante.




                                                                     84.


      Miguel jumps to see above the crowd.

                            MIGUEL
                  Señor de la Cruz!     Señor de la--

      Miguel is unable to get his great-great grandfather's
      attention. Meanwhile, a clip behind Miguel features de la
      Cruz as a good-natured priest:

                            NUN (FILM CLIP)
                  But what can we do? It is
                  hopeless...

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  You must have faith, sister.

                            NUN (FILM CLIP)
                  Oh but Padre, he will never listen.

                            DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                  He will listen... to MUSIC!

      The passionate words embolden Miguel. He climbs a pillar to
      the landing of a grand staircase, he stands above the crowd.

      Miguel takes a breath and throws out a grito as loud as he
      can. It echoes through the space, and party guests turn.
      The DJ fades the music.

      Garnering some attention, Miguel plays his guitar.   More
      guests turn.

      As a hush falls on the crowd, the sound of Miguel's guitar
      becomes singular.

                            MIGUEL
                      (singing)
                  SEÑORAS Y SEÑORES
                  BUENAS TARDES, BUENAS NOCHES
                  BUENAS TARDES, BUENAS NOCHES
                  SEÑORITAS Y SEÑORES
                  TO BE HERE WITH YOU TONIGHT
                  BRINGS ME JOY! ¡QUÉ ALEGRÍA!
                  FOR THIS MUSIC IS MY LANGUAGE
                  AND THE WORLD ES MI FAMILIA

      Miguel continues to play and sing as he nervously walks
      forward; the crowd parting, he moves closer to DLC.

                            MIGUEL
                  FOR THIS MUSIC IS MY LANGUAGE
                  AND THE WORLD ES MI FAMILIA





                                                                      85.


      He passes a movie screen where a clip features de la Cruz
      singing the same song in one of his films, the songs
      overlapping for a brief moment.

                            MIGUEL & DE LA CRUZ
                  FOR THIS MUSIC IS MY LANGUAGE
                  AND THE WORLD ES MI FAMILIA

      Miguel's soul pours into the strings as he approaches his
      hero--

                            MIGUEL
                  FOR THIS MUSIC IS MY LANG--

      SPLASH!   Miguel tumbles into the indoor pool.

      The party-goers gasp, but it's Ernesto who rolls up his
      sleeves, and, in true movie hero fashion, jumps into the pool
      and lifts a coughing Miguel to the edge.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Are you all right, niño?

      Miguel looks up, mortified. His painted face begins to run,
      revealing him to be a living boy. De la Cruz's eyes go wide.
      The crowd gasps and murmurs.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  It's you... you, you are that boy,
                  the one who came from the Land of
                  the Living.

                            MIGUEL
                  You... know about me?

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  You are all anyone has been talking
                  about! Why have you come here?

                            MIGUEL
                  I'm Miguel. Your great-great
                  grandson.

      More murmuring from the crowd.       De la Cruz is shocked.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  I... have a great-great grandson?

                             MIGUEL
                  I need your blessing. So I can go
                  back home and be a musician, just
                  like you.
                      (beat)
                             (MORE)


                                                                         86.

                             MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  The rest of our family, they
                  wouldn't listen. But I... I hoped
                  you would?

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  My boy, with a talent like yours,
                  how could I not listen?

      Miguel hugs de la Cruz who sweeps Miguel up onto his
      shoulders, showing him off to the room.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  I HAVE A GREAT-GREAT GRANDSON!

      The crowd roars.

                                                   CUT TO:


      EXT. BOTTOM OF THE TOWER

                            CROWD
                  Look, it's Frida!

      The silhouette of Frida Kahlo steps up to the security guard.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Yes, it is I. Frida Kahlo.

      The security guard lets her in immediately.     No need to check
      the list.

                            SECURITY GUARD
                  It is an honor, señora!

                               HÉCTOR
                  Gracias...

      Hector steps onto the funicular, readjusting his unibrow to
      maintain his diguise.

                                                   CUT TO:


      EXT. DE LA CRUZ'S MANSION

      Quick cuts over instrumental version of "Remember Me:"

      De la Cruz barges into several conversations, proudly
      introducing Miguel. He seems almost giddy. They wedge
      themselves into a group laughing in the garden (which
      includes Jorge Negrete & Pedro Infante):





                                                                         87.


                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Hey Negrete! Infante! Have you
                  met my great-great-grandson?

                                                      CUT TO:

      De la Cruz and Miguel ride up on horseback while guests play
      polo:

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  My great-great grandson!

                                                      CUT TO:

      In the parlor:

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  He's alive! And a musician to
                  boot!

                                                      CUT TO:

      Miguel chats away with de la Cruz and guests.

                             MIGUEL
                  Dimple.   No dimple.      Dimple.   No
                  dimple.

      De la Cruz laughs, delighted.

                               DE LA CRUZ
                  No dimple!

                                                      CUT TO:

      A film clip is projected in the main hall.

      ON SCREEN: Don Hidalgo turns raising two glasses.         Miguel
      acts along with the clip.

                            DON HIDALGO (FILM CLIP)
                  To our friendship!...

         DON HIDALGO (FILM CLIP)                        MIGUEL
      ...I would move Heaven and            ...I would move Heaven and
      Earth for you, mi amigo.              Earth for you, mi amigo.
      Salud!                                Salud!

      In the clip Don Hidalgo and de la Cruz drink.        De la Cruz
      spits.

                   MIGUEL                       DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
      Poison!                               Poison!




                                                                     88.


      Miguel and de la Cruz gleefully act out the ensuing fist
      fight.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  You know, I did all my own stunts.

                                                   CUT TO:

      A small crowd sways, arms around shoulders, as Miguel and
      Ernesto lead them in a chorus of "Remember Me."


      INT. DE LA CRUZ'S OFRENDA ROOM

      De la Cruz gestures to the massive piles of gifts from his
      fans: bread, fruits, flowers, instruments, etc. All piled up
      to the ceiling.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  All of this came from my amazing
                  fans in the Land of the Living!
                  They leave me more offerings than I
                  know what to do with!

      Miguel takes in the room, it's almost too much to absorb.
      Something seems to be on the boy's mind.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Hey, what's wrong? Is it too much?
                  You look overwhelmed...

                            MIGUEL
                  No -- it's all great.

                              DE LA CRUZ
                  But...?

                             MIGUEL
                  It's just -- I've been looking up
                  to you my whole life. You're the
                  guy who actually did it! But...
                      (beat)
                  Did you ever regret it? Choosing
                  music over... everything else.

      De la Cruz kneels down and looks into Miguel's eyes.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  It was hard. Saying goodbye to my
                  hometown. Heading off on my own...

                            MIGUEL
                  Leaving your family?




                                                                        89.


                             DE LA CRUZ
                  Sí. But I could not have done it
                  differently.
                      (beat)
                  One cannot deny who one is meant to
                  be. And you, my great-great
                  grandson, are meant to be a
                  musician!

      Miguel smiles, chest swelling.       He feels validated for the
      first time in his life.

                            DE LA CRUZ (CONT'D)
                  You and I, we are artists, Miguel!
                  We cannot belong to one family.
                  The world is our family!

      De la Cruz gestures to the sparkling city beyond his hilltop
      estate. Fireworks go off on the veranda.

                            DE LA CRUZ (CONT'D)
                  Ooo, the fireworks have begun!

                                                    CUT TO:


      EXT. VERANDA

      The party guests move outside to watch the light show.


      INT. DE LA CRUZ'S MANSION

      The hall has emptied, the lights are turned down. Bursts of
      color from outside flash across the walls. The only light
      coming from inside the hall are de la Cruz's film clips that
      continue to play on the walls.

      De la Cruz and Miguel descend the staircase into the empty
      hall.

                             DE LA CRUZ
                  Soon, the party will move across
                  town for my "Sunrise Spectacular!"
                      (beat)
                  Miguel, you must come to the show!
                  You will be my guest of honor!

      Miguel's eyes light up.

                            MIGUEL
                  You mean it?!





                                                                    90.


                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Of course, my boy!

      Miguel's chest swells. Then deflates. He lifts his shirt,
      revealing the skeletal transition partway up his torso.

                            MIGUEL
                  I can't... I have to get home
                  before sunrise.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Oh, I really do need to get you
                  home.

      De la Cruz plucks a marigold petal from a vase.

                             DE LA CRUZ (CONT'D)
                  It has been an honor. I am sorry
                  to see you go, Miguel. I hope you
                  die very soon.
                      (beat)
                  You know what I mean.
                      (beat)
                  Miguel. I give you my bles--

                            HÉCTOR (O.S.)
                  We had a deal, chamaco!

      They are startled.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Who are you? What is the meaning
                  of this?

      From the shadows, Héctor, dressed as Frida, steps into the
      light.

                               DE LA CRUZ (CONT'D)
                  Oh, Frida!     I thought you couldn't
                  make it.

      Héctor takes off the wig and throws his outfit off.

                            HÉCTOR
                  You said you'd take back my photo.
                  You promised, Miguel.

      Miguel turns, backing into de la Cruz's arms. De la Cruz
      rises to his feet, hands defensively on Miguel's shoulders.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                      (to Miguel)
                  You know this, uh... man?




                                                                         91.


                            MIGUEL
                  I just met him tonight.      He told me
                  he knew you--

      As Héctor steps forward with the photo, de la Cruz slowly
      recognizes him.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Hé-- Héctor?

                            HÉCTOR
                  Please Miguel, put my photo up.

      Héctor pushes the photo into Miguel's hands.          De la Cruz
      intercepts it.

      He looks from the picture to the gray, faded skeleton who
      kneels before him. Héctor looks weak.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  My friend... you're being
                  forgotten...

                            HÉCTOR
                  And whose fault is that?

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Héctor, please--

                            HÉCTOR
                  Those were MY songs you took.     MY
                  songs that made YOU famous.

                              MIGUEL
                  W-What?

                            HÉCTOR
                  If I'm being forgotten, it's
                  because you never told anyone that
                  I wrote them--

                            MIGUEL
                  That's crazy, de la Cruz wrote all
                  his own songs.

                            HÉCTOR
                      (to de la Cruz)
                  You wanna tell him, or should I?

                             DE LA CRUZ
                  Héctor, I never meant to take
                  credit.
                      (beat)
                             (MORE)


                                                        92.

                            DE LA CRUZ (CONT'D)
                  We made a great team but -- you
                  died and I -- I only sang your
                  songs because I wanted to keep a
                  part of you alive.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Oh, how generous.

                            MIGUEL
                  You really did play together...

                            HÉCTOR
                  Look, I don't want to fight about
                  it. I just want you to make it
                  right. Miguel can put my photo up--

                              DE LA CRUZ
                  Héctor...

                            HÉCTOR
                  --And I can cross over the bridge.
                  I can see my girl.

      De la Cruz looks at the photo, deliberating.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Ernesto... Remember the night I
                  left?

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  That was a long time ago.

                            HÉCTOR
                  We drank together and you told me
                  you would move heaven and earth for
                  your amigo. Well, I'm asking you
                  to now.

                            MIGUEL
                  Heaven and earth?     Like in the
                  movie?

                              HÉCTOR
                  What?

                            MIGUEL
                  That's Don Hidalgo's toast... in
                  the de la Cruz movie, "El Camino A
                  Casa."

                            HÉCTOR
                  I'm talking about my real life,
                  Miguel.




                                                                       93.


                             MIGUEL
                   No, it's in there.    Look.

      Miguel looks around and points to the movie clip projected
      across the room.

      FILM CLIP:

                             DON HIDALGO (FILM CLIP)
                   Never were truer words spoken.
                   This calls for A TOAST! To our
                   friendship! I would move Heaven
                   and Earth for you, mi amigo.

                             MIGUEL
                   But in the movie, Don Hidalgo
                   poisons the drink...

                              DON HIDALGO (FILM CLIP)
                   Salud!

      In the clip Don Hidalgo and de la Cruz drink.      De la Cruz
      spits his drink.

                              DE LA CRUZ (FILM CLIP)
                   Poison!

      Héctor's gears are turning too.

                             HÉCTOR
                   That night, Ernesto.    The night I
                   left...

      FLASHBACK:


      INT. MEXICO CITY HOTEL ROOM

      Héctor throws a songbook in a suitcase, shuts it.     He grabs
      his guitar case like he means to leave.

                             HÉCTOR (V.O.)
                   We'd been performing on the road
                   for months. I got homesick -- and
                   I packed up my songs...

                             YOUNG DE LA CRUZ
                   You wanna give up now? When we're
                   this close to reaching our dream?

                             YOUNG HÉCTOR
                   This was your dream. You'll
                   manage.




                                                                             94.


                            YOUNG DE LA CRUZ
                  I can't do this without your songs,
                  Héctor--

      De la Cruz grabs young Héctor's suitcase, but Héctor pulls
      away.

                             YOUNG HÉCTOR
                  I'm going home, Ernesto.
                      (beat)
                  Hate me if you want, but my mind is
                  made up.

      De la Cruz looks angry.      For a moment his face darkens.    But
      he composes himself.

                            YOUNG DE LA CRUZ
                  Oh, I could never hate you. If you
                  must go, then I'm... I'm sending
                  you off with a toast!

      De la Cruz pours a couple of drinks.         He gives one to Héctor.

                            YOUNG DE LA CRUZ (CONT'D)
                  To our friendship. I would move
                  Heaven and Earth for you, mi amigo.
                  Salud!

      They both drink.


      EXT. EMPTY STREET

                            HÉCTOR (V.O.)
                  You walked me to the train station.

      They walk down an empty street at night, Héctor with suitcase
      and guitar case in tow. Héctor stumbles, de la Cruz steadies
      him, takes his guitar case.

                            HÉCTOR (V.O.)
                  But I felt a pain in my stomach. I
                  thought it must have been something
                  I ate...

                            YOUNG DE LA CRUZ
                  Perhaps it was that chorizo my
                  friend...

                            HÉCTOR (V.O.)
                  Or something I... drank.





                                                                          95.


      A few more steps and Héctor collapses in the street.      FADE TO
      BLACK.

                             HÉCTOR (V.O.)
                   I woke up dead.

                                                    BACK TO:


      INT. DE LA CRUZ'S MANSION

                             HÉCTOR
                   You... POISONED me.

                             DE LA CRUZ
                   You're confusing movies with
                   reality, Héctor.

                             HÉCTOR
                   All this time I thought it was just
                   bad luck.

      FLASHBACK:


      EXT. EMPTY STREET

      Héctor's suitcase is opened.       A hand reaches in to take the
      songbook.

                             HÉCTOR
                   I never thought that you might
                   have... that you...

                                                    BACK TO:


      INT. DE LA CRUZ'S MANSION

      Héctor clenches his jaw. Then he bounds at de la Cruz,
      tackling him to the ground.

                             HÉCTOR
                   How could you?!

                               MIGUEL
                   Héctor!

                               DE LA CRUZ
                   Security!    Security!

      Miguel watches as Héctor and Ernesto scuffle on the floor.





                                                                           96.


                            HÉCTOR
                  You took everything away from me!

      Security guards rush in to pull Héctor off Ernesto.        Héctor
      struggles, but it's no use.

                              HÉCTOR
                  You rat!

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Have him taken care of.      He's not
                  well.

      The guards drag Héctor through a wide doorway.

                            HÉCTOR
                  I just wanted to go back home!      No,
                  no, NO!

      The doors slam shut and cut off his shouts.         Miguel is left
      alone with de la Cruz.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  I apologize. Where were we?

                            MIGUEL
                  You were going to give me your
                  blessing...

                             DE LA CRUZ
                  Yes.   Uh... sí.

      De la Cruz pulls up a marigold petal, but hesitates.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Miguel, my reputation, it is very
                  important to me. I would hate to
                  have you think...

                            MIGUEL
                  That you murdered Héctor... for his
                  songs?

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  You don't think that.     Do you?

                            MIGUEL
                  I -- no! Everyone knows you're
                  the... the good guy.

      Doubt enters Miguel's mind. De la Cruz darkens, he places
      the photo of Héctor in his coat pocket, gears turning in his
      mind.




                                                                     97.


                            MIGUEL
                  Papá Ernesto? My blessing?

      De la Cruz crumples the marigold petal.

                              DE LA CRUZ
                  Security!

      De la Cruz's guards appear in the doorway.

                            DE LA CRUZ (CONT'D)
                  Take care of Miguel. He'll be
                  extending his stay.

      The guards grab Miguel by the shoulder.

                              MIGUEL
                  What?!    But I'm your family!

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  And Héctor was my best friend.

      Miguel goes pale.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Success doesn't come     for free,
                  Miguel. You have to      be willing to
                  do whatever it takes     to... seize
                  your moment. I know      you
                  understand.

      Miguel is dragged away.

                              MIGUEL
                  No, NO!


      EXT. DE LA CRUZ'S TOWER

      The guards drag Miguel out the back of de la Cruz's mansion.

                              MIGUEL
                  Let go!

      They throw him into a cenote, an inescapable sinkhole behind
      the estate.


      INT. CENOTE

                             MIGUEL
                  NO!   AHHHHHH!





                                                                          98.


      He falls four stories and splashes into the pool at the
      bottom of the hole. He breaks the surface and swims to a
      stone island in the center.

                           MIGUEL
                  Help! Can anyone hear me?        I wanna
                  go home!

      Miguel collapses on the stone island.

      His soaked hoodie sags off his shoulders.        The skeletal
      transition is almost complete.

      A moment of silence.     He is alone.

      Suddenly, Miguel hears a noise. Footsteps. Héctor emerges
      from the darkness, looking beat up. Héctor stumbles.

                              MIGUEL
                  Héctor?

                              HÉCTOR
                  Kid?

                            MIGUEL
                  Oh, Héctor!

      They run to each other.      Héctor embraces Miguel.   But Miguel
      is overcome with shame.

                            MIGUEL
                  You were right. I should have gone
                  back to my family--

      Héctor tries to calm him but Miguel is shaking.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Hey -- hey, hey...

                            MIGUEL
                  They told me not to be like de la
                  Cruz, but I didn't listen--

                            HÉCTOR
                  Hey, it's okay...

                            MIGUEL
                  I told them I didn't care if they
                  remembered me. I didn't care if I
                  was on their stupid ofrenda.

      Héctor holds Miguel to his chest.       Miguel is tense.





                                                                         99.


                            HÉCTOR
                  Hey, chamaco, it's okay.         It's
                  okay.

                            MIGUEL
                  I told them I didn't care.

      Suddenly, a golden flicker flutters through Héctor's bones,
      and he falls to his knees.

                              HÉCTOR
                  Hhuuh!

                             MIGUEL
                  Héctor!   Héctor--

                            HÉCTOR
                  She's... forgetting me.

      Miguel looks at Héctor with concern.

                              MIGUEL
                  Who?

                            HÉCTOR
                  My daughter...

                            MIGUEL
                  She's the reason you wanted to
                  cross the bridge...

                             HÉCTOR
                  I just wanted to see her again...
                      (beat)
                  I never should have left Santa
                  Cecilia. I wish I could apologize.
                  I wish I could tell her that her
                  papá was trying to come home. That
                  he loved her so much.
                      (beat)
                  My Coco...

      A chill runs through Miguel.

                              MIGUEL
                  Coco?

      Miguel reaches into his hoodie and pulls out the photo of
      Imelda, Coco, and the faceless musician.

      Miguel shows the photo to Héctor.       Héctor is confused; it's
      like he's seen a ghost.





                                                                          100.


                             HÉCTOR
                   Where... where did you get this?

                             MIGUEL
                   That's my Mamá Coco. That's my
                   Mamá Imelda. Is that... you?

      Gears turn in both of their heads.

                              HÉCTOR
                   We're...

                    HÉCTOR                              MIGUEL
      ...family?                           ...family?

      Héctor is as shocked as Miguel.       He looks at his great-great
      grandson.

      He looks to the photo, touches the image of baby Coco, and he
      becomes saddened.

                              HÉCTOR
                   I always hoped I'd see her again.
                   That she'd miss me... maybe put up
                   my photo. But it never happened.
                       (beat)
                   You know the worst part?
                       (beat)
                   Even if I never got to see Coco in
                   the living world... I thought at
                   least one day I'd see her here.
                   Give her the biggest hug...
                       (beat)
                   But she's the last person who
                   remembers me. The moment she's
                   gone from the living world...

                             MIGUEL
                   You disappear... from this one.
                   You'll never get to see her...

                             HÉCTOR
                   ...Ever again.

      Héctor is quiet for a moment.

                             HÉCTOR
                   You know, I wrote her a song once.
                   We used to sing it every night at
                   the same time, no matter how far
                   apart we were. What I wouldn't
                   give to sing it to her... one last
                   time.




                                                                           101.


      Héctor sings softly, plaintively.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:


      FLASHBACK:


      INT. YOUNG COCO'S BEDROOM - DAY

                             HÉCTOR
                       (singing)
                   REMEMBER ME
                   THOUGH I HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE
                   REMEMBER ME
                   DON'T LET IT MAKE YOU CRY
                   FOR EVEN IF I'M FAR AWAY
                   I HOLD YOU IN MY HEART
                   I SING A SECRET SONG TO YOU
                   EACH NIGHT WE ARE APART
                   REMEMBER ME

                             YOUNG COCO
                       (giggling)
                   Papá!

                             HÉCTOR
                       (singing)
                   THOUGH I HAVE TO TRAVEL FAR
                   REMEMBER ME
                   EACH TIME YOU HEAR A SAD GUITAR

      Father and daughter sing the song together.

                   HÉCTOR                            YOUNG COCO
         (singing)                            (singing)
      KNOW THAT I'M WITH YOU               KNOW THAT I'M WITH YOU
      THE ONLY WAY THAT I CAN BE           THE ONLY WAY THAT I CAN BE
      UNTIL YOU'RE IN MY ARMS AGAIN        UNTIL YOU'RE IN MY ARMS AGAIN
      REMEMBER ME                          REMEMBER ME

                                                   FADE TO:


      INT. CENOTE

      The echo of Héctor's song fades to silence.

                              MIGUEL
                   He stole your guitar... He stole
                   your songs...
                       (beat)
                              (MORE)



                                                                     102.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  You should be the one the world
                  remembers, not de la Cruz!

                            HÉCTOR
                  I didn't write "Remember Me" for
                  the world... I wrote it for Coco.
                  I'm a pretty sorry excuse for a
                  great-great grandpa.

                            MIGUEL
                  Are you kidding? A minute ago I
                  thought I was related to a
                  murderer. You're a total upgrade!

      Héctor doesn't smile.     Miguel kneels close.

                             MIGUEL
                  My whole life, there's been
                  something that made me different...
                  and I never knew where it came
                  from.
                      (beat)
                  But now I know. It comes from you.
                      (beat)
                  I'm proud we're family!

      Miguel looks up defiantly at the hole in the cenote.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  I'm proud to be his family!
                  TRRRRRAI-HAY-HAY-HAY-HAAAY!

      Héctor perks up.

                            HÉCTOR
                  TRRRRRRAAAAAI-HAAAI-HAAAAAY!
                  I'm proud to be HIS family!

      They trade off their gritos until the cenote echoes with the
      sound. Soon though, the echoes fade. They're still stuck.
      Suddenly they hear a distant howling.

                            DANTE (O.S)
                  Rooo-rooo-roooooooo!

      Miguel and Héctor look up.

                              MIGUEL
                  Dante?

                            DANTE (O.S.)
                      (louder)
                  Roooooo-roo-roo-rooo!




                                                                     103.


      Up at the top of the cenote, Dante pokes his head in the
      opening.

                              MIGUEL
                  Dante!    It's Dante!

      Dante pants and wags his tail happily. Behind him Pepita
      peeks down through the hole and gives a powerful roar.
      Pepita's call shakes the cavern. She lowers her head to
      reveal Mamá Imelda riding atop her. Miguel and Mamá Imelda
      laugh with joy. Until her gaze falls upon Héctor.

                              HÉCTOR
                  Imelda!

                              MAMÁ IMELDA
                      (icy)
                  Héctor.

                            HÉCTOR
                  You look good...


      EXT. CENOTE - MOMENTS LATER

      Pepita flies out of the cenote; Imelda, Héctor, Miguel, and
      Dante ride on her back. She ascends above the clouds.


      EXT. NIGHT SKY

      Miguel, wind in his hair, hugs Dante fiercely.

                             MIGUEL
                  Dante, you knew he was my Papá
                  Héctor the whole time! You ARE a
                  real spirit guide!
                       (doggy-praise)
                  Who's a good spirit guide? You
                  are!

      Dante smiles at Miguel dumbly. Suddenly, before Miguel's
      eyes, neon patterns spread outward from the dog's paws.
      Dante begins to freak out.

                              MIGUEL
                  Whoa...

      A pair of little wings sprout on the dog's back. He spreads
      them. He jumps up to fly... and plummets beneath the clouds!

                              MIGUEL
                  Dante!




                                                                      104.


      But then he's back up, flapping goofily and barking his head
      off, a full-blown spirit guide!


      EXT. SMALL PLAZA

      Pepita flies in, landing in a small plaza where the other
      Riveras wait.

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  Look, there they are!

      The Dead Riveras come rushing up.

                            FAMILY
                  Miguel! / Miguelito! / Ay, gracias
                  a Dios! / It's Miguel! / He's all
                  right! / Oh thank goodness! /
                  Gracias, Dios mío!

      They dismount from Pepita. Héctor falls off first but gets
      up and raises his arm to help Imelda. She gives him a
      withering stare and dismounts without his help. Miguel pets
      Dante and Pepita gives Miguel a big lick.

      Imelda rounds Pepita's shoulder and folds Miguel into a tight
      hug.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Mijo, I was so worried! Thank
                  goodness we found you in time!

      Imelda's eyes fall on Héctor, who holds his hat in his hands
      sheepishly.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  And you! How many times must I
                  turn you away?

                              HÉCTOR
                  Imelda--

                             MAMÁ IMELDA
                  I want nothing to do with you. Not
                  in life, not in death!
                      (beat)
                  I spent decades protecting my
                  family from your mistakes. He
                  spends five minutes with you and I
                  have to fish him out of a sinkhole!

      Miguel steps between Imelda and Héctor.





                                                                      105.


                             MIGUEL
                  I wasn't in there `cause of Héctor.
                  He was in there `cause of me.
                      (beat)
                  He was just trying to get me
                  home... I didn't wanna listen, but
                  he was right... nothing is more
                  important than family.

      Mamá Imelda looks at Héctor, shocked to hear the sentiment.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  I'm ready to accept your
                  blessing... and your conditions.
                  But first, I need to find de la
                  Cruz. To get Héctor's photo.

                              MAMÁ IMELDA
                  What?

                            MIGUEL
                  So he can see Coco again.        Héctor
                  should be on our ofrenda.        He's
                  part of our family--

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  He left this family!

                            MIGUEL
                  He tried to go home to you and
                  Coco... but de la Cruz murdered
                  him!

      Startled, she looks to Héctor for confirmation.

                            HÉCTOR
                  It's true, Imelda.

      Imelda wrestles with her emotions.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  And so what if it's true? You
                  leave me alone with a child to
                  raise and I'm just supposed to
                  forgive you?

                            HÉCTOR
                  Imelda, I--

      Héctor's body suddenly shimmers, leaving him winded.   Imelda
      gasps.





                                                               106.


                              MIGUEL
                  Héctor?

                            HÉCTOR
                  I'm running out of time.         It's
                  Coco...

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  She's forgetting you...

                            MIGUEL
                  You don't have to forgive him...
                  But we shouldn't forget him.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                      (to Héctor)
                  I wanted to forget you. I wanted
                  Coco to forget you too, but--

                             HÉCTOR
                  This is my fault, not yours.
                      (beat)
                  I'm sorry, Imelda.

      Mamá Imelda, holding in her emotions, turns to Miguel.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel, if we help you get his
                  photo... you will return home?          No
                  more music?

                            MIGUEL
                  Family comes first.

      Mamá Imelda considers.      She turns to Héctor.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  I -- I can't forgive you.        But I
                  will help you.

      Miguel smiles.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                      (to Miguel)
                  So how do we get to de la Cruz?

      Miguel furrows his brow.

                            MIGUEL
                  I might know a way...





                                                                       107.


      EXT. SUNRISE SPECTACULAR AMPHITHEATER - BEFORE DAWN

      Crowds are congregated at de la Cruz's Sunrise Spectacular
      which takes place in an open air amphitheater. They hurry to
      their seats as the lights begin to dim.


      ON STAGE

      Frida's performance piece begins. Dramatic symphonic music
      plays as a giant papaya appears to ignite on stage. The
      "seeds" in the body of the papaya unfurl to reveal that they
      are dancers, each dressed like Frida Kahlo, right down to the
      painted on unibrow.

      The dancers roll out of the "flaming" papaya and gyrate their
      bodies nonsensically.

      A giant cactus that resembles Frida is illuminated, and all
      the dancers slink to it.

      In the midst of this, eight familiar looking dancers (the
      Dead Riveras and Miguel) inch their way out of the spotlights
      and to the wings of the stage.


      STAGE WING

                             FRIDA
                   Good luck, muchacho.

                             MIGUEL
                   Gracias Frida!


      INT. BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER

      The Dead Riveras congregate in a hidden backstage corridor,
      shedding their Frida outfits. Miguel rips off his unibrow.

                              MIGUEL
                   Ow!

      Dante has snuck in under Tío Oscar's skirt.   Héctor sees that
      Imelda is tangled up in her outfit.

                             HÉCTOR
                   Here, let me help you with--

                             MAMÁ IMELDA
                   Don't touch me.

      The family joins together in a huddle.




                                                                       108.


                            MIGUEL
                  Everyone clear on the plan?

                            TÍA VICTORIA
                  Find Héctor's photo.

                            PAPÁ JULIO
                  Give it to Miguel.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Send Miguel home.

                            HÉCTOR
                  Got your petals?

      Each family member raises a marigold petal.   Imelda leads the
      way out of the corridor.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Now, we just have to find de la
                  Cruz--

      Right around the corner is de la Cruz who turns with a smile.

                              DE LA CRUZ
                  Yes?

                              MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Ah!

      The family stops in their tracks, still hidden from de la
      Cruz's view. It's just him and Imelda. His smile drops.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Don't I know you?

      Imelda pulls off her shoe and slaps de la Cruz across the
      face with it.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  That's for murdering the love of my
                  life!

                            DE LA CRUZ
                      (disoriented)
                  Who the?

      Héctor leaps out from around the corner.

                            HÉCTOR
                  She's talking about me!
                      (to Imelda)
                  I'm the love of your life?




                                                                            109.


                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  I don't know! I'm still angry at
                  you.

                              DE LA CRUZ
                  Héctor?!    How did you--

      Imelda slaps de la Cruz again.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  And that's for trying to murder my
                  grandson!

                               DE LA CRUZ
                  Grandson?

      Now Miguel leaps out of the corridor.

                            MIGUEL
                  She's talking about me!

      De la Cruz sees the three of them and puts the pieces
      together.

                           DE LA CRUZ
                  You! Wait, you're related to
                  Héctor?

      Miguel sees the photo in de la Cruz's pocket.

                               MIGUEL
                  The photo!

      The rest of the Riveras emerge from the corridor.
      Outnumbered, de la Cruz turns and runs.

                               MAMÁ IMELDA
                  After him!


      INT. BELOW STAGE

      De la Cruz knocks over a group of giant sugar skull dancers.
      He emerges at a full sprint to where his rising platform is
      set up.

                               DE LA CRUZ
                  Security!     Ayúdenme!

      The Riveras flood out after him.        Héctor jogs next to Imelda.

                            HÉCTOR
                  You said "love of your life..."




                                                                      110.


                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  I don't know WHAT I said!

                            MIGUEL
                  That's what I heard...

      A brawl ensues between the family and the guards.

      De la Cruz runs to a stage door.

                            STAGEHAND
                  Places, señor, you're on in 30
                  seconds!

      De la Cruz shoves the stagehand out of the way.

      As security guards try to wrangle the Riveras, Imelda reaches
      de la Cruz and gets her hands on Héctor's photo. De la Cruz
      scuffles with her to get it back, when Miguel tackles de la
      Cruz to the ground. De la Cruz loses his grip; Imelda
      tumbles backward, photo in hand.

                             MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel!   I have it!

      Miguel turns toward Imelda but is chased by guards.

      Suddenly, Imelda rises into the air. She is on de la Cruz's
      rising platform! She is lifted through the ceiling and up to
      the stage.

      De la Cruz hurries up the stairs after her.

      Miguel is detained by a security guard when Dante flies in
      and knocks the guard's head clean off. Miguel, Héctor, Tía
      Victoria, and Tía Rosita hurry up the stairs after de la
      Cruz.

                            MIGUEL
                  Hurry, come on!

      Papá Julio, Tío Oscar, and Tío Felipe block the guards from
      following the others.


      ON STAGE

                            ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
                  Ladies and gentlemen... the one,
                  the only... ERNESTO DE LA CRUZ!





                                                                       111.


      The platform rises onto the stage and the spotlight falls on
      Imelda. Neon letters blast brightly behind her, spelling
      "ERNESTO!" The audience bursts into applause!

                              CROWD MEMBER
                  Nesto!

      Imelda appears onscreen for all to see.


      STAGE WING RIGHT

      De la Cruz rushes up a staircase and arrives in the wings.
      He gets the attention of his guards and points to Imelda.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Get her off the stage!

      His guards hustle onto the stage, scaling the set to get to
      her.


      STAGE WING LEFT

      Miguel, Héctor, Victoria, and Rosita emerge to see Imelda
      spotlit above them.


      ON STAGE

      De la Cruz's guards begin to approach Imelda.   She is frozen,
      unable to move.

                              MIGUEL (O.S.)
                  Sing!

      Mamá Imelda looks down and sees Miguel in the wing.

                              MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  SING!

      Imelda, seeing that the guards are approaching, closes her
      eyes, grasps the mic, and follows Miguel's instructions.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                      (singing)
                  AY DE MÍ, LLORONA
                  LLORONA DE AZUL CELESTE...





                                                                       112.


      STAGE WING LEFT

      Héctor's mouth gapes open.      Tía Victoria and Tía Rosita go
      wide-eyed.

      Miguel sets Héctor up with a guitar, then adjusts a mic stand
      in front of him. Héctor plays the guitar, its sound
      amplified through the stage speakers.


      ON STAGE

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  AY DE MÍ, LLORONA
                  LLORONA DE AZUL CELESTE...

      The guards reach the edge of her spotlight but stop short,
      not wanting to interrupt the performance.

      Imelda takes the spotlight with her as she descends the on
      stage staircase. As she comes down, she makes eye contact
      with her husband in the wing. He smiles as he accompanies
      her. Imelda's eyes glint, touched to see him supporting her.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Y AUNQUE LA VIDA ME CUESTE, LLORONA,
                  NO DEJARÉ DE QUERERTE.
                  NO DEJARÉ DE QUERERTE!

      As Héctor accompanies Imelda, she becomes more confident.
      The audience begins to clap.

      De la Cruz grunts in frustration.

      Soon, the stage conductor joins with more instrumentation,
      which kicks into high gear.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  ME SUBÍ AL PINO MÁS ALTO, LLORONA,
                  A VER SI TE DIVISABA.

      She doubles down on her performance, taking the spotlight
      with her as she moves to put distance between her and the
      guards.

      Imelda continues to vamp, trying to navigate away from the
      guards and toward her family. One guard blocks her way, but
      she grabs him and forces him to dance. Scared of the
      spotlight, he runs away.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  COMO EL PINO ERA TIERNO, LLORONA
                  AL VERME LLORAR, LLORABA.
                            (MORE)


                                                                        113.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA (CONT'D)
                  AY DE MÍ, LLORONA, LLORONA,
                  LLORONA DE AZUL CELESTE...

      She heads to leave the stage when she is stopped by a hand on
      her wrist. A voice joins her in harmony, the spotlight
      widens to reveal Ernesto de la Cruz singing too. The crowd
      goes wild.

                            DE LA CRUZ/MAMÁ IMELDA
                  AY DE MÍ, LLORONA, LLORONA
                  LLORONA DE AZUL CELESTE...

      He dances Imelda around the stage, all the while trying to
      get to Héctor's photo.

                            DE LA CRUZ/MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Y AUNQUE LA VIDA ME CUESTE, LLORONA,
                  NO DEJARÉ DE QUERERTE.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Y AUNQUE LA VIDA ME CUESTE, LLORONA,
                  NO DEJARÉ DE QUERERTE.
                  NO DEJARÉ DE QUERERTE!

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Let go of me!

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  NO DEJARÉ DE QUERERTE!
                  ...AY, AY, AY!

      At the finale of the song, Imelda stomps her heel into de la
      Cruz's foot on his high note, causing him to let her go. She
      runs off stage with the photo.


      BACKSTAGE

      Imelda arrives off stage and, somewhat high on adrenaline,
      she embraces Héctor.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  I forgot what that felt like.

      Héctor is taken by surprise. Imelda, realizing the
      impropriety, pulls away from him awkwardly.

                            HÉCTOR
                  You... still got it.

      They smile at each other, softening.         Miguel, off to the
      side, clears his throat.





                                                                            114.


                               MIGUEL
                  Ahem.

                               MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Oh!

      Imelda, now reminded, gives Miguel the photo.         She pulls out
      her petal.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel, I give you my blessing.

      The petal glows.

                             MAMÁ IMELDA (CONT'D)
                  To go home... to put up our
                  photos...
                      (beat)
                  And to never...

      Miguel looks slightly saddened, anticipating the condition.

                            MIGUEL
                  Never play music again...

      Imelda smiles.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  To never... forget how much your
                  family loves you.

      The petal surges.      Miguel brightens, touched.

                            HÉCTOR
                  You're going home.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  You're not going anywhere!

      Suddenly Miguel is yanked away from his great-great
      grandparents by de la Cruz. De la Cruz has grabbed Miguel by
      the scruff of his hoodie.

      Imelda lunges at de la Cruz, but he pushes her to the floor.

                               HÉCTOR
                  Imelda--

      De la Cruz drags Miguel away as his family encroaches.

                               DE LA CRUZ
                  Stay back!     Stay back.   All of you!





                                                                        115.


      De la Cruz drags Miguel further and further back on the
      stage.

                               DE LA CRUZ
                  Stay back!     Not one more step.

      Dante growls and tries to grab Miguel.

                               MIGUEL
                  Dante!

      De la Cruz pulls Miguel away, closer to the ledge of the
      building.

      Héctor struggles but continues pursuing de la Cruz.

                            HÉCTOR
                      (winded)
                  Ernesto, stop! Leave the boy
                  alone!

      Héctor stumbles, shimmering like before.        He falls to the
      ground.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  I've worked too hard, Héctor...
                  Too hard to let him destroy
                  everything...

      In the stage wings, Tía Rosita commandeers one of the cameras
      and points it toward de la Cruz. Tía Victoria sidles up to a
      control board and pushes a volume dial up.

                            HÉCTOR
                  He's a living child, Ernesto!

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  He's a threat!

                                                      CUT TO:


      STADIUM

      The image of de la Cruz holding Miguel hostage is projected
      on the stadium screens, the audience falls to a hush as they
      watch.

                                                      BACK TO:





                                                                 116.


      BACKSTAGE

      Miguel struggles against de la Cruz.

                             DE LA CRUZ
                  You think I'd let him go back to
                  the land of the living with your
                  photo? To keep your memory alive?
                      (beat)
                  No.

                            MIGUEL
                  You're a coward!

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  I am Ernesto de la Cruz, the
                  greatest musician of all time!

                            MIGUEL
                  Héctor's the real musician, you're
                  just the guy who murdered him and
                  stole his songs!

                                                   CUT TO:


      STADIUM

      The crowd is gobsmacked by what they are hearing.

                              CROWD
                  Murder?

                                                   BACK TO:


      BACKSTAGE

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  I am the one who is willing to do
                  what it takes to seize my moment...
                      (darkening)
                  Whatever it takes.

      Suddenly, de la Cruz throws Miguel off of the structure.

                              MIGUEL
                  AHHH!

                              HÉCTOR
                  NO!

      The family runs to the ledge, horrified.




                                                                      117.


                              TÍO OSCAR/TÍO FELIPE
                  Miguel!

                              MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel!

                                                     CUT TO:


      STADIUM

      The audience gasps.     Some shrieks.

                                                     BACK TO:


      BACKSTAGE

      De la Cruz crosses from the ledge, past Héctor, who remains
      collapsed on the floor, breathless.

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Apologies old friend, but the show
                  must go on...

                                                     CUT TO:

      Miguel is in free fall, the photo still in his hand. As the
      wind whips against his face, he hears a faint howling.

      Dante slices downward through the air, catches Miguel's shirt
      in his teeth, and opens his wings. He and Miguel jerk
      upward, but the photo falls from Miguel's hands and is gone
      from sight.

      Miguel and Dante twist in the air, Dante trying to slow their
      decent but the two of them are too heavy. Miguel's shirt
      rips and Dante loses him.

      Miguel plummets toward the base of the tower. Suddenly
      Pepita flies in and scoops up Miguel. Dante follows close
      behind. Miguel looks over the side of Pepita down towards
      the water.

      The photo is lost.

                                                     BACK TO:

      BACKSTAGE

      De la Cruz steps up to the curtain, slicks back his hair, and
      emerges to his audience.





                                                                         118.


      ON STAGE

      De la Cruz is found by a spotlight.

                               DE LA CRUZ
                  Ha ha!

      He is met with boos.      He looks confused.

                              CROWD
                  Boo!    Murderer!

                            DE LA CRUZ
                  Please, please, mi familia...

                            AUDIENCE MEMBER
                  Get off the stage!

      More booing.    De la Cruz tries to kick up the orchestra.

                               DE LA CRUZ
                  Orchestra!     A-one-A-two-A-one--

      The conductor snaps his baton.        More booing.

                             DE LA CRUZ
                      (singing)
                  REMEMBER ME, THOUGH I HAVE TO--
                      (beat)
                  Hey!--

      The crowd pelts de la Cruz with fruit and offerings.

                               CROWD MEMBER
                  Look!

      Crowd members point up to the screen. Pepita rises above the
      ledge with Miguel on her back. Miguel slides off her wing
      and runs to his family.

                            CROWD MEMBER
                  He's alright!

      The crowd cheers.     There are sighs of relief.

      De la Cruz, seeing this     play out on screen, realizes his
      backstage treachery has     been projected to the whole world.
      He watches horrified as     the image of Pepita grows larger and
      larger on the screen as     she prowls past the camera.

      De la Cruz begins to back up just as Pepita emerges through
      the curtain, eyes locked on him.





                                                                         119.


                             DE LA CRUZ
                   Nice kitty...

      Suddenly Pepita head-butts de la Cruz and lifts him into the
      sky, flinging the singer in the air like a kitten playing
      with a ball of yarn.

                             DE LA CRUZ
                   AAAHHHH! Put me down! No, please!
                   I beg of you, stop! Stop! NO!

      She swings him around to gain momentum, then throws him over
      the audience.

                              DE LA CRUZ
                   NO!   AAAHHH!

      He flies out of the stadium, hitting a giant church bell in
      the distance. The stadium erupts in cheers.

      In the midst of the cheering, an unsuspecting crowd member
      returns from concessions.

                             CROWD MEMBER
                   What did I miss?

                                                     BACK TO:


      BACK STAGE

      Miguel is surrounded by family, safe.        He hugs Dante.

                             MIGUEL
                   Good boy, Dante.

      Imelda runs to Miguel and embraces him.

                              MAMÁ IMELDA
                   Miguel!

      Behind them, Héctor struggles to get to his feet but stumbles
      with a flicker. Miguel runs to support him.

                              MIGUEL
                   Héctor!   The photo, I lost it...

                             HÉCTOR
                   It's okay, mijo. It's--

      Suddenly Héctor suffers his most violent flickering yet.      He
      collapses. Miguel kneels by him.





                                                                       120.


                              MIGUEL
                  Héctor!    Héctor?!

      Héctor can barely move his limbs.

                              HÉCTOR
                  Coco...

                             MIGUEL
                  No!   We can still find the photo...

      Mamá Imelda looks to the horizon, the first rays of sunlight
      peeking over.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  Miguel, it's almost sunrise!

                            MIGUEL
                  No, no, no, I can't leave you. I
                  promised I'd put your photo up. I
                  promised you'd see Coco!

      Héctor looks at Miguel. The skeletal transformation is
      creeping in on the edges of Miguel's face. He's almost full
      skeleton now.

                            HÉCTOR
                  We're both out of time, mijo.

      The shimmering of Héctor's bones advances.

                            MIGUEL
                  No, no... she can't forget you!

                             HÉCTOR
                  I just wanted her to know that I
                  loved her.

      Héctor musters the strength to grab the marigold petal.

                              MIGUEL
                  Héctor--

                            HÉCTOR
                  You have our blessing, Miguel.

                            MAMÁ IMELDA
                  No conditions.

      The petal glows.

      Héctor struggles to lift the petal to Miguel.      Mamá Imelda
      takes his hand in hers.




                                                                         121.


                             MIGUEL
                   No, Papá Héctor, please!

      Imelda and Héctor move their joined hands toward Miguel's
      chest.

                                MIGUEL
                   No...

      Héctor's eyelids begin to close.

                                HÉCTOR
                   Go home...

                             MIGUEL
                   I promise I won't let Coco forget
                   you! Aaahh!--

      WHOOOOSH! A whirlwind of marigold petals, and everything
      goes white.

                                                   FADE IN:


      INT. DE LA CRUZ'S MAUSOLEUM - SUNRISE

      Miguel finds himself back in de la Cruz's tomb.

      Dazed, he looks through the windows; day has broken.

      On the floor is the skull guitar. Miguel grabs it.      He exits
      the tomb and takes off out of the cemetery.

      EXT. PLAZA

      Miguel races through the plaza, past the statue of de la
      Cruz.

      Miguel races through the streets towards home. He blows
      right past his Tío Berto snoring and Primo Abel sleeping on a
      bench.

                             TÍO BERTO
                       (jolting awake)
                   There he is!

      Abel falls off the bench.

      Papá comes from around a corner as Miguel is running.

                              PAPÁ
                   Miguel!?   Stop!





                                                                        122.


      EXT. RIVERA COMPOUND

      Miguel rounds the corner and follows the trail of marigolds
      through the front gate.

      He runs for Mamá Coco's bedroom. Just as he makes it to the
      doorway, Abuelita steps up and blocks him.

                            ABUELITA
                  Where have you been?!

                           MIGUEL
                  Ah! I need to see Mamá Coco,
                  please--

      Abuelita spies the guitar in Miguel's hand.

                            ABUELITA
                  What are you doing with that?     Give
                  it to me!

      Miguel pushes past Abuelita, and slams the door shut.

                             ABUELITA
                  Miguel!   Stop! Miguel!      Miguel!
                  Miguel!   MIGUEL!


      INT. MAMÁ COCO'S ROOM

      Miguel locks the door and goes up to Mamá Coco.      She stares
      into space, eyes completely vacant.

                               MIGUEL
                  Mamá Coco?     Can you hear me?   It's
                  Miguel.

      Miguel looks into her eyes.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  I saw your papá. Remember? Papá?
                  Please -- if you forget him, he'll
                  be gone... forever!

      She doesn't respond.      Miguel's father bangs on the door.

                            PAPÁ (O.S.)
                  Miguel, open this door!

      Miguel shows her the guitar.





                                                                        123.


                            MIGUEL
                  Here -- this was his guitar, right?
                  He used to play it to you? See,
                  there he is.

      Still nothing.    Her eyes are glazed.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  Papá, remember? Papá?

      Mamá Coco stares forward, as if Miguel isn't even there.

                              PAPÁ (O.S.)
                  Miguel!

                            MIGUEL
                  Mamá Coco, please, don't forget
                  him.

      With a rattle of keys, the door flies open.    The family pours
      in.

                            ABUELITA
                  What are you doing to that poor
                  woman?

      Abuelita brushes Miguel aside to comfort her mother.

                            ABUELITA
                  It's okay, Mamita, it's okay.

                            PAPÁ
                  What's gotten into you?

      Miguel looks down, defeated. Tears drip off his nose.
      Papá's anger gives way to relief. He embraces his son.

                            PAPÁ
                  I thought I'd lost you, Migue...

                            MIGUEL
                  I'm sorry, Papá.

      Mamá steps forward.

                            MAMÁ
                  We're all together now, that's what
                  matters.

                            MIGUEL
                  Not all of us...

      Abuelita returns from consoling Mamá Coco.




                                                                      124.


                             ABUELITA
                  It's okay, mamita.
                      (beat)
                  Miguel, you apologize to your Mamá
                  Coco!

      Miguel looks at Mamá Coco and approaches her.

                            MIGUEL
                  Mamá Coco...

      His toe accidentally taps against Héctor's skull guitar, a
      soft hollow ringing resonates.

                             ABUELITA
                  Well?   Apologize.

      He comes to a realization.

                            MIGUEL
                  Mamá Coco? Your papá -- he wanted
                  you to have this.

      He picks up the guitar. Abuelita steps forward to intervene
      but Papá places a hand on her shoulder.

                            PAPÁ
                  Mamá, wait--

      Miguel starts to sing "Remember Me" the way Héctor sang it...
      softly, from the heart.

                            MIGUEL
                      (singing)
                  REMEMBER ME
                  THOUGH I HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE
                  REMEMBER ME
                  DON'T LET IT MAKE YOU CRY

                              MAMÁ
                  Look...

      The glimmer in the Mamá Coco's eyes grows brighter with every
      note. Memories flood in, filling the vacancy of her
      expression with life. Her cheeks soften and plump. Her lips
      arc into a smile.

                            MIGUEL
                  FOR EVEN IF I'M FAR AWAY,
                  I HOLD YOU IN MY HEART
                  I SING A SECRET SONG TO YOU
                  EACH NIGHT WE ARE APART
                            (MORE)



                                                                              125.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  REMEMBER ME
                  THOUGH I HAVE TO TRAVEL FAR

      Miguel sings gently, with love.

      Mamá Coco's brows slope up, delighted.          The song seems to
      bring her back to life.

      Abuelita can't speak.     None of them can.

      Brimming, Mamá Coco joins Miguel in song -- her voice
      scratchy with age, his clear with youth.

                MAMA COCO                              MIGUEL
      REMEMBER ME                          REMEMBER ME
      EACH TIME YOU HEAR A SAD             EACH TIME YOU HEAR A SAD
      GUITAR                               GUITAR
      KNOW THAT I'M WITH YOU               KNOW THAT I'M WITH YOU
      THE ONLY WAY THAT I CAN BE           THE ONLY WAY THAT I CAN BE
      UNTIL YOU'RE IN MY ARMS AGAIN        UNTIL YOU'RE IN MY ARMS AGAIN
      REMEMBER ME.                         REMEMBER ME.

      Tears stream down Abuelita's face; she's witnessing a
      miracle.

      Mamá Coco looks to her daughter, and is troubled by her
      tears.

                             MAMÁ COCO
                  Elena?   What's wrong, mija?

                            ABUELITA
                  Nothing Mamá. Nothing at all.

      Mamá Coco turns to Miguel.

                            MAMÁ COCO
                  My papá used to sing me that song.

                            MIGUEL
                  He loved you, Mamá Coco.         Your papá
                  loved you so much.

      A smile spreads across Mamá Coco's face.          She's waited a long
      time to hear those words.

      She turns to her nightstand, hand shaking.          She opens a
      drawer and pulls out a notebook.

                            MAMÁ COCO
                  I kept... his letters... poems he
                  wrote me... and...





                                                                     126.


      Mamá Coco leafs through the book to reveal a torn scrap of
      paper. She hands it to Miguel. It's the missing face from
      the photo -- Héctor's face.

      Miguel pieces the picture back together, finally seeing
      Héctor as he was in life, a young, handsome man.

      Mamá Coco smiles. She finds the words slowly, but she speaks
      with fondness and love.

                            MAMÁ COCO
                  Papá was a musician. When I was a
                  little girl, he and Mamá would sing
                  such beautiful songs...

      The family gathers close to listen.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:


      EXT. CEMETERY - MORNING

      TITLE CARD: ONE YEAR LATER

      The cemetery is once again filled with families cleaning off
      head stones and laying flowers.


      EXT. DE LA CRUZ'S MAUSOLEUM

      Not as many offerings this year, not as many fans. No
      mariachi band. Someone has hung a sign "FORGET YOU" on the
      bust of de la Cruz.

                            TOUR GUIDE (O.S.)
                  And right over here, one of Santa
                  Cecilia's greatest treasures...


      EXT. RIVERA WORKSHOP

      The tour guide stands in front of the Rivera shoe shop.
      Tourists crowd in, taking pictures of the skull guitar and
      framed letters Héctor wrote to Coco.

                            TOUR GUIDE (CONT'D)
                  The home of the esteemed songwriter
                  Héctor Rivera! The letters Héctor
                  wrote home for his daughter Coco
                  contain the lyrics for all of your
                  favorite songs, not just "Remember
                  Me".





                                                                      127.


      EXT. COURTYARD

      We travel through the courtyard catching glimpses of holiday
      preparation. Prima Rosa and primo Abel hang papel picado.
      Papá and Mamá work on tamales. Tío Berto sweeps the
      cobblestones as the little cousins play.

                            MIGUEL (O.S.)
                  And that man is your Papá Julio...

      INT. OFRENDA ROOM

      Miguel holds his baby sister SOCORRO (10 months) in his arms
      and points out all of the family members.

                            MIGUEL (CONT'D)
                  ...And there's Tía Rosita... and
                  your Tía Victoria... and those two
                  are Oscar and Felipe. These aren't
                  just old pictures -- they're our
                  family -- and they're counting on
                  us to remember them.

      Abuelita approaches and smiles to see her grandson passing on
      the tradition. Then she places a picture frame on the
      ofrenda, a photo of Mamá Coco. She looks to Miguel who puts
      his arm around her.

      Next to Mamá Coco's picture sits the photo of Mamá Imelda and
      Héctor, taped back together. Restored.

                                                   CROSS FADE TO:

      EXT. MARIGOLD GRAND CENTRAL STATION

      Héctor waits in the departures line nervously.

                            MIGUEL (O.S.)
                      (singing)
                  SAY THAT I'M CRAZY
                  OR CALL ME A FOOL

                              DEPARTURES AGENT
                  Next!

      Héctor steps up to the monitor. The agent recognizes him.
      Héctor chuckles nervously. The monitor scans him. DING!

                            DEPARTURES AGENT
                  Enjoy your visit, Héctor!





                                                                      128.


                            MIGUEL (O.S.)
                      (singing)
                  BUT LAST NIGHT IT SEEMED
                  THAT I DREAMED ABOUT YOU

      Héctor's chest swells.

      EXT. FOOT OF THE BRIDGE

      Héctor exits from the Marigold Grand Central Station. Mamá
      Imelda waits on the cobblestones to greet him. They kiss.
      Then he hears a familiar voice.

                              MAMÁ COCO
                  Papá!

      Héctor turns to see his daughter approaching.   He opens his
      arms to give Coco the biggest hug.

                              HÉCTOR
                  Coco!

                            MIGUEL (O.S.)
                      (singing)
                  WHEN I OPENED MY MOUTH
                  WHAT CAME OUT WAS A SONG
                  AND YOU KNEW EVERY WORD
                  AND WE ALL SANG ALONG

      Every moment together is a miracle and he holds Coco like he
      knows it. Soon Coco, Héctor, and Imelda join hands. The
      petals of the bridge glow as they step forward. The family
      crosses together.

                            MIGUEL (O.S.)
                      (singing)
                  TO A MELODY PLAYED
                  ON THE STRINGS OF OUR SOULS
                  AND A RHYTHM THAT RATTLED US
                  DOWN TO THE BONE
                  OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER
                  WILL LIVE ON FOREVER
                  IN EVERY BEAT
                  OF MY PROUD CORAZÓN

      Dante and Pepita fly through the night sky in the Land of the
      Dead. They alight on the marigold path and bound across into
      the Land of the Living.

      EXT. STREETS OF SANTA CECILIA





                                                                      129.


      Dante's shadow is cast against a wall. When he rounds the
      corner, he is just a normal xolo dog, no wings or vibrant
      colors. Pepita's shadow looms large, but as she rounds the
      corner it shrinks to reveal that she is a little alley cat in
      the Land of the Living.


      EXT. RIVERA COURTYARD

      They enter the Rivera compound. Abuelita greets Dante and
      tosses him a sweet treat. In the courtyard, the family is
      gathered as Miguel plays his guitar and sings. Dante hops up
      to give him a lick on the cheek.

                            MIGUEL
                      (singing)
                  OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER
                  WILL LIVE ON FOREVER
                  IN EVERY BEAT
                  OF MY PROUD CORAZÓN

      Amongst the living Riveras are the spirits of their loved
      ones, Tía Rosita, Tía Victoria, Papá Julio, Tío Oscar and Tío
      Felipe, all present and enjoying the reunion.

                            MIGUEL
                      (singing)
                  AY MI FAMILIA!
                  OIGA MI GENTE!
                  CANTEN A CORO!
                  LET IT BE KNOWN...
                  OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER
                  WILL LIVE ON FOREVER
                  IN EVERY BEAT
                  OF MY PROUD CORAZÓN

      Abel and Rosa accompany Miguel with instruments of their own.
      Papá cradles Miguel's new baby sister as Mamá leans on his
      shoulder. Abuelita listens proudly to her grandchildren
      while the spirit of Mamá Coco stands beside, arm around her
      shoulder.

                            MIGUEL
                      (singing)
                  AY MI FAMILIA!
                  OIGA ME GENTE!
                  CANTEN A CORO!
                  LET IT BE KNOWN...
                  OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER
                  WILL LIVE ON FOREVER
                  IN EVERY BEAT
                  OF MY PROUD CORAZÓN





                                                                   130.


      The courtyard is full of Riveras, living and dead. Héctor
      and Imelda stand arm in arm, listening to Miguel play. As
      Miguel sings, the whole family, living and dead, all sing,
      play and enjoy the music.

      The whole family, brought together by a song.


Coco



Writers :   Lee Unkrich  Jason Katz  Matthew Aldrich  Adrian Molina
Genres :   Animation  Adventure  Comedy


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