It’s not just about heart, emotion and laughs with a Pixar film — there also is a tremendous amount of research and time that goes into getting its backdrops authentically right. That couldn’t be more the case than with the animation studio’s November hit Coco, which takes place during the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos.

Coco follows a young boy, Miguel, who wishes to be a star-studded crooner of standards, just like his grandfather, the legendary singer Ernesto de la Cruz. However, music is of the devil in Miguel’s family, and de la Cruz is largely to blame for the curse. In order to make generational events correct, Miguel finds himself on the other side of life with relatives he’s only heard stories about.

Much like Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3, Coco hooks the heartstrings, especially for anyone who has never had closure with a late family member who left too soon. Unkrich co-directed Coco with Adrian Molina,and to date, the movie has racked up two Golden Globes for best animated feature and Kristen Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez’s song “Remember Me” as well as best animated film wins from the National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle. In addition, Coco features a wall-to-wall mesmerizing score by Michael Giacchino.

Check out our conversation with Unkrich above held last month during Deadline’s annual The Contenders event at the DGA Theater.