Ernesto de la Cruz is the main antagonist of Coco. He was Miguel Rivera's idol and a famous singer and musician who dazzled audiences with his good looks and his charm. Ernesto was a source of Mexican pride due to his handsome looks, strong morals and his standing up for his fellow Mexicans. He was also thought to be Miguel's great-great-grandfather as well. After dying by being crushed by a giant bell, he resides as a soul in the Land of the Dead. It is later revealed that Héctor had written the songs that Cruz performs in the film; however, Hector was feeling homesick and had an argument with Cruz. Cruz subsequently poisoned Hector and stole the credit for the songs he had written, so everyone in the Sunrise Spectacular turn against him with all their angry faces as the scheme is shown to the full audience.
In a deleted scene, Ernesto tries to stop Miguel from exiting the bridge after the countdown, but Ernesto ultimately disintegrates allowing Miguel to escape in the nick of time as the bridge completely dissolves into clusters of flower petals.
Ernesto was born in 1896 and died in 1942, implying that he was 46 years old.