- "Miguel" redirects here. For other uses, see Miguel (disambiguation).
Miguel Rivera is the protagonist of Coco. He is a 12 (13 at the end) year old boy who finds himself in the realm of the dead during the festive holiday Day of The Dead (Dia De Los Muertos).
Miguel’s role in this short is very minimal. Taking place before Coco, Miguel can be heard calling for Dante while the Xolo dog embarks on his own quest.
Miguel Rivera is a member of a family of Shoe Makers residing in Mexico. Despite his families strict ban on music, he wants to perform as a musician, following after his idol, Ernesto De La Cruz. He and a neighborhood stray dog, Dante, sneak into a hidden room every day so he can practice and play guitar. After being encouraged to perform in the Plaza, he decides to come out of hiding and show the world what he destined to be. This doesn’t go well for Miguel: After trying to get to the town center, he ends up being unintentionally surrounded by his family, so he hides his guitar and Dante under the Ofrenda table. Once his abuelita leaves, he is surprised to see Dante eating the food his family left out for their realities. Trying to get him off, Miguel ends up pulling away both his dog and the photo of his Mama Imelda, along with his great-grandmother Coco and his mysterious great-grandfather. The picture hits the ground and shatters, but despite the mess, Miguel discovers his great-grandfather was a musician and had the same guitar as Ernesto De La Cruz. Believing his great-grandfather and Ernesto De La Cruz are the same person, Miguel rushes to tell his family about his identity and Miguel’s aspiring goal. This doesn’t go so well for him, as no one is supportive and his abuelita ends up breaking his guitar. Miguel, distraught, runs away from his family and attempts to sign up for the Día de Los Muertos Festival. It is revealed he needs a guitar, so he heads to Ernesto De La Cruz’s maloseum, breaks in as soon as a firework goes off, and takes his guitar. While apologizing and explaining his reasons for taking the instrument, marigold petals can be seen glowing. About to head off, he gives the guitar a strum, cursing him by turning him into a spirit and attracting nearby families to the building. Miguel hides but thinks his cover is blown when a guard enters the building. Miguel chooses to reveal himself but finds out that he can't be seen or heard by, or interact with, any living person. While the guard puts the guitar back up, a terrified Miguel runs off until he falls into a hole. A skeleton woman notices him and helps him out, not realizing he is alive and for him, vice versa. After saying thanks, Miguel finds out she is dead, and screams and runs off, hiding behind a tombstone.
- His shoe size is a 7.5 Mexico size, or a 9 US.
- He named Dante after the horse his idol, Ernesto De La Cruz, rode in some of his films.
- A Lego minifigure version of Miguel appears as a playable character in the video game LEGO The Incredibles.
- His family shares the last name of Pixar producer Jonas Rivera.
- In an early script for the movie, he was originally an American boy named Marco. Later when the setting was changed to Mexico to better fit with the holiday, his name was changed to Miguel due to being similar to Marco Diaz from Star vs. The Forces of Evil.