BY CRISTAL GOMEZ
Disney’s “Coco” is an excellent movie for all ages that explains what the Day of the Dead holiday is in Mexican culture.
“Coco” focuses on the story of a young boy who lives in the small town of Santa Cecilia, Mexico.
Miguel Rivera is a 12-year-old boy who loves to play guitar, but his family despises music.
On Nov. 1, he gets transported to the Land of the Dead, where he meets family members who have passed onto the next life.
Miguel tries to convince his deceased relatives to allow him to play music rather than make shoes like his entire family.
With an all-Latino cast, some known actors include Jaime Camil, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Sofia Espinosa and Renee Victor.
The actors give life to these characters and make sure the culture is represented correctly in the film. By getting an all-Latino cast it has truly shown how Disney took this film seriously.
Disney Pixar did an excellent job of portraying the Mexican culture. Apart from hiring an all-Latino cast, animators were sent to Mexico so they could observe how families live and how the Day of the Dead is celebrated there.
Within the film, there are references to jokes that Mexican families will understand.
The well-known chancla makes an appearance a couple of times. In the Hispanic culture, the chancla is a sandal or shoe which a mother can use as a weapon to hit their misbehaving kids with.
In the movie, Miguel’s grandmother hits a mariachi with her chancla for speaking to her grandchild.
Even his grandmother telling him to eat more because he is too skinny is a familiar joke in the movie.
It is a common statement for a Mexican grandmother to scold a grandchild she believes doesn’t eat enough.
These small jokes captured the Hispanic culture in how people act toward their relatives.
Frida Kahlo, Cantinflas, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete and El Santo appear in the movie. These figures are all prominent idols in the Mexican culture who still live in society even though they have passed away.
“Coco” has given life to these influential figures once again as they continue to influence the future generations inspiring them to become the next generation of actors, singers, artists or comedians.
Pixar also gave homage to Jose Guadalupe Posada ‘s drawing of the Catrina.
The skeletons in the movie had similar characteristics of the skeletons Posada would draw, giving them clothing and specific designs to their face to distinguish one another.
Once the protagonist Miguel walks through a bridge made of cempasuchil flowers, there is a panoramic shot of the Land of the Dead.
On the bottom of the cities, there are buildings similar to pre-Columbian architecture.
Looking up above the pre-Columbian architecture, viewers can see the buildings from the Porfiriato.
Above that, the construction of modern buildings has begun.
“Coco” is the perfect movie for all ages. The film emphasizes the memories of loved ones and how they don’t die, but instead continue to live on.
The main theme of the movie portrays how people never go back to see them again and slowly forget them.
By celebrating the Day of the Dead, we keep them in our hearts and in our memories.
“Coco” is rated PG for thematic elements.