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Coco Loves Culture

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Un Poco Loco Por Coco

Un Poco Loco Por Coco

ohmy.disney.com/news

ohmy.disney.com/news

Un Poco Loco Por Coco

Katie Cao, Photojournalist

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Produced by Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures proudly presents the culture filled movie, Coco. This movie beautifully portrays the meaning of the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos. This holiday celebrates loved ones who have passed. Every year on November 1st, families set up an altar filled with marigold flowers, candles, the favorite foods of the loved ones, and calaveras  (a sugar or clay skull). Most importantly, though, are the pictures of those who have passed. These pictures represent the remembrance of those who have passed. Mexicans do this because they want their loved ones to live on in spirit and to never be forgotten. There is a myth that everyone experiences death twice. Once physically and the second spiritually, when those on earth forget who you are and fail to make an altar in honor of your memory. El Día de los Muertos is by far one of the most important Mexican holidays to ever be celebrated.

With the movie Coco, this is the second movie that has taken on the task to try and portray the meaning of The Day of the Dead. The Book of Life, being the other movie, could not quite encapsulate what Coco portrays in the slightest bit. The movie begins with a narrative of the Rivera family history about why music is banned in their family. Imelda was the wife of a musician who left her and her child, Coco, to pursue a musical career. Therefore, she banned music and created a shoe making business. Her great-great-grandson, 12-year-old Miguel, lives with Coco and the rest of his family. He has a drive to pursue a career in music just like his hero, Ernesto de la Cruz. Miguel’s grandma soon learns of this passion and reiterates the banning of music by breaking his guitar.

A hurt Miguel decides to enter a musical competition without his own instrument. He goes to the altar of Ernesto de la Cruz, believing that he is his grandfather, and takes Ernesto’s guitar. Upon playing a couple chords, Miguel becomes invisible to the human world and visible to the dead. He soon finds his family that has passed, and they must take him to Imelda in the land of the dead so that he can be transported to the mortal world.

Imelda obligingly wants to send Miguel back on one condition, that he never associate himself with music. Outraged by this request, he goes off to find someone who will send him back with no conditions, his great-great-great grandfather, Ernesto. Along the way, he meets Hector who said he could guide Miguel to Ernesto. Hector, though, is on the brink of being forgotten and makes Miguel promise that he will put his picture on the altar.  They soon find themselves at the door of Ernesto’s greatest party, and upon telling De la Cruz who he truly is, he is more than happy to send Miguel on his way.

Up to this point I am going to end talking about the plot because I don’t want to ruin anything from the movie.

As someone who has grown up with the Mexican culture all her life, this movie has truly exceeded my expectations. The music is so beautiful. There are songs that are sung both in English and Spanish, and incorporate the mariachi style. There is no other movie that has been presented that goes into such depth about the Mexican culture and can accurately represent it as well. I am so glad that Pixar decided to make a movie about Día de Los Muertos, growing up I always took pride in my Mexican heritage, and always loved going to see the newest disney movie, and now I can combine the two!” exclaims an excited Tori Sturges (12). The representation of the Mexican culture is lacking in the movie industry, but Coco manages to shed light on a special holiday to Mexico.

What was a disappointment, though, was the lack of advertisement for this movie. Unlike the amount of advertising from other movies, there was minimal to none about Coco. To be quite frank, I didn’t really know what it was about until I watched the movie. This movie exceeded any expectation that I had, my low expectations stemmed from the lack of promotion. If there were more advertisements, it would give people a better sense of understanding what it was about.

Despite this, Coco has grossed $72.9 million in the U.S. and Canada, and $82.3 million in other countries. In Mexico, it was released a month in advance and became the biggest opening weekend for an original animated film with a gross of $9.3 million (CNN).

This movie is a must see, I can guarantee that hearts will be touched, and tears will be shed. This accurate representation of Mexican culture is one of the beginning steps for movies to portray diversity in film. Coco will make audiences go un poco loco with its unforgettable, heartwarming charm.

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