Coco (2017 film)
Coco is an animated film from Disney Studios, released in 2017. Inspired by one of the traditional Mexican celebration known as Day of the Dead, the film has quickly become a cultural reference. What has made this possible?
The Disney-Pixar Coco film describes an initiatory journey, a story in which the hero begins a journey that will take him to a transformation after passing a series of tests. Not in vain, Miguel is a preteen boy, who is almost ready to take on more responsibilities in his life.
Pixar studies turn to the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead, whose most entrenched community, emotional and cultural values conflict with the individual desires of Miguel, the hero of history.
Coco is not a simple movie. In reality, there are so many thematic axes that it addresses that one could get lost in a sea of thoughts. What happens with this film is that it confronts two values: family and vocation. Which one should prevail?
The family is represented in Coco as a network of affection and support among the people who make it up, who help each other. This family in particular practices the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead, in which awareness about the value of memory and ancestors becomes evident, with whom they continue to relate through rituals such as the altar of offerings and the visit To the cemetery.
Therefore, the family here is not just a core of affection. It is the symbol of a historical consciousness, the symbol that we belong to something that transcends us and that we owe, in part, to those who opened the way. Miguel's vocation is not simply a personal concern: it is also the inheritance of his ancestors that has manifested in him.
Although Miguel perceives himself differently from his family, he is not. Miguel is, to a large extent, what his family has inherited, unconsciously or involuntarily; what Miguel differs from his family is the ability to listen to his vocation and act in accordance with it.
The word vocation refers to a voice that calls, that seduces, that surrounds. But in the media society, the musical vocation is represented as an exhibition showcase, in which artists can be seen, but not touched, with all that this implies.
But is it vocation that moves Ernesto de la Cruz to achieve success? No, it is driven by ambition. Thus, this path of "success" implied for the character to corrupt and sacrifice the network of affections, which raises the point: is it worth sacrificing so much to be worshiped in life, so that no one is interested in remembering you? Isn't our memory the only thing we leave on this earth?
Although Miguel is the one who makes the possible changes and helps to redeem the clan of his ancestors, the redemption of the Rivera who still live will come only through Coco.
Mama Coco collects as a character all the edges that the film addresses: she is the oldest in the family and, in that sense, represents the whole family heritage. But Coco is losing her memory, and she is the only link that links the Rivera family with their ancestors.
Recovering memory, Coco represents forgiveness, hope and family understanding, buried in years of resentment and intolerance. Coco makes an act of faith by forgiving her dad and keeping her memory alive. Such was Coco's confidence in her father's love, that she always waited for him, loved him and preserved his legacy.
Thus, Coco's faith and the unconditional blessing of the ancestors, allows the Rivera, including Miguel, to recover the true meaning of the Day of the Dead tradition and the true value of the family. In turn, Miguel can be who he really is, without interior divisions: the musician of the Rivera family.
Fun facts from the movie Coco
- The film shows the most emblematic characters of Mexican culture: Frida Kahlo, El Santo, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Mario Moreno Cantinflas, María Félix, Agustín Lara, Dolores del Río, Diego Rivera and Emiliano Zapata, among others.
- Ernesto de la Cruz is a synthesis of Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete, and the clips of his films are inspired by the aesthetics of Mexican gold cinema.
- The cempasúchil flower is the only vegetation that, according to tradition, grows in the land of the dead. Therefore, the bridge of flowers that communicates to both worlds once a year is made of this plant.
- The reason why Disney-Pixar studios decided to design a xoloitzcuintle dog to accompany Miguel is because in the pre-Hispanic Mexican culture it was believed that these dogs helped souls cross the river to reach an underworld called Mictlan.
- In the landscape of the world of the dead there are at least seven million painted lights.
- In one of the scenes, as is customary in Pixar, characters from other movies are made. Thus, characters from Monster Inc. appear, Finding Nemo and Toy Story.
- Originally, it was planned that the name of the film would be Dia de Muertos, but Disney received a lawsuit because the name of the Mexican tradition cannot become a registered trademark. After this, they decided to call her Coco.
- The Pixar studios were infected by the spirit of tradition and put together their own Day of the Dead altar.
- The town where Miguel lives is Santa Cecilia, who is the patron saint of music.
Song "Remember Me" by Coco
Now, enjoy the interpretation of the Remember Me theme, performed live by Gael García Bernal, Natalia Lafourcade and Miguel during the 2018 Oscars.
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