The Poly Spotlight

December 18th, 2017
Coco: A Spirit Lifting Movie


COCO: Pixar’s Coco is a remarkable, cultured film. 

By Guadalupe Meza, Staff Writer

Coco, released on November 22, 2017, is a new Pixar film about a young boy named Miguel who is conflicted between fulfilling his passion for music or following his family’s shoe business. Despite his family’s ban on music, Miguel strives to follow his passion for music. 

The film takes place in Mexico during Día de Los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead. Miguel, the main character, looks up to his idol Ernesto de la Cruz, a famous musician. The only problem is that his family can’t tolerate music because his great-great grandfather left his own family to pursue music. This left his great-great grandmother alone to fend for herself and her family. Miguel decides to act on his own accord and participate in a talent show. In order to participate in the show, Miguel must have a guitar, which he steals from Cruz’s mausoleum. His actions transport him to the Land of the Dead, and he is trapped unless he is able to get his family’s blessing. While Miguel is down there, he uncovers secrets that change his life. 

Director Lee Unkirch, whose other work includes movies such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo, directed the film Coco which took six years to produce. Unkirch’s goal was to create a movie that accurately embodies Mexican culture and traditions. In order to do so, he took various trips to Mexico and consulted with the Latino members who worked on the movie to present the movie accurately. 

Much of Mexico’s culture is accurately portrayed in the movie. It includes Mexican folk art of Alebrijes, which is seen once Miguel enters the Land of the Dead. The film made sure to include Mexico’s most popular type of dog, the Xoloitzcuintle, which is portrayed as Miguel’s stray friend Dante. There are also cameos made by well-known celebrities and historical figures such as artist Frida Kahlo, war hero Emiliano Zapata, and comedian Cantinflas.

The film did a great job with its representation of Mexican culture. It included an all-Latino cast, which avoided the issue of whitewashing. The entire movie is full of mesmerizing and vivid images. With its heartwarming, fascinating story, Coco is one of Pixar’s best films yet. 

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