Through the years, Pixar has been known for taking its audience to amazing places - from the Great Barrier Reef and the 2085 version of Earth, to the home of a young boy and the mind of an 11-year-old girl. This time around, they will be taking everyone to Mexico in Coco!
Coco follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who finds himself in the colorful Land of the Dead after a mysterious chain of events. Together with a trickster named Hector, they go on a journey to unlock the story of Miguel's family history.
Set in Mexico, this film is the perfect introduction for everyone to know more about the Mexican way of life - from its music to the famous Dia de los Muertos. Maybe after you've seen the film, you'll find yourselves packing your bags to Mexico, huh?
Here are reasons why you should watch it if you want to know more about colorful world of Mexico:
1. Pixar had a cultural consultant group to make sure that the film is accurate and authentic.
Because Coco serves as Pixar's "love letter" to Mexico, it's only right that they have everything correct - from the art itself to the other cultural elements involved in the film. The team went on research trips to and from the Mexican cities of Oaxaca and Guanajuato (which inspired the two "worlds" in the film), hired Latino and Mexican-American artists, and had a cultural consultant group to make sure everything is portrayed authentically. That is, away from stereotype and cliches!
2. The film also features an all-Latino voice cast.
Twelve-year-old Anthony Gonzales provides the voice for Miguel, who, like him, aspires to be a musician when he grows up. Other members of the voice cast include Gael García Bernal (Hector Rivera), Benjamin Bratt (Ernesto de la Cruz), Renée Victor (Abuelita), Ana Ofelia Murguia (Mama Coco), and more.
3. The events in the film centers on the celebration of Dia de los Muertos.
Celebrated from November 1 to 2 of every year, Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a holiday where families throughout Mexico honor and remember their deceased. Families build and decorate an ofrenda, an altar-like set-up where they put flowers, candles, as well as the deceased's favorite food and trinkets as a way for the living to pay their respects.
It's also during this holiday that people paint their faces as calacas or skeletons, not because they want to scare other people, but to show Death that they are alive and are not afraid of It. It is also a way showing that they recognize and accept death as part of the"cycle of life".
4. Coco touches on elements of the Dia de los Muertos folklore.
In the film, Miguel crosses over from the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead, where he gets to meet his ancestors, getting him to discover his heritage. During this Mexican holiday, it is believed that it is a time when spirits of the deceased crosses over from the Land of the Dead to the Living to reunite with their families for 24 hours - children on November 1st and adults on November 2nd.
Another part of th Mexican folklore that Coco touches on is Pepita's character. An alebrije - brightly colored folk art sculptures of mythical creatures - Pepita is a cross between a large cat, an eagle, a ram, and an iguana. In the film, she turns out to be a spirit animal (literally!) who helps Mama Imelda go from the Land of the Dead to the Land of the Living.
5. Even its soundtrack gives us a delicious sample of the flavors of Mexican music.
The people behind the music of Coco had to go to the places in Mexico to make sure that what they will be creating depicts the mood, the culture, and the tradition of the location. One listen to Ernesto De La Cruz' "Remember Me" takes you back to the Mexico of the 1920s and 1930s, with its ranchero-style music.
Just imagine how the rest of the music from the film will sound like, right?
Experience Mexican culture on the big screen when upcoming animated feature 'Coco' opens in Philippine cinemas starting November 22.