“Un Poco Loco” for Coco
A review of Disney’s Hit Latinx Film
Vibrant colors fill the screen and a young boy èchandose un grito will pull at your heartstrings as you watch the touching film about the importance of family and remembering your ancestors.
“Coco” produced by Pixar Animation Studios takes place in Mexico and centers around a young boy named Miguel who longs for his family’s blessing to chase after his dream of becoming a musician. The film immerses viewers into the world of the long-standing Latinx holiday of Día de Los Muertos featuring its traditions such as altares with ofrendas, flying alberijes, and cempasúchiles.
The film also features an all-Latinx cast including beloved Mexican actors Gael García Bernal, Edward James Olmos, Ana Ofelia Murgîa and newcomer Anthony Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, a 13-year-old boy born and raised in Los Angeles, won the part of Miguel after starting the audition process at the age of nine. He is of Latin descent, and started singing and acting at the age of four according to interviews he has done with Disney.
So applausos to Disney for yet again taking although slow, but progressive steps into creating more POC narrative storyline films and doing a great job at it.
Pixar, known for its attention to detail, pulls out all the stops for “Coco” having the ability of transporting you into the Land of the Dead with all of its beautifully done animations. Throughout the musical, you might find yourself rocking out or even crying to some of the original songs. The creators were also able to tell this story with the utmost respect for the Mexican culture, thanks to the help of Lalo Alcaraz. Alcaraz, a Mexican American political cartoonist and longstanding Disney critic, was hired as a cultural advisor for the film.
Now although the film does take place in Mexico and the characters at times speak in Spanish,
“Coco” is a film for everyone, no matter where they are from or what language they speak.
Viewers will be able to laugh, cry, and most importantly relate to the film in one way or another.
One of the film’s biggest themes is how family may have an influence on each other. Miguel, the protagonist of the film, loves his family but also music. Therefore, struggles with the idea of wanting to pursue his dream all the while fearing that he will disappoint them. A fear many could relate to longing recognition from their family.
“Coco” was not a film trying to break down barriers or stereotypes for the Latinx community but one that portrays them in a more humanistic way. It was also one of the rare instances where the Latinx community could see a reflection of themselves on screen and for many no need for subtitles.
You are never too old for Disney and this film is one you won’t want to miss.