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“Coco” defies Mexican society expectations

Alondra Lavariega, Graphics Manager

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Based on many Mexican traditions, “Coco” is an inspired movie centered around El Dia De Los Muertos, one of the many Mexican traditions that is displayed in this movie. It incorporates one of the most well-known painters of Mexican history, Frida Kahlo, an inspired artist who based most of her work on self portraits, questions of identity and defying the social norms of the Mexican culture. “Coco” does a  spectacular job of portraying strong female leading roles, regardless of the time period it is shot in. It also speaks to the audience to follow your dreams. 

At the beginning, we are introduced with the main character, Miguel, who struggles throughout the movie, finding his true passion for music. He is later faced with the choice of music, his passion or family. His family doesn’t enjoy one bit of music, all thanks to his great-great grandfather leaving his great-great grandmother. His ancestors and family have held a grudge and blamed music for Imelda’s (great-great grandmother) loss of a husband. Although many would say that the Mexican culture has a male-driven society, this movie portrays the opposite. Instead of Imelda crying over her husband, she decides to step-up and make a shoe company, to give her daughter Coco a better opportunity at life, once again demonstrating the importance of women and the roles they play in a family.

As a Mexican-American, I thought of this movie as not just any Pixar movie, but one that is relate-able to my culture. The graphics in this movie where beautiful and colorful. This movie does have a similar setting to Oaxaca, where most of my family is from. It did a wonderful representation of it and it even played some historic songs like “La Sandunga” and “La Llorona,” both beautifully sung in this movie. I felt as if for a split second, I was in Oaxaca, celebrating the Day of The Dead, putting “pan dulce” (Mexican pastries) and “Chocolate de Abuelita” (Hot chocolate) on my ancestor’s grave.

Overall, this movie brought excitement, tear-dropping moments and appreciation to many. I felt happy that not only is there another Pixar movie based on Mexican culture, but also one that has strong female roles. We all know how it was for women back then, and in some places, it is still the same. “Coco” managed to demonstrate Mexican culture’s vibrant colors and the importance of women in families.  

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“Coco” defies Mexican society expectations