COCO – A New Disney Film about Mexican Culture

By: Miroslava Hernández Toledo from Instituto Lizardi High School in Zihuatanejo.*

This musical film from Disney Pixar premiered in Mexico in November 2017 and is now showing in the United States and Canada (in English). It will be released worldwide over the upcoming months. The film represents our culture and the ancient Mexican roots.

The idea of the film began in 2011, when Lee Unkrich, the film director, and his team visited Mexico. They went to magical places, markets, squares, workshops, cemeteries, and haciendas for three years to capture the essence of the Day of the Dead celebration. This fieldwork helped in the representation of this iconic Mexican tradition. The culture also is reflected in the architecture, clothing, and even the family.

Originally the film was called “Day of the Dead” but this name is part of an intangible heritage of humanity and was not allowed. So, they decided to call it “Coco” in honor of the great-grandmother of Miguel, who plays an important role in the film.

By: Ana Lucia Martinez

Miguel is a child who dreams of being a singer but his family disapproves. He is inspired by “Hernesto of the Cross” who was a famous singer originating from his people. Although he died, he was his example to follow. This film character is based on Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete who are famous Mexican singers.

Miguel crosses over to the land of the dead to find his musical family. He encounters famous characters such as Frida Kahlo, the Saint, Maria Félix, and Emiliano Zapata. The land of the dead is a combination of architecture pre-Hispanic and modern architecture and was based on the city if Guanajuato, Mexico.

Dante, a dog, also plays an important role. He is a “Xoloitzcuintli,” an ancient Mexican species that is believed to accompany the dead and help them cross over to the underworld.

By: El Analitico

Coco revolves around the tradition of the Day of the Dead and represents the Mexican customs of this day. It speaks of the altar of the dead and the flower of Cempasúchil (a Mexican flower) that plays an important role because according to the ancient traditions this flower connects both worlds and guides the dead.

The family plays an important role as the dead can visit the Earth only if their loved ones remember them and put their photos on the offering. It teaches the importance of having a loving, united family that follows the roots of its culture and that a family can make you strong and happy.

Your whole family will love this movie. Please see the trailer in English. Again, it is currently playing in the United States.

*Editor’s Note: Miroslava Hernández Toledo is a senior at Instituto Lizardi in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico. This article is part of her final examination for an English writing class taught by the editor of this publication. Congratulations, Miro! Now, you can say you are a published writer!


Cinepremiere. Curious Facts about Coco Pixar:

Sectorcine. Curious Things that You Must Know about Coco.

YouTube. Official Trailer

Eleconomista, 14 Things You Do Not Know about the Film Coco.

Related Articles:, Masks, and Parades for the Day of the Dead in Mexico


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