"Coco" reminds us the importance of family of our traditions

Originally published 11/21/17 in Spanish on La Jornada Latina.

This Thanksgiving 2017, let's give thanks to Disney/Pixar because they've brought us an animated movie that not only brings us endless feelings, but also brings us a story that we, the Hispanic community, can relate to. 

Coco” is what people like me (that are both American and Mexican) have been waiting for:  a movie that we can identify with thanks to our Hispanic roots but that maybe haven't lived completely or that we haven't seen on the big screen, and a film that we want to share with the non-Hispanic community.

The executions that these actors and actresses brings us as they lend their voices to animated characters make us believe in them and in a wold where we can see our loved ones that have left us.  Whether you believe in the afterlife or not, while watching "Coco" you'll want to see your family and friends that are no longer alive, because Pixar makes us believe and they remind us that we must never forget them.

"Coco" is the story of a Mexican boy named Miguel who loves movies but, due to his family's tragic past, music is not permitted; it's neither played nor heard in their house.  His destiny is another one, according to his parents and the rest of his family, but Miguel feels an incredible love to movie, thanks to Ernesto De La Cruz, a character that reminds us of the unforgettable Pedro Infante.

On the Day of the Dead there'll be an event for local musicians at the main plaza.  Miguel decides to compete, but because he needs a guitar, he decides to enter Ernesto De La Cruz's tomb and use Ernesto's guitar.  This takes him to the land of the dead where Miguel encounters his ancestors.  Miguel is asked to return to his world so that his deceased family can pass onto the living world to see their live family, Miguel has other plans:  he needs to meet and ask for the blessing of a family musician so that music will be permitted at home and so that Miguel can become a musician.

One of the advantages that I had versus the general public around me at that time is that I recognized many of the characters that Pixar renders homage to, from Pedro Infante to Frida Kahlo to Cantinflas, and more; people I got to watch on the small screen with my family on holidays.

I loved "Coco" since I could identify a lot with themes like family and the importance of our traditions.  Like all Disney/Pixar movies, prepare yourself and have your hanker chief or plenty of napkins because you will cry just as much as you will laugh.  For all you Spanish speakers, if you have the chance (which I did not), watch the movie dubbed in Spanish; your experience will be so much more than watching it in English.

"Coco", with the voices of Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt and Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel, directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, will be released November 22nd.