Coco is the latest in the long line of Disney/Pixar animated movies to hit theaters. And like the ones before it, Coco is huge hit. The movie is not only making waves for its amazing animation and touching story, but also for its subject matter and cultural dive. Coco is a Mexican ancestral story that stars a young boy who aspires to be a singer. The only problem is that his family has a ban on singing! The ban has on for generations, so our protagonist sets on this journey to the Land of the Dead to learn his history and some life lessons along the way.
Coco should be celebrated for the fact that the creators are bringing a rich Mexican tradition and culture into the minds of its audience. Think about the many millions of children and teenagers who will get to learn about our neighbors to the south. Growing up in our generation, we weren’t exposed to this kind of diversity in films geared towards the youth. Is there a relation to that and some of this country’s feelings to immigrants? Maybe. Today, the kids are getting a story of a Pacific Island girl (Moana) and learning about the Day of the Dead (Coco).
Hollywood is going through a seismic shift behind the scenes and its showing in the movies. Women directors, gay writers, black producers are being featured more prominently. I believe this will have a positive effect in bringing out stories that are rarely told. The different voices help you learn and become a well-rounded person. It’s a small step, but if we’re feeding the youth this knowledge, it’s a great investment for our future.
By Lenz Pierre-Lys