I am a married mother of 2 girls and I live in Perth. We emmigrated from the UK in 2011. I am a freelance writer and a Pet Carer and feel very lucky to do something I really love www.petfriends.net.au
Published December 12th 2017
The message is clear in the new Disney Pixar movie, Coco, due for general release in Australia on Boxing Day 2017. My 10-year-old daughter interpreted the meaning of the story as 'family is very important and no-one should be forgotten'.
I was left with a mixture of emotions (you go on an emotional rollercoaster), a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and wanting to know more about Mexico's annual Day of the Dead.
It is set in a Mexican village (Santa Ceilia) on the annual Day of the Dead celebrations. Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) is a young boy who has dreams of becoming a famous musician, just like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voiced by Benjamin Brett), who has passed away.
Miguel's family will not allow any kind of music in their lives due to Miguel's great, great grandfather; he abandoned his family to seek his dreams of becoming a world-famous musician. So Miguel cannot show any interest in music in front of this family and this is what leads him on an exciting journey.
You need to understand the concept that on this special occasion each year, the dead can cross over to the land of the living to visit loved ones. It's a one-night window and only a temporary passage. The dead can only make this journey if someone living displays a photo of them to ensure they are not forgotten.
I don't want to give too much away and I may be vague, but Miguel makes the trip in reverse; that is a living boy crosses over to the Land of the Dead. He inadvertently finds himself trapped on the 'other side' and must find his way back to the Land of the Living. He does this with the help of Dante, a street dog, and a skeleton he befriends called Hector (voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal).
There is nothing macabre about the movie in any way. The skeletons and where they have come from has been well thought out and the movie is suitable for all ages.
There is all kinds of humour and charm and the plausibility of an afterlife is something you will all think about. The afterlife is portrayed as a warm and normal place, with normal everyday things happening.
You will come away with some thought-provoking ideas and so will your children, so expect some questions from enquiring young minds.
Never forget those that have passed, your memories stay alive forever, support your family, do the right thing, family comes first, cease your moment, follow your dreams; these are all things that will go through your mind whilst watching this triumph of imagination.
It is glorious to look at and a delight to listen to; the music will make your hairs stand up on your arms and never underestimate the power of music.
There is an unexpected twist towards the end, I will leave you guessing who Coco is, you will pick up some Spanish, it is a warm and comforting realisation, and it brings us into touch with some Mexican culture. I absolutely loved this movie and in my opinion, one of the best from Disney Pixar. Pixar's legacy is here to stay and remains intact.
Look out for the Toy Story toys hanging up for sale in the market at the beginning of the movie (genius idea) and the scene when a skeleton takes his head off to get into a photo!
In summary, should you see this movie? Absolutely YES!
For those that are interested in a bit more about the annual Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, here are some snippets for you:
It is celebrated at the beginning of November annually and is a 3-day fiesta filled with skeleton decorations, sugar skulls, marigolds (flowers of the dead) and all kinds of food.
Families build private altars in their homes with the deceased's favourite food, photos and memorabilia. They also visit the cemeteries, decorate the graves of their loved ones, to be with their souls.
The celebrations are exactly that; a celebration. They remember funny events and anecdotes of their dearly departed and the celebrations are enjoyed by one and all.