Día de los Muertos History and Significance
Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday beginning on November 1st and ending on November 2nd. While people assume it’s just a Mexican Halloween, it’s actually a grand family reunion to honor the loved ones that have deceased and goes as far back to pre-colonial history and is a tradition that has come from their ancestors. During the holiday you will find costumes, food, bright colors, altars, candles, and pictures. Mexicans take time to visit the graves of their deceased loved ones to decorate and spend time there.
This celebration holds great meaning to the Mexican culture and the story tellers of Pixar Coco wanted to share that with everyone around the world by embracing it in the film.
Inspiration of Coco
A trip to Mexico during the Day of the Dead was a huge inspiration to the film. They explored the culture to find out how it was celebrated while taking lots of pictures and notes.
Customs of Celebration
Ofrenda– An altar to the greet the spirit for Day of the Dead with pictures and things they liked such as various foods. To display photos in the Ofrenda shows an act of love.
Marigold Path – A visual and iconic way to connect the living to the dead by using the Marigold petals to make a trail and help guide the ancestors home, connecting the 2 worlds: The Land of the Living & The Land of the Dead.
Cemetery Vigil – The graves of their loved ones are swept, cleaned & decorated.
Colors of the Day of the Dead
Purple – pain, suffering, grief, and mourning.
Pink – celebration.
White – purity and hope.
Orange – sun.
Red – blood of life.
Yellow – symbolizes death.
If I want to be a musician, I’ve got to seize the moment. – Miguel
Passion for Music
Miguel was moved by a deep passion to play music, it was the air he breathed and everywhere you looked he was surrounded by his hero Ernesto De La Cruz. Music takes a huge part in the film and is filled with 3 types of music and different sounds than what you would hear from a traditional band.
Entering the Land of the Dead
The look of the land itself was inspired by the city of Guanajuato. It’s a Rivera compound courtyard based on a rural Mexican town. The World of the Dead Tower is something no one has seen before. They took ideas from what buildings looked like and used curves to get the shape of it. The tower feels lived in with various features such as a swinging door, broken windows and more. You will see every little details from streets, alleys and trains to the pin lights in the windows.
Fun Facts About the Story of COCO
- The storytellers took various clips from other musicians to create a mock-up of Miguel’s scene when he watches Ernesto on TV.
- Marigold central station was inspired by Central Station.
- The film took 6 years to make.
- COCO is a love letter to Mexico.
- Anthony Gonzales was a temporary voice to develop the Miguel’s animation but proved that he was good with the character that they permanently offered the role of Miguel and actually sings every song his character performs.
- This is not a definitive Mexican movie but wanted to speak of the Mexican culture and tell the story right.
- It is not a musical. Although music takes a big lead in the film, it is more about his talents and how music ties into the culture.
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
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Visit the official COCO website here: http://movies.disney.com/coco
COCO opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd!