Coco is an upcoming animated Pixar film set to be released on November 22, 2017. The film focuses on a young boy named Miguel and his dreams to become a successful musician. Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead and learns about his culture and family history throughout the movie. Latinx people are excited for the release of this film because it will allow Latinx culture to take the big screen and be part of the Disney corporation. As a Latina myself, I am excited for the movie because it is about time that my culture is recognized. Coco seems to appreciate my culture, specifically the tradition of Dia De Los Muertos and has an exceptional Latinx cast consisting of Gael Garcia Bernal, Jaime Camil, Sofía Espinosa Carrasco, Benjamin Bratt and more.
So, should the Latinx population be satisfied with Coco? I mean, sure, it looks promising but I am tired of seeing the same trope over and over again. The Book of Life was released in 2014, directed by Jorge Gutierrez and it is an exemplary film. It tackles the Latinx stereotype of machismo in men and stunningly gives life to the Land of the Dead. The Book of Life is about Manolo, a young man who wants to become a musician rather than a bullfighter like his father and ends up in the Land of the Dead in an attempt to rescue his beloved Maria. Throughout the film, Manolo explores the Land of the Dead where he reconnects with his deceased family members and manages to overcome his inner confliction of disappointing his father. The similarities between Coco and The Book of Life are obvious.
At this point, it is just lazy writing. It is easier to generalize Latinx culture and use Día De Los Muertos as a ploy to pretend that our culture is being recognized. I am tired of just being sugar skulls and marigolds. There is more to my culture and more to the Latinx community than just . Some say, we should suck it up and be grateful for any representation and they are right to some extent. Sadly in this eurocentric society we live in, we cannot expect films that accurately depict the dimensions of Latinx culture but does this mean we have to settle? I believe the Latinx community deserves better. Our cultures are so much more than the simple generalization we are portrayed to be. Maybe Coco will prove me wrong but currently, it doesn’t seem to be worth the hype it is getting nor is it the “Hispanic Disney movie” we were all hoping for.