Take Pride in Authenticity

May 10 2018

Take Pride in Authenticity

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Disney Pixar’s Coco, directed by Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich, follows the story of a young boy named Miguel who seeks to find out information on his family’s history. Miguel, who is voiced by Anthony Gonzalez, has a passion for playing music and becoming the next icon musician. However, his family has passed down a ban on playing music due to his great-grandfather running off to pursue his dreams as a musician leaving his family behind. This movie is set in a rural part of Mexico, portraying traditional mexican housing and everyday life. Even though this a Disney Pixar movie, the producers of the movie went very far into researching and using actual people from that area in Mexico to create this movie. It was not just another Disney movie with an “exotic background” where the movie is created off assumptions made by the United States for that region.

From United States perspective we would expect to see in Mexico low-class income, sombreros, and a variety of colorful traditions. This movie really felt like the producers took the time to get to know the country and everyday struggles faced by the people that lived there. The director of this film, Adrian Molina is a mexican american with family ties back in Mexico. The extra effort that went into this movie really gained appeal by the Mexican audience due to the accurate representation of their culture. After reading many reviews from viewers that come from a mexican background, they each expressed a sense of pride. In that their true culture was being brought to the spotlight and not just glamified for the American audience to watch.

The film touched on everyday struggles for families living in Mexico. The grandmother in this film must switch occupations in order to be able to provide for her family. This also brings up how the women may have to take over the head of the household in the absence of the men. The fathers may take a leave of absence in order to find work to provide for their families back at home.

Along with the actors being from local cities to the area where the movie is set in, the producers even introduced Mexican pop culture singers to provide the soundtrack for the movie. These singers included Angelica Vale and Victor Trujillo. Even the accents and language used in this movie were very authentic in the fact that there was no Spanglish or local slang used.

Coco is a true invite into the homes and lives of families that live in Mexico. WIth character’s personalities and lifestyles easily able to exist in the real world, it makes it whole lot easier for the audience to gain that sense of connection. Disney did a wonderful job at placing this film in the hands of director Adrian Molina, without him this would have just been another movie glorifying what outside assumptions are made about Mexico. This film is a true victory for the people of Mexico and should feel a sense of pride watching their interpretation of their culture be accurately portrayed in a movie for outsiders to watch. For a movie aimed a children audience there seems to be engaging lessons on how important family and tradition is in Mexican culture.

I truly enjoyed watching this film and experiencing a culture that embraces their sense of family and tradition. I think it is important as person to have some sort of rock that can keep us grounded, whether it is family or even small traditions that we celebrate.














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