Is Disney’s and Pixar’s New Movie Coco Culturally Sensitive? by Noelli De La Cruz

Disney and Pixar finally gets it right by being culturally conscious in its new movie Coco, an animated movie about a Mexican boy and his family.

In the past years there has been controversy around Disney’s movies having negative ethnic stereotypes or were culturally inaccurate. When the movie Princess and the Frog released, many people were excited that finally there was going to be a black heroine. However, critics were upset with the transformation of the princess to a frog because it reminded them of the past racism comments that black people were animals. Also, they thought that having a white prince instead of a black prince suggested that black love was not possible.

 Although Disney has made improvement in creating characters of color, they still get many things wrong.

So when it was publicly released that there was going to be a Disney movie about a Mexican family and the traditional Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, there were many skeptics questioning if Disney was finally going to get it right regarding cultural sensitivity.

I hope that [Disney] will have people who are of Latino descenders to play the character of the movie as well as paying tribute to Dia de Los Muertos in a way that the concept, colors and music was right,” said sophomore at Skyline Marissa Vazquez.

Coco was released on theaters across the United States on November 23, 2017. The setting of the movie takes place in Mexico and is about a young Mexican boy, Miguel Ramirez, who wishes to be a musician. However, his family forbids it, since they think that music cursed their family. Behind his family’s back, he seeks for a guitar to play at a musical festival, and while on his mission to find a guitar he embarks on a journey in the afterlife. While there, he seeks to find his dead great grandfather, a Mariachi, in order to get his blessing to go back home and be able to be a musician.

Many Latinos themselves were surprised that Disney wasn’t patronizing and truthfully portrayed the Mexican holiday and the culture.

I relate to [the movie Coco] because it made me remember my grandfather that passed away a year ago… and remind me that one day I’ll see him again up there,” said senior Fabiola Malfabon.

Pero Like and Mitu, two BuzzFeed’s hubs for U.S. Latinx content, watched and reviewed the movie. They expressed satisfaction towards the film because it is a movie that kids of color can latch onto and see themselves; and believe they can make it on the big screen.

They also said that Coco tells a story they can relate to because Dia de los Muertos is a tradition that is celebrated all across Latin America. The colors, the music and the offerings shown in the movie are very similar to any latin american country during Day of the Dead. As well as the central theme of the movie that family is the most important thing is something latinos can relate too.

I actually really like the movie and I feel like it did show how important family is in the Mexican culture. It made me realize how important [Day of the Dead] is and the significance of it, your family will always be there for you and to never forget about any of them. The movie did a great job with the animations and all the colors it used to represent how dia de los muertos is celebrated,” said senior Erick Mora-Hernandez.

Not only did Disney/Pixar made sure the colors and the music were right for this movie, but they took the extra mile to cast all Latino actors. Famous latino actors such as Gael Garcia, Benjamin Bratt, Edward James Olmos, and Jaime Camil were the voices of the main characters of the movie.

Latios applaud Disney and Pixar for portraying Dia de los Muertos in a realistic and truthful way. Many reviews don’t forget to mention that Miguel’s’ grandmother using her “chancla” (sandlel) to scold is the most authentic Mexican tradition that Mexican families grow up with.In two weeks the movie Coco has made 89.6 million dollars in Box Office, but it will grow now that a spanish version of Coco has been released in theaters and families want to watch that too.