Hello! As all of you know, Coco, the latest Disney-Pixar movie, is set to come out tomorrow. However, many of you, myself included, are concerned that it will copy too much and take away credit from another Day of the Dead-themed animated film, The Book of Life. There have been much discourse on both sides advocating for either movie. Many arguments I’ve heard include: “Coco is a rip-off of Book of Life” “Book of Life is not as good because it’s not Disney/Pixar, etc. Today, I have come to say that we ought to support and celebrate both movies.
First, I’m going to speak out in Coco’s defense. When the first movie came out, many pointed out some similarities between it and the Book of Life. How they both share a music-loving protagonist (Manolo/Miguel) who against their families’ wishes, pursue their dream and both end up in the Land of the Remembered/Dead. One would believe that Disney/Pixar intentionally sole from Jorge R Gutierrez, the director of the Book of Life. However, Jorge R Gutierrez was rejected by DREAMWORKS not Pixar, unlike popular belief. Also, the director Lee Unkrich, took on a lot of research to make sure he and the entire team represented the culture of Mexico correctly. Just because someone is from a different culture does not mean that they will be unable to understand another culture. Even Jorge R Gutierrez and Guillermo Del Toro (the producer of Book of Life) have expressed their support for Coco on their respective Twitters. Since they’re both Mexican and know how much their culture means to them, they surely trust that Coco will represent Mexican culture right.
As for The Book of Life, many of you may know or learn it happens to be one of my favorite movies. Ever since I saw the first trailer, I was in love and the actual movie came out, I wasn’t even disappointed in the slightest. The movie has such compelling themes (doing what is right rather than popular, being comfortable with who you really are, celebrating your past while embracing change) The movie captures the spirit of the Day of the Dead, celebrating life as a whole and knowing that death is never the end. The characters are also very memorable and endearing. Manolo, a bullfighter with a passion for music is especially lovable, as his genuine love for his loved ones makes you root for him. Maria, the mayor’s daughter and Manolo’s love interest, is also an incredible character, being both an independent spirit and someone who’s truly dedicated to defending her town. Joaquin, the town hero, is also a delight! I won’t try to give anything away, but he surprises you in a very good way. All the characters are very likable without coming off as cliched stereotypes. The character designs and the entire animation is just AMAZING. Every frame can be hung up in an art exhibit. That’s how unique and beautiful it is. Jorge R Gutierrez’s passion for his culture oozes wonderfully throughout the movie. The love for Mexico is just as huge as our main hero’s heart, which is pretty big.
Both movies have undeniable heart behind them and who are we to deny heart in film? It’s because of all these reasons we must support both movies. Holidays like Halloween and Christmas have thousands upon thousands of movies. Shouldn’t the Day of the Dead have that chance as well? If you loved the Book of Life, support Coco to show that we want to see Mexico represented and shown more in film. If you plan on watching Coco, please buy the Book of Life on iTunes. Book of Life is not as well known as we would have liked so show the movie industry that we want to see more of it. Jorge R Gutierrez has plans to make the Book of Life into a trilogy and he needs our help to help him make it happen. Read into more about how the Book of Life was made. Also learn how Coco was made and inspired. Doing these things for both will allow both films to thrive. I am calling for both fans of The Book of Life and Coco to support each other and celebrate the beautiful culture of Mexico and the joy both movies will bring.
That is why I say when i comes to The Book of Life or Coco question, I say…
Sorry I’ve been so quiet, thanksgiving week is hell week in the restaurant industry. Especially if you work for a restaurant that is open on turkey day and has a special menu like mine.
I have worked 37 hours over the last 3 days and finally get a day off tomorrow. Here’s a tally of what I’ve done the last 3 days.
180 candied sage leaves, 10 pounds of ginger snap dough, over 350 desserts, not including the 140 pumpkin ones, mashed and rolled 25 pounds of pumpkin butter, 20 quarts of ginger snap crust, and I lost count of everything else. This is on top of my regularly scheduled work.
I came home today, showered, fell asleep for 2 hours and woke up starving. So now I’m enjoying toasted bagel sticks and fondue before attempting to get actual sleep.
I don’t want one of the ‘main’ side characters within the show, I want the actual main character in which the entire show revolves around.
I don’t want the entire show to be about them being gay, I want the show to be about something entirely different. And maybe in season 2 they meet this cute other character and they fall in love, and it’s just a little side-on thing which isn’t really important to the story other than they’re happy.
I don’t want them to be gay entirely for the shock factor, or some cheap sex scene. I want cute PG gay couple who are healthy and happy.
I don’t want it suggested that they’re together in some cryptic frendship/relationship way. I want 100% undenialable gayness. I don’t want queer baiting either.
Ok, ok, so I recently went to see the movie and let me tell you something… it’s more than just a movie, es una obra de arte.
I’m not joking, really, my expectations went beyond what I thought. It was amazing in every way. Well, maybe I’m gonna make some spoilers, but I found myself in need of telling you my experience as a Mexican point of view.
Because yes, I’m proudly Mexican.
1. Estás muy flaco, ¡come más!
This is funny.
In each family, at least in mine, it is normal that your grandmother wants to feed you because, according to her, you are very thin. And this reminded me a lot of my grandmother, whom I sweetly called Yaya. And yes, she is a strong, very determined woman who always fills my plate with lots of food.
But my Yaya’s food is always the best.
2. El maravilloso ambiente
There was no time to take the eyes off every scene, every color, every sound, literally. In the land of the living, the colors were relatively balanced, since it is a village, when dusk comes, which illuminates each house in a beautiful orange color. The colorful cemeteries and ofrendas captivated me greatly, for the passion with which we adorn the tombs of our departed is more than a tradition; is a connection that even Death itself can never take away.
3. ¡Música maestro!
My God, I can’t believe Disney has started its own theme with Mariachi music.
AY, AY, AY!!
That. was. Phenomenal.
The rest of the film, when I started to hear the voices of each character singing, dancing or even playing guitar, I almost felt like jumping and singing, clapping and dancing. If anything you must be sure, is that when a Mexican hears that kind of music, mariachi, trumpets, violins, the shoe, the drums, gives him an infinite desire to be celebrating forever.
4. La Chancla
La abuelita threatening everyone with la chancla.
That’s typical of mexican family. No, seriously. Once my Yaya threw me la chancla voladora when I was little and I was running and they had yelled at me to stop. That could not be missing!
If you have never been threatened with la chancla, or much less have hit you with it, trust me, as a mexican you had no childhood.
5. La Llorona
Originally, the song La Llorona is sung by Chavela Vargas. If you have never heard of it, I strongly recommend that you do so. That was totally amazing!
“Ay, de mí llorona. Llorona, de azul celeste. Ay, de mí llorona. Llorona, de azul celeste…”
“Y aunque me cueste la vida, llorona, no dejaré de quererte. Y aunque me cueste la vida, llorona, no dejaré de quererte…”
Miguel’s great-great-grandmother sang it with such sentiment made me shed tears, because I’ve heard it since I was a little girl. My grandmother sometimes sings it when she’s cooking.
6. Ay, Ernesto, no te rajes
Yes, yes, YES!!!
I actually knew that Ernesto de la Cruz was inspired by Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete. OH, MY GOD! I love this man so much!
Maybe you can remember Jorge with the song Ay, Jalisco no te rajes! (From the movie The Tree Caballeros) There are other songs that I recommend you to hear. But my favorite has always been that.
Yo soy Mexicano, Mexico Lindo, Ella, Entre suspiro y suspiro, El Abandonado, and more…
Actually, this was a very original idea that I loved.
Alebrijes are imaginary beings made up of physiognomic elements of different animals, a combination of several animals, not only fantastic but also real. They’re handicrafts made with the technique of the cartonería, that they are painted with joyful colors and vibrant.
Alebrijes are one of the many wonders of Mexican art and a pride and the hallmark of Oaxaca. Having a alebrije or a collection of them at home is considered good luck and it is said that happiness will accompany anyone who owns one of these works of art. In addition, owning a alebrije is to possess the best of Mexican art, so vast, so colorful, so full of life and a beauty recognized internationally.
8. La Familia es primero
Even though The Book of Life is also another of my favorite movies, something made me even love more Coco than this.
It may sound a little… cliché, but for me the family has always been the most important thing. In fact, I quite identified with Miguel’s family. I could see in my own flesh not only my grandmother, but my uncles, my cousins and my other relatives. We don’t live in one house, we live in different places.
Traditionally my grandfathers are doctors, and they wanted my mother to be a doctor, but she preferred to study theater just as my father studied music. And there could be no doubt that her own daughter would also want to be an artist.
When I first went to Europe to visit the Universities, my grandmother, who repudiated the idea of being an artist, came to me one day and said to me: “It’s your life, you decide what you want and what you choose will be always good for me.”
The love of the family is so different and so unique, that to a certain point it made me realize that I do not need love of a couple if I have people that I can always talk to and who can support me too.
This song was definitely the best of the best. Full of feelings, full of dedication, I should applaud the effort for composers, I haven’t had the privilege of hearing it in English, but I think you should also listen to it in Spanish, and I say it because the song sounds infinitely cool. and with the voice of the characters, made my skin prickly and shed more tears.
“Hasta que en mis brazos tú estés… Recuérdame…”
10. Mama Coco
This, without a doubt, is my favorite. The entire character of mama Coco.
She may not appear more than some scenes from the entire film, but she is a very important and very captivating character. The relationship she has with Miguel is very special, an old mind woman and a big-hearted young man, the love of grandparents or great-grandparents is so strong and has no limits…
I have lived with my great-grandparents since I was two years old, and I loved them with all my heart just like them to me.
They are no longer with me…
But that does not mean that I have forgotten them. I remember them every day, every moment, when I least expect it, I sometimes dream about them. Sometimes I ask my grandparents how they were as young people, and I could imagine their lives in black and white films, where they wore dresses and suits.
The times of my great-grandfathers were hard, but were also beautiful, they enjoyed their entire life and were happy. Mama Coco was able to leave the world knowing that her father loved her and sang for the last time. Recuérdame with her great-grandchild.
What a beautiful scene, so simple, so lovely, that speaks for much.
Believe it or not, I loved Coco more than The Book of Life.
But I don’t think there has to be some anger cause somehow they seem to be something in como. For God’s sake, they do NOT seem at all, at least of the plot.
Is more than obvious that the producers and the cast made a mega effort to make the film an original work, and yes, it is original, cause there were so many unexpected twists, plus that, again, made me cry.
Don’t hate Coco, really, the movie is worth seeing, and it is such a beautiful and so cute way of putting the family theme.
The Book of Life talked about fear in being yourself: there is nothing wrong of being yourself and always follow your heart, while Coco talks about that it is okay to follow your dreams, but also think about your family, think about something that goes more beyond your expectations, but what you choose will always have the support of your family.
Two films focusing on Mexico, focusing on El Dia de los Muertos, two films that use direct themes, but that somehow made me realize what Life is like.
i commissioned this piece from the kind and talented @mesknoxx as a companion to chapter four of my fluffy season three fix it fic – we don’t talk very much (we just fake being nice) – in which clarke and lexa attend an azgeda coronation ball. this is the artist’s rendering of the dresses they wore.