Pixar’s newest animated movie, Coco, is meant to be a love letter to Mexico. The movie has a Latino cast. It’s full of Mexican music, culture and folklore — including some of the traditions around the Day of the Dead. And it premiered in Mexico, where it’s gone on to become the No. 1 film of all time. Now, audiences in the U.S. can see it.
The story follows 12-year-old Miguel Rivera, who yearns to be a great musician. But he has to hide his ambition — and his guitar — from his family of shoemakers who don’t approve. “No music,” he’s continually reminded by relatives who believe music cursed the family. His abuelita even raises her chancla, her sandal, at him when he dares to dream. “But my great-grandma Coco’s father was the greatest musician of all time,” Miguel declares.
Miguel idolizes Ernesto De La Cruz, a famous singer and actor from Mexico’s golden age of cinema. The suave, fictional matinee idol was created as an homage to crooner Pedro Infante. “Remember me, though I have to say goodbye,” he sings. “Remember me, don’t let it make you cry.” (This catchy anthem was written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the duo that penned Oscar-winning songs from the movie Frozen.)