Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Movie I Didn't Get to See

Usually when I am down here in Mexico City, Alejandro and I go once or twice to the movie theater.  This time, however, we never got around to it, even though there was a movie that we both wanted to see.

I am not a really big fan of animated movies, but I do want to see Disney's latest film, "Coco".  It takes place in Mexico and revolves around the Day of the Dead celebrations.  It will not open in the United States until November 22nd, but here in Mexico it had its premiere the weekend before the Day of the Dead.  The film has already broken box office records in Mexico with more than 16 million tickets sold.

However, when plans were originally made to produce the film, there was an enormous backlash from Mexicans and the Mexican community in the U.S.  Disney had applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for rights to the phrase "Day of the Dead" for its merchandising of the movie.  How do you get an exclusive trademark for the name of a holiday?!  Disney relented, and renamed the movie "Coco", the name of the main character. 

The film crew visited Mexico five times to study settings for the film and to study the Day of the Dead traditions.  The skeleton characters in the movie are references to famous Mexican actors and singers of the past such as María Félix, Cantinflás, Jorge Negrete, and Dolores del Río... references that will be lost upon the gringo audience, but which will be immediately recognized by Mexican viewers.

Well, I guess that I will have to see the movie back home in the U.S.


  1. I saw "Coco" this weekend, and very much enjoyed it. I found that it could've been shorter - and the "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" cartoon short that preceded it was terrible - but vibrantly colorful and culturally sensitive in the best Pixar tradition.

    1. I saw it too... and I loved it! Having just returned from Mexico and its Day of the Dead celebrations, it really resonated with me.