Since its release in late 2017, Coco – Pixar’s Día de Muertos movie – has racked up more than $500 million worldwide. The touching film – which tells the story of Miguel, a young boy who wants to pursue music, despite his family’s wishes – has earned rave reviews, but has also received criticism because a huge corporation profited from our stories. (And though Pixar brought on Mexican-American Adrian Molina to write and co-direct the film and hired Latino consultants, the complaints remain valid.) But one unexpected upside to the release of the film is that a Mexican town has seen an increase in business.
According to ABC 7, Paracho, Michoacán has seen a boom in sales since the release of the movie. In the movie, Miguel borrows (or rather takes without permission) a guitar belonging to his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, so that he can participate in a talent competition. The iconic guitar – which Miguel modeled his own homemade instrument after – is white with skull detailing throughout. And now indigenous artisans in Paracho are filling orders for people worldwide who want guitars that resemble the one in the film.
“The only thing we are doing is adding logos similar to the ones in the movie Coco, but the guitar in and of itself is the same,” Leopoldo Ignacio Hernández Ruiz, who creates 200 of these guitars on a weekly basis, told El Diario.
Salvador Meza Vargas, another artisan, adds that the guitars aren’t meant to be model replicas; they’re simply inspired by de la Cruz’s, making them a unique purchase.