Coco – Pixar’s upcoming Día de Muertos film – is so powerful that it drove audiences to tears in Mexico, where it opened in late October. The film was embroiled in controversy early on because of comparisons to another Day of the Dead movie, The Book of Life, and Disney trying to trademark the phrase Dia de los Muertos. But the studio attempted to turn over a new leaf and do its best at representing this cherished holiday. With the help of a Mexican co-director and consultants, strove for authenticity. At a time when Latinos still don’t see accurate portrayals of themselves on TV and movies and the federal government has done all it can to vilify them, this attention to detail is of utmost importance. That’s why Coco star Gael García Bernal – who voices Hector, a trickster in the Land of the Dead – dedicated the film to Latino children living in the United States.
At the film’s premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday night, Bernal said, “I want to dedicate this film to all the children who have ancestors from Mexico and Latin America. In this moment, these kids are growing up with a lot of fear because the established narrative says that they come from families that come from rapists, murderers, and drug traffickers. We are such a complex and profound culture, and these kids need to be empowered to stand up and say that hat is being said about them is a complete lie.”
And people couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. Check out a few reactions below: