When I was a child I didn’t really pay much attention to who played what role in a film much less in a cartoon. At least I didn’t realize I paid attention. The other day an old episode of Wonder Woman was playing and one of the first things I wanted to share with JustaBXgirl was that Wonder woman was played by a Latina actress. I couldn’t have been much older that JustaBXgirl when I somehow overheard that Wonder Woman was Latina. That changed everything for me. I mean, as a girl growing up in the 1980s there weren’t many other female superheroes for me to look up to but hearing Wonder Woman was Latina (I didn’t really get the difference at the time) made her somehow more mine.
I think that same need for representation played a part when I heard about the latest Disney Pixar movie Coco being made. Yes, the trailer looked cute. Yes, it’s a Disney film so I would see it even if it was a cartoon about paint drying. Yes, I’ll probably be singing the soundtrack at least until the new year. What really made me excited though was hearing that this movie was doing something no other movie has done, this movie featured an all-Latino cast! How crazy is that? Think about all of the movies ever made in the USA. There has never been one that was all Latino before regardless of the setting. We’ve come a long way baby since the times of West Side story when they cast other ethnicities to play Puerto Ricans.
Did I love this movie because it had an all-Latino cast? Nope, I loved this movie because visually it is beautiful to watch. Wait until you see the marigold bridge. I loved this movie because it made me laugh, many times. I loved this movie because it wasn’t a simple story but one that was complex yet easy for children to keep up with. I loved this story because it was about family. I loved this story because it was about traditions and about what happens when we lose our traditons. I loved this movie because the music was beautiful and moved the story along. And I loved this movie because it had an all-Latino cast.
My family doesn’t celebrate Dia De Los Muertos. I was worried that by not being part of the tradition the movie might not hold my interest or lose me as I wouldn’t understand some of the background. I was wrong. I was really wrong. The story pulled me in from the beginning. I worried that being a movie about death it might be too dark and scary for JustaBXgirl. She is still sensitive at times even though she has no problems watching animals hunt and attack on documentaries. I was wrong. This movie explained the tradition for those of us that do not celebrate. This movie bridged life and death in a way that made it beautiful as opposed to scary.
At the end of the day, this movie is a reminder of how important family is. As a parent, this movie is a great reminder that we are not always right. This was a great movie to see at the start of the holiday season because it puts you in the mood to connect with loved ones. It puts you in the mood to consider other people’s points of view. And it leaves us with another great soundtrack!