Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Can we please all stop hating on something before it even comes out? Thank you.

No seriously, it's ridiculous that the second we see something mildly annoying to us, suddenly we must take some stand against it. I'm not saying you can't have negative reception to trailers, or artwork, etc. before watching the movie, I am however saying, that until the movie is released, and until you have seen the movie, you should not have a definitive opinion on why the movie sucks. 

Yes, I'm looking at you Book of Life fans, don't tell me how much Coco sucks because Book of Life came out a few years ago. 

Don't get me wrong, it's fine to worry if something looks bad, I mean, going by the marketing material, I haven't been the most impressed by Coco, but you know what I don't do to express my disappointment there? I don't declare the movie a mistake, nor do I declare that all Dia de Los Muertos movies must be canceled because one exists. Why would I ever consider doing such things? Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday filled with history, in fact, it's sort of about history, so why must we act like only one can exist? What because the themes are bound to be similar?  But hey, it's okay to have hundreds of Christmas specials about family and such every year huh? That's more okay, then seeing my people be represented right? Reserve your judgment and let my people be represented damn it. Yes, I see you, hater of Coco who is also Mexican, you sit the hell down too as I make my case.

I'm gonna divide this into three sections to keep things organized, that cool with you guys? Let's begin.


Yes, admittedly Coco has been pretty bad with the trailers so far, not awful, but it hasn't done much so far to convince me it's going to be a great film. Know what else is true? That can be said about most Pixar films, no seriously, it's almost tradition, we get a great teaser (we don't even get those anymore honestly) and then we get poorly made trailers. Don't believe me? Look back at some of their movies. Inside Out, Ratatouille and Finding Nemo are some of the most perfect examples for me on this, the trailers for those are some of the worst I've seen from the studio. I'm not even alone in that sentiment mind you, Pixar has been knocked around before for their bad trailers. So then, why does it suddenly matter so much to some? It shouldn't, Pixar has a track record of making quality films, sure not all are great, but the consistency should at least negate most of the criticism, especially when the biggest crime in the Coco trailers, is that they're pretty boring thus far, no seriously, that's the worst they've done.


So let's address this before we get to the big one, yes, in the most technical sense of the word, this is cultural appropriation, but it's not (at least from what we've seen and known) the disrespectful kind. I'll avoid going into detail for now, as that subject requires its own piece, but trust me, culture appropriation doesn't just exist in its most negative extremes. So why am I not bothered by it here? Well because it looks respectful, the people look as beautiful as my people do, the locales look authentic, in fact, there are Hispanic crew members that have been keeping the film in check. Add to all this we have cast members of the race, and you have a film that is positively diverse, so why are people mad? Most people loved Moana which was similar in approach, how is this suddenly different?

Before we get any further, let's address the trademark controversy from a few years ago, yes that was messed up. Disney/Pixar should've known better than to do that. That being said, luckily it didn't go through, and hey, it turns out they got the person who lead the campaign against that to be a consultant on the film, so isn't that nice? Not saying this is erased, or that Disney is now absolved of that mistake, but I just don't think we should cling to this as a problem of the film when that is hardly relevant to the film now.


Well here's the main complaint I've seen, it's too much like The Book of Life, well to you I say, SHUT.UP. That's not all but yes, please do. I like The Book of Life, I don't want to turn this into an argument of which is the good or bad one (by the way, easy for you to say Coco is the bad one when you haven't seen it), why can't we desire for two good Dia de Los Muertos movies? Do you hate A Christmas Story just because Christmas Vacation exists? If you do, I think you're a sad person honestly. "The plot is the same" screams the person who's yet to see the film, "there shouldn't be another movie on this holiday" screams the person who is okay with another holiday, getting movies between a few weeks apart, but hates seeing Dia de Los Muertos get another movie within three years, you get the idea. 

Look I get it, the film does have it's similarities to The Book of Life, in that it's based on the same holiday, features a family theme, has a musical subplot and... not much else. Well okay, yes the boy travels to the land of the dead, but let's be real, complaining that a Dia de los Muertos movie features the land of the dead, is like complaining a Christmas movie features the North Pole and/or Santa, it's almost guaranteed. As for the other things, It's a holiday about your ancestors, of course family is a theme, while the musical subplot is admittedly an unfortunate connection, I have two responses to that. For starters, Pixar has never done a movie with a heavy emphasis on music, so I'm curious to the see the studio tackle that. The second thing is, while a movie set in Mexico isn't guaranteed to be a musical, I will admit that music is a big part of my culture so I can forgive another animated film set in the country using the dream to be a musician. Besides, the execution looks to be different enough (In Book of Life the family thought any job outside of bullfighting was bad for the family of bullfighters, while in Coco the family just has a hatred of music based on an ancestor apparently being screwed over by a musician) so I don't know, why not just see how the film tackles the idea. It couldn't hurt to see if it turns out to be good.

One last thing before we end this, saying this sucks because it's not as special or as personal as The Book of Life is a dumb argument. Sure, it's probably not gonna feel like that, because the director isn't Mexican, but so what? That doesn't mean he, or the crew for that matter, haven't poured their heart into this. Besides what is special to you? Representation? because if that is, newsflash, this is still representing the people of Mexico. I mean me personally, I nearly cried seeing the still of Miguel's family in the film, I mean I adored The Book of Life, but just look at how my people are being represented here, they're beautiful, and they do remind me of people I've seen, these aren't dolls of my people, these are my people, and to me that already makes this feel special.


Coco may end up sucking, that's not an outcome I haven't considered, but you know what? I'm reserving my judgment until I've seen the film. I'm not gonna make blind assumptions, I'm not gonna act like it's got no chance to be good, I'm just gonna be open to see more representation, hope for the best, and I'll determine if it's good or bad for myself later this year, until you see it, I think you should do the same.

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  Written by Octaviano Macias 

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