Name: Natalia Martin
Instructor’s Name: Ava Wilson
Course: ENC 1102
Themes and Symbols in Coco Movie Juxtaposed with the Societal Norms
There is a misguided notion that exists in most adults that animated movies are for kids and young adults. It is a misconception that should be discarded in this 21st century. We are used to a story being narrated to us in standard films, and that is when perceive whatever is being echoed with much seriousness. Well, the themes and symbols presented in animated movies are equivalent to those of conventional films. Animation tries to embrace art in its presentation of ideas which is fun and quintessential application of artistry. For one to fully grasp the message being conveyed in an animated movie, the first thing to do is destroy the belief that animation is just improved cartoon figures. Animation should not be taken at face value but should be assessed at all angles. The Coco movie is among the animation that has a lot to reflect upon concerning the society with its rich themes and symbols (Mou, p.12).
The primary protagonist in Coco animated movie is a twelve-year-old adamant teenager called Miguel. Through him we find various themes encompassed in the film (Goel & Upadhyay, p.150). His stubbornness to play music (something that his family vehemently dislikes), leads to his trapping in the land of the dead. The theme of respect for family ties is brought in the limelight. Initially, Miguel was neither disrespectful to the elderly in his family nor did he embrace their advice. The journey to the land of the dead was an eye-opener to the teenager as he develops great enamor for his family and treasures each memory on return to the area of the living.
Death has always been a controversial topic for everyone. It is something that we cannot avoid, but the best we can do is accept the thought no matter how painful it is. The movie presents death as a resumption of life in another dimension (the land of the dead). Life after death is displayed as being colorful. Coco makes a light paint of death which is always given much weight in other films. The skeletons can quickly snap off their arms and use them as weapons under an attack.
Cultural diversity is another topic being emphasized in the movie. Both kids and adults can learn about the holiday Dia de Los Muertos and its traditions (Santos, p.80). The holiday commemorates two groups of the deceased, children on 1st November and adults on 2nd November. In Mexico, it is very significant and would entail the whole family being awake the entire night as they cherish their memories. There is also the aspect of ofrenda (altar) that is customarily loaded with food, pictures, and beverages to honor the dead while checking on the four elements; water, wind, earth, and fire.
The society we live in has a lot to borrow a leaf from the Coco the animated film. Miguel represents the typical teenage life that is characterized by following their passions. A lot of teenagers would do anything to pursue their dreams even if it means going against the societal norms. Most millennials feel they are out of place in the world that is dictated by elders. It is a struggle every teenager has to face especially if his/her aspirations are not in tandem with the family expectations. Therefore, a call for the need for intervention and amends being made. Understanding is the missing piece of the puzzle and results to a fight between communal anticipations versus teenage desires. Rarely do we hear discrimination against a particular cultural belief. Most religions support the idea of life after death. The distinction may be the manner in which each presents the idea.
Goel, D, Upadhyay, R. “Effectiveness of use of Animation in advertising: A Literature Review.” International Journal of Scientific Research in Network Security and Communication. Vol 5, Issue 3. (2017): 146-159.
Santos, N. “Hollywood’s Bronze Screen: Hispanics and Latinos in the US Films.” Latin X Voices. (2018): 77-99.
Mou, T. “Keyframe or Motion Capture? Reflections on Education of Character Animation.” EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. Vol 14. (2018): p.12
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