UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

REVIEW: Disney explores and celebrates Mexican Culture in ‘Coco’


The Office of Student Life’s Film and Speaker Series hosted a screening of Disney’s “Coco” Feb. 24 in the SSCB Lecture Hall. The movie was hosted in conjunction with the Texas State Teacher’s Association (TSTA) as well as the Campus Activities Board (CAB). There were two screenings (one at 3 p.m. and one at 6 p.m.), and in between these showings CAB and TSTA put on a festival in the SSCB lobby complete with face painting, games, goodie bags, coloring, marranitos, conchas and a photo booth.

The film is about a young boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a great musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz, despite his family’s ban on music that spans generations. Desperate to prove to himself and his family that he can be a great musical talent, Miguel finds himself transported from the Land of the Living to the visually astonishing Land of the Dead. After quickly teaming up with a quirky masquerader named Héctor, the pair end up embarking on a phenomenal, far-reaching journey to unravel the real story behind Miguel’s passion for music and the true story of his family history.

Before I saw the film, I was able to see the movie poster and it looked like the animated picture was going to be centered around a traditional, Hispanic family. Knowing that this was a Disney film, I was instantly worried that the culture would get misrepresented, and the film would fall flat. Luckily, this was far from the case. Diveanne Martinez, education major and is arguably the biggest Coco fan.

“As an individual of Hispanic heritage, ‘Coco’ represents something that goes deeper than its meaning of family,” Martinez said, “It gives a voice to the Hispanic community that is not always represented in film. It gives Hispanics everywhere hope for equal representation in films.”

Instead of a traditional speaker for the movie, the Office of Student Life’s Film and Speaker Series partnered with CAB and TSTA to have them put on a “Coco Festival” for the kids to have fun and learn a little bit about Mexican culture. This festival was in the lobby of the SSCB, and there was a lot to do. Along with the various decorations around the lobby, conchas (Mexican sweet bread) and marranitos (little gingerbread pigs) were served and tables were set up for the kids to paint and color. Along with the photo booth and a face painting station, there were various games for the kids to play and goodie bags to take home. It was a great time overall and nice to see the celebration of a different culture on campus.

To be frank, “Coco” was amazing. I was excited about seeing it because all my friends were raving about it. Thankfully, it was good! The display of the rich Hispanic culture was beautiful and more importantly, accurate.  The “Coco Festival” was the icing on the cake making this my favorite film of the series so far!