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Pixar did it again with the release of their 2017 film, Coco.
One of their best offerings to date, Coco tells the story of a young boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a musician, and helps his family heal from long-buried trauma along the way.
Of course, no Pixar movie is complete without all of the fun stuff they pack in to keep parents amused, too, so here are the things in Coco only adults notice.
"What did I miss?"
Pixar shoutouts
Pixar is famous for putting lots of Easter eggs and nods to other Pixar films in their movies, and Coco is no different.
For starters, Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story manifest in piñata form, along with Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc.
Additionally, Marlin, Dory, and other characters from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory can also be spotted on the table selling alebrijes that Miguel briefly drums.
Sid's famous skull shirt from Toy Story is sported by the pouty synthesizer musician during the talent show, and Nemo himself graces the family ofrenda.
And just like every Pixar movie, the Pizza Planet truck makes an appearance, only this time, it's Pizza Planeta.
Old school tech
In the land of the dead, citizens rely on walkie-talkies for quick, local communication.
Agents at the Department of Family Reunions use typewriters or old Apple computers from the 1980s and 1990s.
The clerk has piles of papers, a rotary phone, and an adding machine on his desk.
When Miguel implores Hector to help him meet Ernesto de la Cruz, he pulls him into a phone booth for privacy.
Little kids might recognize some of the older technology, but adults are sure to feel a slight pang of nostalgia.
Dante
Dante may be super silly, but there's more to him than it seems.
He's not just a funny dog with a wagging tongue — he's Miguel's alebrije.
In the world of Coco, that means he is his spirit guide and responsible for Miguel, which is an important mission for any creature.
There's more to know about Dante that's not obvious to kids in the movie.
For one, he's a Xoloitzcuintli (or Xolo for short), which is an iconic, hairless dog breed famous in Mexico.
In Aztec mythology, Xolo dogs were sacred creatures who could move between both the land of the living and the land of the dead.
Additionally, Dante's name could very well be a nod to Italian poet Dante Alighieri.
Dante penned the famous Divine Comedy, one of the most famous works of fiction ever to revolve around a journey through the afterlife.
"It's just Dante!"
"Never name a street dog!
He'll follow you forever!"
Pour one out
One of the many emotional scenes in Coco is Hector's visit with Chicharrón, a friend and neighbor of Hector's in the land of the dead.
On the way there, Hector stops and grabs two shot glasses of tequila so he and Chicharrón can share a drink.
However, Chicharrón's remains scatter into the breeze before they can imbibe together.
In response, Hector drinks down his shot and places it upside down next to the untouched drink.
That's a nod to a tradition in several cultures of pouring out alcohol for your deceased loved.
Frida Kahlo
Arguably the most famous Mexican artist of all time, Frida Kahlo and her work are celebrated in Coco.
The iconic painter, who's known for featuring a variety of creatures and objects in her work such as monkeys, Xolo dogs, and fruit of all kinds, has these things all around her in the film.
Her alebrije is a monkey, for example, and she calls Dante "the mighty Xolo dog."
Even her unibrow gets several shout-outs in the film, such as when Hector is busted for "falsifying a unibrow".
Miguel's family also bristles when they rip off their unibrows later, when they're all disguised as Fridas.
It makes perfect sense that Kahlo is a famous celebrity in the land of the dead, since she's much more famous posthumously than she was when she was alive.
"Yes, it is I, Frida Kahlo."
"It is an honor, señora."
"Gracias!"
Fertile metaphors
Kahlo is also well-known for depicting her face and body in her paintings, and some of the complicated issues that come with being a woman.
Pixar somehow figured out a way to reference multiple explicit paintings through her performance scene in Coco in a child-safe way, while also making sure adults watching would immediately see the nod.
Tiny Frida Kahlos crawl out of a papaya, and nurse on a cactus: both metaphors for female anatomy, and both referencing specific paintings we can't exactly show here.
Adult viewers will notice this right away, though, and so do the characters in the film.
"Is it too obvious?"
"I think it's just the right amount of obvious?"
Cameos galore
If you're not familiar with Mexican culture you might miss it, but the El Santo character is based on a real person.
El Santo was an extremely famous luchador whose wrestling career spanned decades, from the 1930s to the 1980s.
He even starred in films; most notably, 1970's The Land of the Dead, which showcased El Santo traveling to the underworld.
There are also other nods to famous Mexican celebrities and legends which young kids won't pick up on.
El Santo's red carpet date is María Félix, a famous Mexican actress.
Actors Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete, long famous in Mexico, get a hug from de la Cruz at his mansion blow-out.
You can also spot a nod to comedian Cantinflas, who's wearing his iconic paper hat in the same scene.
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Things Only Adults Notice In Coco

47223 Folder Collection
Evangeline published on August 27, 2018    Kylie Tai translated    Evangeline reviewed
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