Celebrate the Day of the Dead with us
The story of the Day of the Dead is fascinating, and dates back thousands of years, when pre-Hispanic cultures gathered to celebrate death, life and rebirth. Its aim was to accompany the dead on their way to Mictlan, the underworld of Aztec mythology.
With the arrival of the Spaniards, November 1st and 2nd was set as the official date of this celebration. On the night of the first, they remember those who died at a young age, whereas on the night of the second, they honor those who died at an old age. The construction of an altar for the dead family members is part of the tradition, and includes a few key elements. The catrinas represent equality between the wealthy and the poor, the cempasuchil, a flower, symbolises festivity, the bread represents fraternity and affection, the candles help the souls to get to their old homes, and, lastly, a portrait of the deceased, which must be hidden in a way that can only be seen through a mirror, to imply that the loved one can be seen, but is no longer with them. These altars are essential for the stay of souls to be more pleasant.
The cinematic world has tried to portray this celebration in many ways. Movies have helped us learn more about this beautiful ancient tradition. The famous director Sergei Eisenstein, creator of Battleship Potemkin (1925), said that the most incredible event that must be captured on camera is the Day of the Dead in Mexico.
Some of the most popular movies, especially those for the young public, are animated. That’s why MFC has chosen four animated movies to honor the Day of the Dead and share some quality time with the fam while watching amazing stories.
The Book of Life (2014)
This movie takes us through Mexican tradition in a not so typical love story that teaches us the value of friendship and the importance of keeping our memories alive. All of this plus some humorous scenes that appeal to both youngsters and adults.
Original title: The Book of Life. Director: Jorge R. Gutiérrez. Cast: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum. Genres: Animation, comedy, romance.
What would happen if we could meet our deceased relatives? Through the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead, Miguel explores his origins, finds his place within the family and learns how his family ties have intertwined through time. This movie is about life, family, memories and the connection we have with our ancestors. Coco won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song in the 2018 Academy Awards ceremony.
Original title: Coco. Director: Adrián Molina, Lee Unkrich. Cast: Anthony Gonzales, Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garcia Bernal, Edward James Olmos, Jaime Camil. Genres: Animation, adventure.
The Big Wish (2019)
With a bit of comedy, this movie tells us the story of Salma, a young woman that is trying to find her parents. One day she finds a clue that will be her ticket for a journey full of adventures, ghosts, skulls and mysterious people.
Original title: Día de los muertos. Director: Carlos Gutiérrez Medrano. Cast: Fernanda Castillo, Alan Estrada, Memo Aponte. Genres: Animation, adventure.
The legend of Nahuala (2007)
If you like horror stories, this one is a must. Leo San Juan is always scared by the stories his older brother tells him. One of them is The legend of Nahuala in which an evil witch wonders about looking for the soul of an innocent kid to bring her back to life… What will happen next?
Original title: La leyenda de la Nahuala. Director: Ricardo Arnaiz. Cast: Fabrizio Santini, Martha Higareda, Rafael Inclán, Germán Robles, Ginny Hoffman, Ofelia Medina. Genres: Animation, fantasy.
Now that you know a little bit more about the Day of the Dead and you have four incredible recommendations, start your own marathon of animated movies!
And wait, don’t forget to leave us a comment to let us know which film you liked the best and to follow us on our social media.