The holidays always brings out wholesome family friendly films and one I know I was looking forward to this year was Pixar’s highly anticipated animated film “Coco.”

It came out on Thanksgiving Day and dominated the box office. The concept of the film is based on the Mexican holiday El Dia de Los Muertos and depicted the tradition in a way many people can understand and relate to.

Once director and writer Lee Unkrich received the green light to start the creation of “Coco,” his excitement quickly turned to anxiety for fear that he would not be able to connect with his audience since he is not of Mexican descent.

“I felt an enormous responsibility on my shoulders to do it right, to do everything I could to set us up for success, to surround ourselves with experts, to immerse ourselves in Mexican culture as much as we could,” Unkrich said in an interview with The Verge.

In the opening scene, Unkrich tells the background of the story by using a form of common Dia de Los Muertos décor, papel picado, or “cut paper.”

If you’ve experienced a Dia de Los Muertos celebration, then you’ve probably seen these papers.

Each is as elaborate as the next and Unkrich did a great job depicting their complexity.

The film also touches on the subject of death but not in the way most may think.

In Mexico, day of the dead is a day to celebrate the death of your ancestors and one of those ways is to put up an ofrenda, or an offering, which usually consists of food, such as tamales, a common Mexican dish, because the dead need their energy, too.

Unkrich puts a creative spin on this by showing candy-skulled skeletons grabbing the food and taking it back to their town in the afterlife.

The outcome was a flawless execution of a story that needed to be told. Today is a time where our president is trying to build a wall around America’s deeply cultured neighboring country of Mexico,

It’s refreshing to see a company as big as Pixar bring to light a tradition that otherwise has little representation.

Jessica Prado