'Coco:' There's Only 1 Living Thing in the Land of the Dead — Not Including Miguel and Dante, of Course

Plenty of colors appear throughout the land of the living in Coco, but there’s only one plant that makes an appearance in the land of the dead.

Here’s why Disney and Pixar filmmakers decided to put a spotlight on one plant while making this animated feature film.

‘Coco’ tells the story of one boy with a passion for music

How far would you go to seize your moment? The main character of this Pixar movie, Miguel Rivera, is passionate about music, even if the rest of his family disapproves. He decides to play in a talent competition, no matter what his Abuelita says.

Día de Los Muertos, a holiday celebrated in Mexico, comes with plenty of bright colors. Miguel’s mother explains that they need to make a clear path back to the Rivera home. The petals guide the ancestors and, apparently, they guide one member of the living. 

Miguel travels to the land of the dead on Día de Los Muertos

When Miguel steals his great-great grandfather’s guitar to play in the talent competition, he finds himself in the land of the dead, traveling along a bridge made of marigold petals. To be sent back to the land of the living, he needs his relative’s blessing, along with a glowing marigold petal. 

In the land of the living, viewers see grass, trees, and bushes. In the land of the dead, however, marigolds are the only living plant viewers find. That was an intentional distinction by the filmmakers.

“During their preliminary research trips to Mexico, the filmmakers learned that marigolds play a huge role in Día de Los Muertos: guiding the spirit of a loved one home,” Oh My Disney reports. “And it doesn’t hurt that they’re beautiful.”

There are a few Pixar ‘easter eggs’ hidden in ‘Coco’

Since its premiere, Coco earned the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

It became a favorite among fans for its colorful animation and heartwarming story about the importance of family. The attention to detail in Coco goes beyond the animation.

This movie included the correct notes played on any guitar by the characters and even the cleft in Ernesto De La Cruz’ chin while he’s in both the land of the living and the land of the dead.

In true Pixar fashion, there are plenty of Easter Eggs and nods to other films in this movie. A Pizza Planet truck, from Toy Story, passes by Miguel’s house. When Miguel is walking by the figures of Alebrijes, there’s a hidden Nemo among the animals. When Miguel travels to the land of the dead, there’s a skeleton version of The Incredibles’ poster.

Coco is available for streaming on Disney+, as are Pixar movies like Onward, Inside Out, The Incredibles, and A Bug’s Life. To learn more about Disney’s streaming platform and to subscribe, visit their website.

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