Representation of Life, Death and Afterlife in Mexican Culture: An Analysis of The Book of Life and Coco

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Naqui Ahamd John
Sushmita Soni


Mexican culture has a unique and rich tradition of representing life, death, and the afterlife in art and storytelling. This is particularly evident in the animated movies The Book of Life (2014) and Coco (2017), both of which draw heavily on Mexican folklore and mythology to explore these themes. In The Book of Life, the afterlife is depicted as a colourful and vibrant world, full of music, dancing, and celebration. The movie emphasizes the importance of honouring one's ancestors and remembering those who have passed away, while also acknowledging the pain and grief that comes with loss. Similarly, in Coco, the afterlife is depicted as a beautiful and mystical world, full of music and wonder. The movie explores the idea that death is not the end, but rather a continuation of life in a different form, and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a connection with one's ancestors and family history. Both movies also highlight the cultural significance of Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday that celebrates the dead. The movies depict various traditions associated with the holiday, such as creating ofrendas (altars) to honour the deceased, decorating grave-sites with flowers and offerings, and preparing special foods and drinks. These traditions serve as a way to remember and connect with loved ones who have passed away, and to celebrate the cycle of life and death. The Book of Life and Coco both offer a rich and nuanced representation of life, death, and the afterlife in Mexican culture. Through their use of vibrant imagery, music, and storytelling, the movies celebrate the importance of family, community, and tradition, while also acknowledging the universal experiences of loss and grief, and this will be looked up in the paper.


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Naqui Ahamd John, and Sushmita Soni. “Representation of Life, Death and Afterlife in Mexican Culture: An Analysis of The Book of Life and Coco”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 5, no. 1, Apr. 2020, pp. 58-68, doi:10.53032/tcl.2020.5.1.09.


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