As a kid I didn’t like Disney movies, to be honest, besides The Lion King, the typical story of the princess that awaits her prince wasn’t my thing, and even less when I found out the dark real stories, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t love the new Disney movies now, they are more feel-good and relatable and yes, as embarrassing (or not?) and somewhat creepy as it is, I am sitting in the cinema between all these kids every time a new movie is released.
There are things you don’t notice as a kid, but as an adult, I feel like you truly watch and enjoy the movie because now you understand the ‘adult jokes’ and understand why the characters do what they do.
These are the movies that in my opinion, have lot of meaning and a big message to send, that I very much recommend. Beware of spoilers.
The newest Disney movie. A story about life, purpose, and finding the thing that makes you. Joe Gardner is a music teacher who has always dreamed of becoming a jazz star. When his big break finally comes, he dies before getting the chance to do it. He refuses to die, so he runs away from “The Great After” into “The Great Before”. There, he meets 22, a soul who hasn’t found her “spark” yet and therefore is not ready for life. Joe makes a deal to go back to Earth and accidentally brings 22 with him, who lands in his body and Joe lands in a cat’s body. There, 22 finds her spark, which is simply enjoying the little things in life. They are both brought back to the Great Before, and 22 finds that she gained her Earth stamp, which means she’s ready for life. She gives it to Joe as part of the deal they had, and Joe goes back to Earth. His dream comes true, and he realises he isn’t as happy as he thought he would be, and that he would just do it every night as a routine. He finds 22’s things on his pocket and decides to visit her in “the zone”. In the end, Joe gives the stamp back to 22 and accompanies her on her way to Earth before going to the Great After. Joe is offered a second chance in life and this time he is ready to (truly) live and appreciates every moment.
It is all about love, grief, change and acceptance. This is the story of two teen elf brothers who lost their father. On Ian’s 16th birthday, he gets a present from their father, a magical staff which they can use to bring him back for a day. The spell is not done fully and only half of the dad’s body appears, the brothers then go on a journey to find a new stone to finish the spell and bring their dad back complete. Ian has always missed his father but in the end, he realises that there is somebody who has always been there with him, his brother Barley. Everything Ian would have wanted to do with his dad, he has done with his brother, and realises that it is his brother Barley who needs to say goodbye to his dad. Later, Colt, the mom’s boyfriend becomes part of the family.
Coco has a special meaning for me because it portrays my culture, but also because of how well it is portrayed. It is about life, mostly death and joy (yes, weird). It is about loving and remembering with happiness our deceased ones, who we believe, come back to visit us on Dia de Muertos. I guess it is something to feel good about when dying. The story is about Miguel, a boy who wants to become a musician like his great-great-grandfather Ernesto de la Cruz, but because he abandoned his wife and daughter Coco, music is forbidden in Miguel’s family. Miguel enters the talent show for Dia de Muertos but with his guitar broken, he decides to borrow his great-great grandfather's guitar from his mausoleum in the cemetery. When he plays the guitar, he becomes invisible (to the living) and he sees his deceased relatives, who take him to the Land of the Dead. He must return to the Land of the living before sunrise or well, he dies. He needs the blessing of a relative to go back, but his great-great grandma Imelda will only give it to him with the condition of no music ever. Miguel decides to look for Ernesto de la Cruz’s blessing instead, and on the way, he finds someone who can help him with the condition of putting his picture in the ofrenda so he can visit his family. In the end, Miguel uncovers a secret about his family that reunites everybody and helps his great grandma Coco remember her dad with a special song he wrote for her. After this, everybody including great grandma Coco comes visit on the Day of the Dead.
I love these movies the most (and I have cried a little). I think they are inspiring and a reminder of the important things in life. The generation that is watching these movies growing up will probably have a different perspective too, which is good!