The oldest skeleton of the bunch is the mustachioed man with the sombrero on the left, Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, who died in 1919. That was almost a century ago, but Zapata doesn't look like he's worried about his necrotic lease running out. After all, it's all but impossible to be forgotten if you're in the history books. The movie even shows some Aztec folks wandering around, implying heavily that as long as you were famous enough to have some historical significance, you're basically immortal. But when it comes to your ordinary person who lived a century ago, how long do they have before the death clock runs out once again?
But that's not even the bad news. You know who else we'll never be forgetting? Hitler. There's clearly no Heaven or Hell system in Coco, so everybody dead winds up in the same warm, fun place as long as their names keep rattling around in people's memories. Unknown soldiers, humble farmers, leper colony doctors -- all those extras of history are already gone. But Christopher Columbus, Vlad the Impaler, and Cracked archenemy Thomas Edison? They're not going anywhere. Osama bin Laden probably just finished applying for a thousand-year loan on his upper-level villa. The movie shows as a fact that both the wicked and the righteous get the same vacation of an afterlife, and that killers can dead it up with the rest as long as they have an IMDb page and some fans left. It's more Mount Olympus than Heaven -- a place where famous heroes and villains alike are rewarded with immortality. You and your loved ones? You'll be lucky if you get to aimlessly wander around for about a century before quietly drifting into nothingness surrounded by family. Sounds depressingly familiar, doesn't it?
So upon closer inspection, the biggest gift of Coco isn't its generous dose of art, music, or culture, but the most morally questionable afterlife in animation history. It teaches kids that only fame matters, and appearing in one viral YouTube video can earn you more mileage in the afterlife than living good and decently out of the spotlight. But hey, at least the ballads are catchy, right?
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