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'Coco' proves Latinos are best at telling their own stories

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

SAN DIEGO -- Hey Hollywood, it's time you asked: What can brown do for you? Scratch that. It's long past time.

The U.S. film industry is supposed to be the imagination capital of the world. Yet, for decades, producers, directors and studio executives -- most of them liberal -- couldn't imagine that the secret to successful Latino projects was to do something that liberals hate to do: surrender control to Latinos.

The creative left think they are the smartest, best and most enlightened people on Earth, and you want them to hand over the power of making films to people they apparently see as inferiors who are better suited to making beds, making lunch or making lawns look nice? You must be loco.

A Latina novelist recently revealed on social media that she tried to pitch a Hollywood executive on a story about a group of young Latinas at an Ivy League college. She failed. The movie guy -- a white male -- couldn't get beyond the setting. Wouldn't it be more realistic to put them in a state college, he suggested.

You can't fix stupid. I hope this guy's next movie is a western. He can play the south end of a horse headed north.

It turns out that a movie with a Latino theme, Latino writer, Latino co-director, Latino cast, and Latino consultants that isn't just meant for Latinos can crack open the pinata and send candy flying through the air.

--Sponsored Video--

The treats come in the form of the delightful hit movie "Coco," an animated musical that honors the Day of the Dead. The Disney and Pixar production has earned both critical acclaim and blockbuster box-office success. The film raked in an estimated $71.2 million over the long holiday weekend. It also took in another $82.2 million from foreign markets, most notably Mexico.

Oye Hollywood, can you hear us now?

Co-directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, who also wrote the screenplay, "Coco" centers on a 12-year-old Mexican boy named Miguel who wants to be a musician despite his family's objection. When a mishap takes him to the "other side," he meets his ancestors -- who, in death, give him a new lease on life.

The cast of "Coco" includes Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt and Alanna Ubach.

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