Movie Recommendation: Coco (2017) – On Family Loyalty and Constellations


I have recently watched a fascinating cartoon, high on emotions related to family and family loyalty. The story seems to be unfolding as a Family Constellation. Characters are very well depicted and highly expressive, you can almost feel the characters’ love towards the other members of their families.


The movie introduces the story of Miguel and his family. The story starts from the idea that, because of the fact that something unacceptable has happened to Miguel’s family, all the members of his family hate music. Nobody in his family is ever allowed to sing or play an instrument. Music is like a curse to them.

“Sometimes I think I’m cursed”, says Miguel from the very beggining of the movie. “’Cause of something that happened before I was even born”.


Little Miguel wishes he would sing and play, become a musician, but his family forbids it. He tries to play in secret, and one day, when he thinks he discovered the fact that his great-great-grandfather used to be a famous musician, he decides to disclose in front of his entire family his wish to become a musician. The entire family rejects his idea of becoming a musician. His grandmother breaks his guitar and so he flees from home to the Mariachi Plaza, where he intends to take part in a talent show. But, since he doesn’t have a guitar anymore, he is trying to find one on the spot. While looking for one, he reaches the underworld, where he begins his journey to receive his ancestors’ blessing in order to become a musician.

The story takes place on the holiday that celebrates the dead, on a day when the souls of the dead meet the living. In Miguel’s family this day is a very important one, there is a family altar with pictures of everyone in the family and the members bring offerings for the dead.



The story seems to be structured as a Family Constellation:

  1. Miguel expresses his wish to become a musician, under the existing conditions of his family forbidding it.
  2. After presenting his family position and his wish, he contacts his ancestors’ souls and finds out their tangled situations.
  3. Miguel finds out the truth about the rejection in his family and participates in healing the family wound.


The Love Laws in Family Constellations

One of the love laws in Family Constellations is: “All persons have an equal right to belong in a family system”.


Also read the article: Family Constellations


When somebody is rejected from his family system, suffering appears. One of the members of the family will try to reintegrate the excluded by creating and developing a suffering similar to the excluded one.


In this movie, Hector, Imelda’s husband, was a musician. They had a daughter together, Coco. Hector wanted to go around the world and sing. One day, he packed his bags and went away, leaving Imelda and the little girl at home. On order to cope with the suffering, Imelda wanted her little daughter to forget Hector completely and excluded him from the family altar. She gave up music and started making shoes, and later the entire family learned how to make shoes in order to earn a living.

Coco grew up and got married, and had a daughter of her own, Elena. Elena is Miguel’s grandmother, and Miguel is the main character in this story.

The hate Imelda felt against Hector was transferred on music and she forbade singing, playing and enjoying music in the family. In her turn, Coco ruled the house applying the same rules, no music, and Elena, Coco’s daughter, did the same. Hate was transmitted over generations down to Miguel. Miguel loved music and wanted to become a musician, but he too was forbidden to sing. Music was like a curse for this family, because this was the fact that determined Hector leave home and abandon his family.

In the beginning, Miguel fought his family in order to make them accept him for who he was, and that is a musician. He would even give up on his family for this. The risk was that history would repeat itself and Miguel would have left home for good as well in case he wasn’t accepted with his music.

So, the story is set so it can become a “family constellation”. While running towards the Mariachi Plaza, following his heart and wanting to sing, Miguel reaches out to the souls of the dead in his family, entering the underworld. Exactly like in family constellations, the characters in the underworld are alive. They live in the child’s soul. On this realm, he has the opportunity to contact the soul of his great-great-grandfather and to find out the truth about what actually happened many years ago and free himself from that past and also free his family from the pain Imelda felt when Hector left. Miguel has the role to reintegrate Hector into the soul of the family, as well as on their altar.

When all the members of our family find their place in our heart, it is then we feel complete and free to grow.




Watch Coco Official US Teaser Trailer: