Día de Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that takes place every year on November 1 and 2. It’s well known as a stunningly beautiful holiday, with colourful and intricate decorations as families and friends throw one massive party – one that their dead loved ones are invited to attend. There are also some great movies about the holiday that are essential viewing.
It’s said that during Día de Muertos, the border between the World of the Living and the Land of the Dead is open. The holiday is a celebration of lost loved ones, a time for sharing jokes and laughter and fond memories.
If you’d like to learn more about Día de Muertos, there are a number of films that showcase the holiday’s beauty.
Movies about Día de Muertos
Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life
If you’re looking to really learn something about this fascinating holiday, this documentary is a great place to start. Exploring the origins and customs associated with Día de Muertos, Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life will educate you about what it’s really like to celebrate this sacred holiday.
Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life is currently available on YouTube.
Coco is a gorgeous animated Pixar film that follows Miguel, a 12-year-old boy who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. To get back home, he seeks the help of his great-great-great grandfather — who also manages to help lift his family’s ban on music. This is a special film that will have you feeling all the feelings.
You’ll learn a lot about Day of the Dead through watching Coco; you might even shed a tear or two (we sure did!).
Coco is currently streaming on Disney+.
If you want to learn more about Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) through an absurdist lens, then Macario is the movie for you.
When three mysterious deities visit the impoverished peasant Macario and his wife, they prepare his favourite turkey meal for them. The three apparitions are The Devil, God and Death.
Macario has to make a deal with the three apparitions and decide who he wants to give the turkey to. His choice will then trigger a series of consequences.
It also has a 100% Rotten Tomato score, so that should be as good as any other recommendation we give you.
Macario is available to watch on YouTube.
The Book of Life
The Book of Life is another animated movie about Día de Muertos but is not as emotional as Coco, so you’re safe with this one (maybe).
In a bid to save the love of his life Manolo, a young man torn between the expectations of his family and following his heart, sacrifices himself to be transported to the Land of the Remembered. It is here that he reunites with his passed ancestors and takes control of his life.
This movie takes you through three whimsical and fantastic worlds as Manolo has to face his greatest fears. It’s visually stunning and a very heartwarming story.
The Book of Life is currently streaming on Disney+.
If you’re looking for more information about the Day of the Dead, check our other explainer article out.