Source published on: 2021 ★★★★

Boy who wants to become a musician has to choose between his family and music. First he chooses the latter, but later he chooses to sacrifice his dream in order to help a friend, Héctor, who ends up being his great-great-great grandfather. In the end and as a side effect of his helping he ends up with both family and music.

The family, mainly the Abuela, allowed the boy to become a musician only after he played a song that made the grandma sing too and look very happy.

In the movie’s world, dead people who are still remembered can visit the living world once a year during the Día de los Muertos. And they leave this purgatory when nobody remembers them.


What did I learn? Irrationality (ignorance) is a source of suffering.

What’s the movie’s message? The selfless person effortlessly gets what the selfish can’t get no matter the effort.

Do you agree? I think this heuristic is on balance helpful, but make sure your intentions are truly selfless and be careful of takers (Give and Take) and toxic or dangerous people.

What did you like the most? The whole package: the way the story was told, the animation, the colors, the energy, the clearly-defined characters, the message.

What did you like the least? Kids with toxic, dangerous or irrationally afraid families might get the idea that they need to always prioritize their families over their own desires or callings. I have seen it happen several times.

Interesting connections

  • Selfless action: Give and Take, Bhagavad Gita’s do without doing.
  • Contrast: Movies with kids as main characters tend to have grandmothers as antagonists (Encanto, 2021).
  • Transitive PTSD: The family abhors music because of events that happened to their ancestors.
  • D&D: Skeletons (undead) can be intelligent and friendly.