Before The Book of Life and Coco, There Was the Animated Short “Dia de los Muertos”

It was a cool 112° in Corona yesterday, so I opted to stay indoors and fill my afternoon by poking around on Pinterest and scoping out some of the old saves on my Halloween board.  One of the things I rediscovered was a short film from 2013 called “Dia de los Muertos.”  The film was created by Ashley Graham, Kate Reynolds, and Lindsey St. Pierre, a then student team from the Ringling College of Art and Design.

“Dia de los Muertos” celebrates the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.  It follows a young girl’s adventure in the land of the dead where she discovers the true meaning of the holiday: to celebrate the lives of lost loved ones rather than mourn their passing. The film was a college thesis for the three women and would go on to win a Student Academy Award Gold Medal in 2013.

The film has a similar feel to later full-length films The Book of Life and Coco. Interestingly, Graham would go on to work on the visual effects for The Book of Life where she worked as a lighting and compositing artist. With the excitement around the first full trailer release for Coco and the announcement of a sequel to The Book of Life, I figured this was one worth revisiting and sharing with all of you.

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