Salvador Meza has been making guitars since he was a boy, but his leathery
hands have never had to churn them out as fast as now — thanks to the hit movie “Coco.”
Meza, 41, is one of many renowned guitar-makers in the Mexican town of
Paracho, which has been producing crafted guitars since the 18th century.
But the sleepy colonial town has never seen a boom like this — all because of
“Coco,” this year’s Golden Globe winner for best animated film and a box
office smash that has grossed more than $500 million so far.
Set in Mexico, the movie tells the story of Miguel, a young boy who longs to
Be a musician but is growing up in a family where music is forbidden.
Fate thrusts into his hands a white guitar incrusted with mother-of-pearl,
topped with gold tuning pegs and a stylized black skull
The skull, like the film itself, is a playful tribute to Mexico’s Day of the Dead,
a festival of colorful costumes, decorations and sweets during which,
according to tradition, the dead come back to visit the living.
Director Lee Unkrich has called the film a “love letter to Mexico,” and
Mexico loves it back: it is the country’s highest-grossing movie of all time.
The animators at Pixar, the studio behind the film, based Miguel’s guitar on
a real-life version made by an artisan from Paracho — and demand for
replicas now has the town’s luthiers working in overdrive. …