How to Celebrate Day of the Dead Down Under


As the spooky season creeps up in Oz, it’s hard not to notice the eerie vibe taking over. Though Halloween isn’t traditionally an Aussie thing, it’s gaining popularity, with more folks joining in the fun each year. And hey, who doesn’t love a good scare and a handful of lollies? But if you’re keen on a less spooky, more family-friendly approach, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of films that, while not tied to our culture, bring about a sense of community, remembrance, and a dash of adventure – all with a side of the supernatural.

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As the final day of the Day of the Dead dawns, the atmosphere is a blend of solemnity and celebration. This Mexican tradition, spanning from October 31st to November 2nd, is a heartfelt homage to the dearly departed. It’s a time where families come together to remember, honor, and celebrate the lives of their loved ones who have passed on. Rich in cultural heritage and infused with a unique blend of indigenous and Catholic traditions, the Day of the Dead is much more than a singular event; it’s a continuum of love and memories that bridge the earthly and the ethereal. The vibrant marigolds, intricately designed sugar skulls, and altars adorned with photos and mementos, all contribute to a tapestry of tradition that tells tales of lives lived and the indelible marks left behind.

Now, even in the sunburned country, we can borrow a leaf from our Mexican mates and create a cozy cocoon of remembrance and revelry right in our living rooms. Though we’re a fair dinkum distance away from the heart of Mexico, the essence of the Day of the Dead can be kindled in the heart of the family. As the day winds down, why not gather the tribe, raid the lolly stash, and settle in for a night of cinematic adventure with the aforementioned flicks? With each narrative exploring themes of family, tradition, and the ever-present connection between the living and the dead, it’s a splendid way to tip our hats to a tradition that, while not our own, shares the universal values of love, remembrance, and family. So go on, grab a handful of sweets, hit the lights, and let the reels roll into a night of culture-infused entertainment.

“Coco” (2017)

How to Celebrate Day of the Dead Down Under

We kick off with Pixar’s heart-tugging tale, Coco. It’s about young Miguel’s unexpected journey to the Land of the Dead, where he bumps into his ancestors and learns a thing or two about the importance of family. With its eye-popping visuals and heartwarming storyline, it’s a ripper choice for a family movie night.

“The Book of Life” (2014)

"The Book of Life" (2014)
How to Celebrate Day of the Dead Down Under

This animated beauty follows Manolo, a young bloke caught between his family’s expectations and his dream of strumming a guitar. As he navigates through the realms of the remembered and forgotten, he comes to value love, bravery, and a bit of self-discovery. With its vibrant animation and toe-tapping tunes, The Book of Life is a delightful way to introduce a bit of supernatural charm to the young ones.

“Corpse Bride” (2005)

"Corpse Bride" (2005)
How to Celebrate Day of the Dead Down Under

Here’s a darker, yet whimsical tale by the master of macabre, Tim Burton. Corpse Bride spirals around Victor, who finds himself betrothed to a deceased bride. As he scuttles between the world of the living and the dead, it’s a whimsical exploration of love and understanding the finer nuances of life and death.

“Macario” (1960)

"Macario" (1960)
How to Celebrate Day of the Dead Down Under

Taking a leap back in time, Macario is a classic that spins the yarn of a poor woodcutter who receives a special gift from Death itself. Though it’s a tad mature for the little tackers, it’s a thought-provoking watch for the older kids and grown-ups, delving into themes of mortality and the fleeting nature of desire.

“La Leyenda de la Nahuala” (2007)

"La Leyenda de la Nahuala" (2007)
How to Celebrate Day of the Dead Down Under

Lastly, we have a thrilling animated journey with young Leo San Juan, who sets off to save his brother from a haunted house. Facing spirits and mythical creatures, he learns about age-old legends in a tale filled with humour, action, and a dash of tradition.

While these flicks hail from lands afar, the themes of family, remembrance, and a good old adventure resonate with us all. So, as the eerie season descends upon the land Down Under, why not gather the clan, pop one of these films on, and enjoy a cozy night in with a sprinkle of supernatural fun. Whether it’s embracing new traditions or simply enjoying a good yarn, it’s all about being together with the ones you love. So, chuck on your comfiest trackies, grab a bowl of popcorn, and settle in for a night of family-friendly frights!

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