Sometimes, I think I’m cursed because of something that happened before I was even born. See, a long time ago, there was this family. The papa, was a musician. He and his family would sing and dance and count their blessings. But he also had a dream. To play for the world. And one day, he left with his guitar, and never returned. And the mama .. she didn’t have time to cry over that walkaway musician. After banishing all music from her life, she found a way to provide for her daughter. She rolled up her sleeves and learned to make shoes. She could have made candy, or fireworks or sparkly underwear for wrestlers, but no .. she chose shoes. Then she taught her daughter to make shoes and later, she taught her son-in-law. Then, her grandkids got roped in. As her family grew, so did the business. Music had torn her family apart, but shoes held them all together. You see, that woman was my great-great grandmother, Mama Imelda. She died way before I was born, but my family still tells her story every year on the anos de muertos – the Day of the Dead. And her little girl? She’s my great grandmother, Mama Coco. Mama Coco has trouble remembering things, but it’s good to talk to her anyway so I pretty much tell her everything. My abuelita? She’s Mama Coco’s daughter.
My abuelita runs our house as Mama Imelda did, no music. I think we’re the only family in Mexico who hates music and my family’s fine with that. But, me? I’m not like the rest of my family. I know, I’m not supposed to love music, but it’s not my fault.
Miguel grew up in the small village of Santa Cecilia where his family made shoes. Unlike the rest of his family, Miguel loved music. He would go to his secret hideaway where he learned to play guitar by watching video tapes of Ernesto de la Cruz, his idol, that had also grown up in Santa Cecilia. When he learned that there was a talent show happening in the plaza for the Dio De Los Muertos, he was determined that that he should seize that moment.
Almost getting caught by his abuelita with his guitar, Miguel hid it and his friend Dante, a street dog, under the ofrenda. It almost worked, until Dante tried to eat some of the food that was there for the family's ancestors and broke the frame surrounding Mama Imelda, Mama Coco and the no good musician that left.
That was when Miguel made a discovery, the man -the musician that left his family had a distinctive guitar. The same guitar that his idol used. He jumped to the conclusion that his great, great grandfather was Ernesto de la Cruz. That was why he loved music when no one else in his family did. That was why he was so different and he felt the connection to Ernesto. They were family! He announced that he was going to be a musician. Sadly, his abuelita did not take the news very well and smashed the guitar that Miguel had made.
Miguel grabbed the torn picture and yelled that he didn't want to be a part of the family anymore before running away. He ran straight to the plaza with Dante at his heels but without a guitar, Miguel couldn't play. Except... he got the bright idea to borrow Ernesto's guitar that was placed in his crypt. He apologized for breaking in and borrowing it and with one strum of the strings, something extraordinary happened, he could see the skeletons that came to visit their family. Like them, he was invisible to the living.
It was decided that it had to be connected to the reason Mama Imelda could not cross over to visit her family. Miguel's relatives took him to the Land of the Dead where they were told they were cursed. Because Miguel 'borrowed' from the dead - Ernesto's guitar - the only way to stop the curse and to send him back was to get his family's blessing. It should have been easy, except Mama Imelda hated music so much she put a condition on the blessing ... no music. Miguel lied and agreed, but the moment he was back in the Land of the Living, he strum the guitar, which instantly put him back in the Land of the Dead. So instead of agreeing to that condition, Miguel ran away again. This time to find Ernesto who he was sure would give him his blessing and let him still play music.
On his way to find his great, great grandfather Ernesto, Miguel found Hector who claimed to know him. Unfortunately, the only way in to see Ernesto was to win a talent contest. Hector helped, but before Miguel could claim his prize his Mama Imelda found him and he had to run away again. Together, he and Hector sneaked in and Miguel was able to meet his idol. It was discovered that Hector was actually Miguel's great, great grandfather, not Ernesto. Eventually the family was reunited after Mama Imelda gave her blessing with no strings attached except to follow your heart.
Miguel followed his heart back to his Mama Coco and sang the song Hector had always sung with his little daughter Coco. Remember Me. The family was finally reunited and Miguel could bring music into the family.
Dante is a Xolo dog AKA Mexican Hairless dog. He is Miguel's best friend and a street dog. He's with him through his journey into the Land of the Dead, and guides him to his true ancestor, Hector which makes him Miguel's alebrijes, a spirit guide. He actually transforms into one and can be in both the Land of the Dead and the Land of the Living. Dante will go with Miguel on his adventure at the Inn and only those that look at him through their "third eye" or have a connection to death would be able to see him in his alebrijes form. Otherwise, he looks normal - or as normal as Dante can look.
Personality: Playful, simple-minded, energetic, goofy, endearing, loyal, lovable, friendly, kind
Appearance: Slender Xoloitzcuintle with dark brown skin, pointed ears, black nose, wrinkled hair, long tongue, amber eyes
Life at the Inn