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Pixar and family history? You might not see the connection right away, but check out the new movie, Coco, and it’ll make perfect sense.

Coco tells the story of Miguel, a young boy whose desire to discover and follow his great-great-grandfather’s legacy takes him on a colorful journey through the Land of the Dead. In this vibrant world, he meets many members of his family tree, who long to return to the world of the living on Día de Muertos (or Day of the Dead) to visit the loved ones they left behind. But here’s the catch—they can only do that if one of their living relatives still remembers them.

Just like Miguel’s ancestors, our own family members are counting on us to keep their memories alive. Preserving and sharing their pictures and stories can create a real-life bridge between us in the land of the living and our loved ones who have passed on. These memories enrich our family history, building a connection that goes beyond just a basic knowledge of dates and places.

Remember Your Ancestors with FamilySearch

Just saw Coco and want to know what you can do next to connect with your own family story? Try these three simple steps:

1. Discover

Begin exploring your family tree and check out your Memories gallery to see what photos or stories are already there.

2. Preserve

Find any old photos you or your relatives have, and start scanning them so they can be easily stored and shared. If you don’t have photos of your ancestors, use the Memories app to preserve the memories you’re making today.

3. Share

As you feel the joy of discovering your ancestors, share what you learn with the rest of your family. The photos and stories in your Memories gallery can be shared online, through social media, or at a family gathering.

For Rhonna Farrer and her family, that connection all started with a conversation. She had taken her family to see Coco over Thanksgiving weekend, and as they left the theater, many family members expressed how touched they were by the story. A few started asking questions about their own ancestors, and soon the whole family was engaged in an enthusiastic conversation about their heritage. Stories that had once seemed small and simple suddenly became exciting and compelling as personal connections were drawn between past and present. “It touched everybody—each of the generations, including the kids,” Rhonna said. “It started a whole dialogue about family history and the importance of remembering these people.”

Coco’s heartwarming story, full of tender family history messages, reminds us to remember our loved ones and tell their stories. Just as Miguel and his family learn, family history can be a powerful source of strength, hope, and healing in our lives as we do. It can help us better understand our own purpose in life, strengthen connections with our living family members, and repair family ties that have been damaged or broken. Most important, as we discover, preserve, and share the photos and stories of our ancestors, their memories can come to life for us and our families—and live on forever.

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