In Disney’s movie Coco (2017), Miguel is cursed for stealing from the dead, which is the reason he ends up in the land of the dead, as it is explained by a clerk:

Well, you're cursed.

The family gasps.


The clerk searches through a huge stack of papers.

Día de los Muertos is a night to
GIVE to the dead. You STOLE from the dead.

But I wasn't stealing the guitar!

And he proceeds to explain how breaking the curse would be easy because it is a family matter:

Mamá Imelda turns to the clerk, fire in her eyes.

How do we send him back?!

Well, since it's a family matter...
(flipping pages)
The way to undo a family curse is 
to get your family's blessing.

That's it?

Get your family's blessing, and
everything SHOULD go back to 
normal. But you gotta do it by

...but it isn’t truly a family matter: Miguel didn’t steal from his own family, he stole from Ernesto De la Cruz who isn’t really related to him. So how is it possible for Mamá Imelda to send him back? How is the curse a family thing?

  • 10
    My thoughts and so I'm posting it as a comment but since the guitar is actually not De La Cruz's and he stole it from miguel's actual great granddad, the guitar is actually stolen from a family member and it is a family matter... Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 4:19
  • @NikhilEshvar That’s a good point that would actually explain the situation. Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 12:35

3 Answers 3


Well, the guitar was actually revealed to belong to Hector in later part of the movie. So in a way, it is indeed a family matter.


You are right, the guitar did not belong to De La Cruz so Miguel could did not get cursed from that. If you watch it again you will notice that when Dante comes up to him he takes a chicken or turkey leg off of one of the graves and throws it to him. THIS is what gets him cursed.

  • 2
    eh, that's certainly a theory, but do we know that the chicken/turkey leg is on the grave of one of Miguel's ancestors. If not, then the question remains the same, "Why is stealing from a random dead make it a family matter?"
    – onewho
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 20:28

I think the first conversation clears that out.

The curse came from stolen something from the death, not necessarily from his family, but from taken something that belong to someone already dead.

So, in the same way alive persons can keep dead people alive with their memories, dead people can help "alive" (Miguel was half alive half dead) in some other ways. That is why this became a family matter. So, the family wasn't cursed, but Miguel was, and the only ones able to help him were his relatives, therefore, a blessing comming from your family was the only solution.

I think Disney tried to explain this in the very next scene, where Miguel take the guitar again. The blessing specifically stated that he must "never play music again!". So, he never plays the guitar, and still he goes back to the "dead" land. This ilustrates that, the cursed one was Miguel and the only ones to bless him were his relatives, explaining the "family matter".

Hope it helps.

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