This Marvelous Coco cake was made by Kaomi. There are bright orange marigold flower petals on the top of the cake beneath Miguel’s feet and Dante’s paws. At the base of the cake are ribbon orange flowers and a white Day of the Dead skull.
This excellent video tutorial shows how to make Miguel using gum paste.
This terrific Dante Tutorial is in Spanish with some English subtitles. It does a great job showing how to make Dante.
While writing up this cake I came across some interesting information about the movie that I wanted to pass along.
Coco correctly portrays the Day of the Dead as a celebration about celebrating life and keeping memories alive. Ofrendas, the spanish word for altars, are set up one week before. Photos of the deceased are a central part of the ofrendas and marigolds are used to decorate them. People share stories and memories about their loved ones who are deceased.
Marigold flowers play a large role in the film. Their smell is supposed to guide the dead back to the living world. In the movie there is a bridge of marigold petals that the dead must cross to reach the world of the living.
The film has an all Latino cast since the story takes place in Mexico and Dante is a Xolo dog, the national dog breed of Mexico.
Miguel’s grandma abuelita takes off her flip-flop and threatens a guitarist who she thinks is a bad influence on Miguel. The movie originally had the grandma taking out a wooden spoon and hitting him, but when the movie was screened by Latino community advisors, they strongly recommended she use her chancla or slipper, so it was changed to be more culturally authentic.
The Land of the Dead has bone shaped stones in the streets and marigolds are the only living plants there.