Day of the Dead celebrations in the U.S.
Halloween Versus Day Of The Dead Courtesy

The family members of the woman who allegedly inspired "Mamá Coco", the fictional character from the beloved 2017 Pixar film Coco, paid their respects during the Day of the Dead celebrations in Santa Fe de la Laguna in Mexico.

Maria Salud Ramirez, who sported a good-natured smile, squinting eyes, and braided white hair, became a viral sensation for her striking resemblance to the character "Mamá Coco" from the Pixar film Coco after the film released in 2017. Ramirez died last month on Oct. 16 earlier this year, aged 109, Euronews Culture reported.

Coco won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2017. Pixar had always denied allegations that "Mamá Coco" was based on anyone in real life and said multiple times that it was a product of its creators' imagination.

However, despite this, the Ramirez family claimed that a Pixar team had met with Maria Salud in the past and photographed her, AFP reported.

"It was based on her, on her image," says Patricia Perez, 38, one of Maria Salud's granddaughters.

"It looks a lot like her! When you look at the nose in the drawing and hers, the shape of the face and the hair, or the wheelchair, it's too much of a coincidence," said Spanish tourist Paula Colmenero, 52.

However, Perez said that the movie has transformed the Ramirez family's life and that she no longer wants to "get involved in that controversy."

The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican festival that runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. It is a national holiday that involves family and friends gathering to pay respects to loved ones who have died. During the Day of the Dead celebrations, Mama Salud's photographs were placed by her family members on her wheelchair and the altar that they had prepared to receive her spirit.

"She always wanted to receive people. She was always happy. That's why we decided to keep the doors open," Perez said.

Meanwhile, 36-year-old South Korean tourist Taehyun Kim and his wife said that they quit their job and came all the way to see Mama Coco. He added that "Coco" is one of his favorite movies.

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