Disney Pixar’s Coco delivers a magical time at the movies with excellent animation, great storytelling, and compelling characters that will grip you until the ending credits.
Coco is about a young boy named Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) who has dreams of being a great musician. However, Miguel’s family has a ban on music that has lasted for generations due to some dirty family history. Despite this, Miguel is determined to showcase his talent and carry on the legacy of his hero Ernesto De la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), who has already passed away yet remains a legend in Miguel’s world. This quest finds Miguel magically placed in the vibrant and visually impressive land of the dead. As Miguel is trying to make sense of how he magically traveled to this world, he meets up with a charming, but seemingly suspicious man by the name of Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal). The two become friends by circumstance and embark on an adventure to not only escape the land of the dead, but to also uncover the mystery behind Miguel’s family controversy.
This movie is a direct tip of the hat to the Mexican holiday called Día De Muertos, in which families pay respect to deceased relatives by leaving them offerings and hanging up their pictures in a shrine. This real life tradition is one of the more important factors that determines what happens to characters in the land of the dead. I don’t want to ruin much of the plot, but this tradition works wonderfully with the narrative and also serves to create some high stakes for our main characters.
I can’t speak enough about how visually pleasant this film is. Everything from the artistic detail of characters, to the streams of color that illuminate the screen throughout, are really a joy to behold. Even when the pacing of the film slows down (and it does due to this being very story- driven), you will be so fascinated with the quirky details of Skull masks on inhabitants, as well as in the architecture and backgrounds. It also never feels like a chore to listen to what someone has to say. There are even the occasional tributes to famous Mexican figures of the past; one example is the cameo by El Santo, the greatest Mexican wrestler to ever live. Little things like this showcase an effort to truly celebrate the Mexican culture, and the many wonderful things it has brought us.
As if the praises above aren’t enough, where Coco really shines is in its thoughtful narrative. The story touches on the importance of family, traditions, death, legacy, and even the value of truth. Just when you think you have figured out what is happening, it takes you on some twists and turns that you won’t see coming- and even if you do, nothing about it will offend you. The movie ends with such a heartwarming scene that I literally almost cried (not lying, I felt the tears coming, which is an effect that a film has never had on me). With that being said, this is an unmissable treat for the entire family and it truly resonated with me. I’m sure it will impress even the harshest critic. Do not continue on with a life where you have not seen this film. It is one of the best films of 2017, one of the greatest animated films I’ve ever seen, and it is also one of the finest Pixar films ever. It has the highest recommendation that I can possibly give.
96 Heart-warming Ballads on a Spanish guitar out of 100 (96%)