Anytime you hear Disney/Pixar is releasing a new film, there’s a part in all of us thinking back to our childhood imagining some the classics that the studio brought us over the years. Though they had their missteps (Cars franchise, Brave), you can depend on them to create something original for the whole family. With Coco being the second film to come out this year, we can just give them an Oscar already if all of us don’t mind.
Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Hector, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
The story itself was touching and approaching the appreciation of the Mexican culture that’s surprisingly beautiful. Even when the first trailer came back, many were comparing it to another animated film The Book of Life because both have a similar concept revolving around the Day of the Dead. Thankfully, it felt completely different. Director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and co-director Adrian Molina have crafted an imaginative storytelling that being brought to life that hasn’t been done before in some cases. Along with that, the animation is absolutely colorful and stunning as it looked very detailed with the design of the city our main hero gets roped into.
Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) is such a likable character through and through when we see him go on this journey. You really understand his passion and won’t stop at anything to accomplish his dreams to be his hero. He’s joined along with scam artist Hector (voiced by Gael García Bernal), who he meets in the land of the dead, and the two of them worked well as a team in the land of the dead. The stuff with his family on both sides of the living and the dead and the relationship he has with them was entertaining.
This also contained some humor that wasn’t that bad. Nothing was gut-busting hilarious, but it has its moments of laughs that worked in full effect.
The music is incredible with those flares of the choices of instruments used in this taking you through the film. If you were in Miguel’s place, you have to listen to music regardless of what your family said. When you hear the song “Remember Me”, it’s definitely a passionate song that gets better anytime some sings it. And apparently, it’s the most popular song everyone in the movie knows.
Since it’s a Pixar, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll have tears when the credits start rolling. And there are moments where it gets sad because of the importance of family in the most meaningful way portrayed. And for someone who recently lost a family member, it really hit hard for me personally.
As for issues, the first half was a bit of a slow start, but that problem went away quickly. Even though the music was very amusing, Michael Giacchino’s score wasn’t exactly memorable. And while the narrative was effective, for some reason, it wasn’t as deep as I thought it would be.
This year has been really lacking in the animation genre as almost a lot of them haven’t been all that great except maybe The Lego Batman Movie and Captain Underpants. But it’s about time Coco comes out and have everybody enjoy this touching story that’s such a blessing to watch. Surrounding its themes of death, family, and dreams all coming full circle, it’s impossible not to like Coco for what it was gaining across. Though it won’t end up on top 10 of the year and it’s not one of my favorites from Pixar, it has all the elements needed to succeed.
Coco marks another hit from Pixar with a story that’s ultimately moving, colorful, and experiences the culture that’s been lacking in the entertainment world.
Before the film, the played the short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure as follows the lovable snowman Olaf trying to find a tradition for Anna and Elsa. As for someone who loves Frozen, I was really worried about this 21 minute short because I don’t know if it’s worth being in theaters or it should’ve been a special on ABC. While a traditional Pixar short would’ve been nice, it was a fun little short that made me laugh and has a heartwarming message in the end.