DIRECTOR: Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3)
STARRING: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, and Edward James Olmos (voices)
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Aspiring musician Miguel ends up in the Land of the Dead, and must search for his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer, to get his blessing so he can return home.
Since 1995 Pixar has set the standard when it comes to animated films both visually and narratively. They continue this strong tradition with Coco a film that is all about the joys, frustrations, history, and love of family.
While some films targeted at a younger audience sometimes lack a cohesive and deep story, Coco doesn’t go down this road with a story that not only makes sense but also touches the heart. The story follows Miguel’s frustration at his family’s rule against having or playing music. As the film progresses we understand the hurt and pain that informs this rule. Because of this Miguel feels like an outsider in his family, that he doesn’t fit, which becomes a driving force for his character in this film.
By the films conclusion we discover why Miguel has always been drawn to music with a huge twist (that I won’t spoil) that completely changes the course of the film. Coco is filled to the brim with heart, a few tear jerking moments, and the simple message that even though family’s may disagree and fight, they are also the place where we are loved and where we discover who we truly are. Some scenes with the skeletons could be scary for young children so if your young ones are easily scared perhaps wait until they are a wee bit older for this one.
The animation is out of this world as Pixar hits it out of the park with this effort. Filled with rich colour, intricate detail, and vast, sprawling worlds, Pixar has upped their game again. The scenes in the graveyard and the Land of the Dead are particularly superb. Coco is also Pixar's first crack at a semi musical with 'Remember Me' (which bet out The Greatest Showman's 'This is Me' for Best Original Song at the Oscars) a particularly moving song.
Pixar does it again. Coco is a visual spectacular with a simple but profound story of the frustration, love, history, and beauty of family.