Disney-Pixar has repeatedly raised the bar of animated movies by telling stories that would appeal to children and adults alike. ‘Coco’ is an original tale, and a highly imaginative one at that, by writer/ co-director Adrian Molina.
Based in Mexico, it introduces us to the Rivera family who have a great tragedy buried in their family’s past: Once upon a time, a musician abandoned his family to chase fame and fortune. His wife turned to shoemaking to support herself and her daughter – and banned music and anything related to it forever, in bitter remembrance of her husband.
So basically Rivera family is the only family in Mexico who makes shoes for a living and everyone in the family absolutely despises music. Except for little Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez), who shines shoes but aspires to be a musician.
Generations later, the Rivera clan still makes their trade in shoes, and still strictly forbids any and all music. The neglected daughter is now an old woman, the great-grandmother of a young boy named Miguel, who has apparently inherited her father’s passion for song. He practices the guitar in secret, quietly mouthing along to old tapes of his idol, the late Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt).
The whole movie revolves around the day of Dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead, when you invite your dead ancestors to your home) when Miguel finally rebels and tries to steal a guitar from Ernesto’s mausoleum to show his talent to the world.
Instead, the boy gets cursed and is sent to the land of the dead where he meets his other family, Ernesto, trickster Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) who go on an adventure to send Miguel back to the land of the living.
Pixar’s depiction of afterlife beats all the myth about it being a dull place instead it looks like a towering confection made of light.
It falls right in line with the level of quality we’ve come to expect from the animation studio, but also like nothing else we’ve ever seen from them before.
The dead land is full of warm, inviting colors, and populated with expressively dressed skeletons and glowing neon alebrijes – fantastical spirit guides that can take the form of anything from a tiny monkey to an enormous flying cat.
What is so amazing about this story is that even with such great visuals it never gets off track and concentrates solely on Miguel’s story and his struggle of achieving his dream. What he learns amidst his quest to get rid of the curse and getting what he dreams of, is what keeps you hooked on to this sweet movie.
Coco is that rare movie which recognizes that the things that give your life meaning might be in opposition to one another, asking you to consider what really matters most.
We give Disney Pixar’s COCO a 4 stars with a kink!
PS: Disney-Pixar Shorts’ ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure’ (21.51 mins) will be attached to this feature. Double Celebrations much?
Disney-Pixar has repeatedly raised the bar of animated movies by telling stories that would appeal to children and adults alike. 'Coco' is an orig...4.0