It used to be that every Pixar movie was a sure thing. Then Cars came along, and after three mediocre Cars movies, a Bad Dinosaur, and an okay princess, people are wondering if Pixar can still deliver the goods. Coco is here to prove that they can. It is fun, heartwarming and it will make you cry like the finest films Pixar has ever produced, so please spend some time with Coco’s family both living and dead.
Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) wants to play guitar like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), but due to some unfortunate family history, music is not allowed in his household. However, there is a big talent show on Dia los Muertos, but instead of playing in the show like he plans, he takes a detour to the Land of the Dead.
I have to admit the setup for the movie is its weakest link. Banning a kid from playing guitar over something that happened generations ago is far fetched at best, and down right mean at worst. However, once Miguel gets to the underworld this movie really takes off story wise. Having Miguel deal with his issues while dealing with his dead family’s issues just works, and ended up being some of Pixar’s best work.
Speaking of Pixar’s best work, Coco is visually arresting. It has to be one of Pixar’s best looking films, and it is one of the prettiest animated movies in existence. The rich colorful world they created will be hard to forget, and I am sure that it will ignite the imaginations of children young and old for years to come.
Honestly the only real complaint I have about this movie is the twenty minute Frozen ‘short’ that is shown before the movie. With Coco being so good, it is a shame that it is weighed down with one of Disney’s least inspired Christmas specials, and that is saying something. At twenty minutes, the Frozen mini-movie is at least ten minutes too long. Though it does get somewhat better as it goes along.
Another issue that some people may have is for those worried about Dia los Muertos’ pagan roots, and I don’t have a lot reassure you. It depicts a pretty straight up version of the holiday, so you can decide if that is right for you and your family or not. All that being said, I loved this movie, and the people at Pixar and Disney should be proud of this film. I hope Coco is a return to form for Pixar as a studio because I am really looking forward to Incredibles 2!