Movie Review: Coco
Pixar's latest project, Coco, hit theaters on Wednesday to much critical acclaim. The film was directed by Lee Unkrich, the director behind Toy Story 3, and it was written by Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich. The film focuses on the character of Miguel, a boy who dreams of being a musician but belongs to a family that despises music. Anthony Gonzalez voices the young Miguel, and some of the supporting cast is comprised of Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, and Renee Victor.
The film begins with Miguel explaining his family history and his plight as a secret musician. His family are shoemakers, and while he dreams of being a musician like the famous Ernesto de la Cruz, he must hide his love of music from his family due to their ban on music. When an opportunity arises for Miguel to play at a talent show on Día de los Muertos, he must resort to borrowing Ernesto de la Cruz’s guitar. However, he finds himself in the Land of the Dead instead, which leads him to meet all of the family they honor every year. When his great-great grandmother agrees to send him back with the condition of giving up music, though, Miguel sets out on an adventure to find an alternative route home that will allow him to still live out his dream.
I feel like the first thing I have to say is that I believe Coco is one of Pixar’s best films to date. The film is beautiful in every way, and I will be shocked if it doesn’t take the award for Best Animated Picture at the Oscars. Visually, it is absolutely stunning. The vibrant colors and exquisite details are visible in every shot, and the first shot of the Land of the Dead is breathtaking. Along with the beautiful animation, though, you also experience a moving score from the great Michael Giacchino. If you do not come out of the movie humming “Remember Me” for several days afterward, I’ll be shocked.
Behind all of the beautiful music and visuals, though, there is a fantastic family-friendly narrative. As Miguel goes on his journey, his view of his family and his dream are challenged. He is faced with the realities and costs of fame, and the importance of family is revealed in a whole new light during his journey. The film also gives a beautiful look into Mexican culture and the meaning behind this holiday.
I truly do not want to spoil anything, but Coco is the movie everyone should be watching this Thanksgiving. It is an endearing and heartwarming tale, and it might have left me solidly crying for the last twenty to thirty minutes of the film. Also, there are several satisfying reveals that I did not see coming. Coco may have the concepts of life and death at its core, but this is a movie primarily about the importance of family. So, I highly recommend that everyone take the time to go see Coco this weekend; this beautifully told story is worth the watch in theaters.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.