Tony's Take

COCO review

Seize Your Moment

“Coco”, the latest offering from Pixar animation, takes its’ first-ever journey into the Mexican culture.  Miguel, a young child born to a shoe-building family who forbids music, finds music to be his true calling in life that he loves more than anything; except for family.  As Día de los Muertos approaches, the annual music competition is the same night and Miguel must find himself a guitar.  The only guitar he can find: that of his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, located in his mausoleum.  However, he soon finds himself thrust-into the Land of the Dead and there’s only one way he can return; to receive blessing from a family member, but his family will not give him their blessing to return without forgetting about music  Miguel must hurry though, for if he does not return to the living World by sunrise, then he’ll be trapped in the Land of the Dead for eternity.

Anthony Gonzalez stars as Miguel, the young boy who travels to the Land of the Dead.   Gael García Bernal plays a man Miguel runs-into in the Land of the Dead named Héctor.  Benjamin Bratt plays the legendary musician Ernesto de la Cruz, Miguel’s hero.  Miguel’s grandmother, Abuelita, is voiced by Renée Victor.  Ana Ofelia Murguia voices Miguel’s great-grandmother, Mamá Coco.  Miguel’s relatives who have passed-on consist of: Mamá Imelda (Alanna Ubach), Papá Julio (Alfonso Arau), Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe (Herbert Siguenza).  Jaime Camil and Sofía Espinosa plays Miguel’s Mamá and Papá.  Edward James Olmos has a brief role as Héctor’s friend, Chicharrón.  Luis Valdez and Selene Luna plays Miguel’s Tía Rosita and Tío Berto.  Cheech Marin as a small role as a Corrections Officer.

“Coco” represents a first for Pixar, traveling to the Mexican culture for a stunningly-beautiful adventure that will make you laugh and cry.  As it comes to no surprise, Pixar has once again given us memorable characters; both side and main.  The lead, Miguel, is charming and easy to relate to given he is just chasing his dreams.  As his unofficial sidekick, a street dog named Danté.  The rest of the voice cast all do a tremendous job as well.  “Coco” also has a memorable and fun story of following your dreams and the power of family that sets-Miguel on an adventure that people have only dreamed of.  The film’s story does a tremendous job in blending cultural beliefs with the exposition, as well as clever references and details about the Land of the Dead.  The film’s wonder is strongly-fueled by its beautiful canvas; the animation is truly astounding, one of the best we’ve ever seen!  Accompanying the gorgeous canvas is a fun, culture-focused score (anchored by a ‘mariachi’ version of Disney’s main theme during the film’s opening) and a few different songs that are sure to be played in parents’ cars for the next few months; specifically “Remember Me”, “Proud Corazon”, “Un Poco Loco”, and “The World Es Mi Familia”.  One would almost venture that “Remember Me” may also have a shot as Best Original Song.  “Coco” really only has one issue; it’s that the film does get very dark (yes, more so than usual).  Firstly, the film revolves around the thought and eventuality of death and Día de los Muertos.  Secondly, the story deals with character deaths, murder, and the afterlife.  For most audiences, “Coco” will thrill and entertain with little-to-no issue, but for the younger crowd, it may be a bit too much.  “Coco” has a run time of 109 minutes and it never drags during its’ magical adventure. “Coco” is yet another triumph for Disney and Pixar, sure to become yet another phenomenon for this current generation.  Go see “Coco” and support great filmmaking and groundbreaking storytelling with stunning visuals this weekend!

“Coco” follows a young boy as he ends-up in the Land of the Dead on Día de los Muertos and he must find his way back.  The film features beautiful animation, a fun cast of characters, and a culture-centered story full of educational benefits.  If you’re looking for family fun at the movies this holiday week, then go see “Coco”!!     

 4.5/5

COCO is rated PG for thematic elements, in theaters NOVEMBER 22ND!

 

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