Coco\’s Review: Coco is full of life in the Land of Dead
Few film production companies would image that an animated film with death as its center would appeal to worldwide audiences. The question posed at the heart of Coco, the latest Pixar\’s film is if a person can honor his family along with pursuing his dreams. The film whirls around an aspiring 12-year-old Mexican boy Miguel Rivera (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) who dreams of becoming a musician, against the fact that his family proscribed music after his great-great-grandfather left his family for music. Despite the family\’s hatred for music, Miguel covertly plays guitar and covets to become a popular musician like Ernesto De La Cruz.
On Día de Muertos(Day of the Dead), Miguel fights with his family about performing in a local music talent show, which doesn\’t go well with music-loathing Riveras and especially his abuelita(voiced by Renee Victor), who gets agitated and smashes Miguel\’s guitar like a piñata. After fighting with his family, Miguel finds himself a guitar in the tomb of his idol, Ernesto De La Cruz(voiced by Benjamin Bratt), a well-known musician. Without realizing a thing, Miguel robs a guitar from the crypt and plays it, which gets him transported to the Land of the Dead. The film\’s about how he returns back to the world of the living and his adventures in the land of the dead.
Stunning visuals with sophisticatedly ordered and intensely striking storytelling being the trademarks of the best movies of Pixar Animation Studios, Coco will also thrill the audience with Pixar\’s usual verve and style. The land of the dead with skeletons walking and talking with a glaze of fluorescent flower petals paved upon the streets is visually appealing. This whole imaginative journey in the land of the dead is full of mindblowing sights and creatures which is worth getting lost in. The brilliant, colorful visuals and a mysterious chain of adventures that happen throughout the film is what makes Coco interesting like other Disney-Pixar films.
After staying in the land of the dead for some time, Miguel finds himself turning into skeleton parts by parts and gets to know that he\’ll be dead if he doesn\’t figure out a way to get back to the land of the living by morning. To return to the world of the living, he has to get blessings from ancestors, which none of them will agree to until and unless Miguel is ready to leave music and doesn\’t intend to follow his dreams of becoming a musician.
Perhaps the most poignant analogy of this story might be that death turns out to be plainly another cycle of life where the demised can stay and bloom so long as they are not forgotten by a living loved one. Over there in the land of the dead, Miguel meets the smart skeleton Hector (voiced by Gael García Bernal) who is in desperate need of ensuring that his legacy still remains in the world of the living. Miguel and Hector\’s partnership twists up the plot some more, adding to the coincidences, chases, ancient secrets, mistaken identities and it goes through each twist like a roller coaster steering through a new twirl. Their conversation and their journey together is the source of most of the Coco\’s humor.
There are only a few movies which can entertain both young and elderly audience at the same time, Coco is one of them. According to an article titled \”A Night to Remember\” published in Computer Graphics World, it says that Coco honors Mexican culture and has a lot to say about Mexican music, culture making viewers proud to be Mexicans. Being released on the long-venerated Mexican holy day of the dead, Coco grandly embraces the Mexican holiday and turns it into a riveting story about family, ancestry, and reminiscence. Chirked up by the Mexican traditions revolving around the Dia de Los Muertos, Coco\’s bizarre premise is a trip to afterlife full of smirking skeletons. These are skeletons which do everything like playing music, attending parties, paint paintings like the people in the world of the living- but in a little more cheerful way. Although it was rated PG for thematic elements, the movie lacks the horrid aspect that can be fascinating to adults but they succeeded in portraying a brilliant, charming and kid-friendly rendition of life after death.
One more interesting element of the film is its catchy, singalong soundtrack which will leave its audience stunned and moved by. Coco leaps along the beat of Micheal Giacchino score. It also has various traditional Mexican songs and some new tunes that will leave an everlasting impact on the viewers. The most significant song in the movie is Remember Me, written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (people who wrote the music for Frozen). It has also won an Oscar for the best original song award.
Coco\’s a film with PG rating for thematic elements with a running time of 109 minutes. It teaches great family messages like never forget that your family is forever and reach out and grab your dreams. Although Coco has a predictable story, it is a worth-watch film with a compelling story about the significance of remembering our family and ancestry. It\’s a celebration of Mexican culture and feels like some history that exists before this movie even began.
In conclusion, like every other Pixar film, Coco also has a remarkable climax and it\’s difficult to make it out of the theatre with your tear ducts intact. However, the tears are of joy. The question raised at the beginning is answered with creative twists to the plot in which some are jaw-dropping and the others are a little boring. There are no elements in the movie that makes Coco a bad movie, but in fact, the film teaches priceless lessons about family and the significance of reminiscing those that we have lost. So, now it\’s time for you guys to check out what these skeletons have to say!
Coco. Directed by Lee Unkrich, Performance by Anthony Gonzalez, Pixar Animation Studios, 2017
Robertson, Barbara. “A NIGHT TO REMEMBER.” Computer Graphics World, vol. 40(6), no. p.4(7), 2017, EBSCO Host, http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu /ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=8&sid=ff783b8f-0c0f-495b-9a6c-545ec31a1faf%40sessionmgr4008.
Chang, Justin. “Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Sings a High-Spirited but Sometimes Faltering Tune.” Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2017, latimes.com, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ movies/la-et-mn-coco-review-20171121-story.html.
Chen, Sandie Angulo. “A Snippet of Remember Song from Coco.” Common Sense Media, 26 Apr. 2018, https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/coco.
Chen, Sandie Angulo. “Steeped in Mexican Culture and Folklore, the Production Ranks among Disney-Pixar’s Most Engaging Efforts.” The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Nov. 2017, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/coco-review-1050825.
Taylor, Kate. “Review: Coco Is a Compelling Story about Family, Ancestry and Remembrance.” The Globe and Mail, 22 Nov. 2017, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts /film/film-reviews/review-coco-is-a-compelling-story-about-family-ancestry-and-remembrance/article37029899/.