Coco is the latest movie from Pixar Animation Studios and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I may have cried multiple times as I was watching the movie, and the film was everything I expected from a Pixar movie.
Coco follows a 12 year old boy named Miguel Rivera and his journey to have his family accept his dreams of becoming a musician like his hero, Ernesto de la Cruz. Along the way, he finds himself in the Land of the Dead during Día de la Muertos after trying to strum his hero’s guitar. While in the Land of the Dead, he encounters his ancestors and he finds out that he needs to get back to the Land of the Living before sunrise or he will become one of the dead.
In Coco, there are themes addressed in the movie that I did not expect to be addressed due to the mature nature of those themes. How Pixar has woven death, the consequences of forgetting the memories of a deceased loved ones, and the importance of family in to the movie is beautiful. In Coco, death is seen as another passage in one’s life where family can reunite with their deceased loved ones and create new memories. What I particularly liked about Pixar addressing death is how the studio was also able to incorporate Día de los Muertos and introduce the public to this wonderful and important Mexican tradition of celebrating and remembering one’s deceased loved ones.
Then there is the consequence of forgetting the memories of a deceased loved one. This tackles the age old question of “What happens once we forget our loved ones?” Honestly, I was not expecting for this to be addressed in the film at all and how Pixar was able to weave an answer to the movie was fantastically done and caused many tear-jerking scenes.
Lastly, the importance of family is a crucial theme in Coco as it is in many Pixar movies. But how the film addresses this theme is slightly different compared to others. How the importance of family is addressed in Coco is similar to Finding Nemo where even though there are differences in opinions, family will always matter in the end and they will accept you and your decisions.
How these themes are woven into the movie was beautifully done without the viewer truly realizing until the story comes to a close.
I loved how the music primarily featured the guitars and the different genres of Mexican music. From the bolero-ranchero style to the corrido to the mariachi, Coco prominently features these genres of music in to the songs sung by the characters. This musical choice makes me feel much more immersed into Miguel’s world. The songs featured in Coco are also very memorable and I sometimes find myself humming them from time to time without really thinking about it. Not only that, but the songs do not feel out of place and I enjoyed how some Spanish were incorporated into the songs as well!
Pixar does it again with the visuals of Coco. The visuals are stunning. The colors are vivid and bright, and the colors used in the film are the ones that can be seen around the streets and cemeteries during Día de los Muertos. Then there was the marigold bridge. This beautiful bridge was animated to almost seem like a bridge that could only be used for a one-time event with how it was simply a floating connection between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. Then there are the alebrijes. Some looked like playful colorful creatures while some looked to be a colorful yet menacing creature, and the alebrijes embodied some of the typical features seen in alebrijes such as the wings and horns.
Overall, I think that Coco is a beautiful celebration of a small part of Mexican culture from the inspiration of Día de los Muertos to the colors found in the Land of the Dead to the musical style. Not only does Coco introduces the public to a small part of Mexican culture, the film also tackles some mature themes that are not often addressed in the media. My only main concern is that there are a couple of plot points that become a bit predictable but even then, the predictability does not hurt the film’s story. If you are a fan of Pixar movies, I suggest you go see Coco because it embodies the qualities many love in a Pixar movie.