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Coco review

by Jake Grosvenor, Editor-in-Chief

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Rating: 10/10

Director: Lee Unkrich

Starring: Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Anthony Gonzalez

MPAA Rating: PG

 

Just in time for Dias De Los Muertos and Thanksgiving, Pixar released its’ new movie Coco November 1st in Mexico and November 22nd in the US, Coco stunned and moved audiences with their inspiration story of family and taking risks to be who you are.

Coco is the story of a young boy Miguel, played by Anthony Gonzalez, who has a strong passion for music and guitar playing, but due to his family’s history he is forbidden to ever play. Then on the night of Dias De Los Muertos, Miguel steals from a famous musician and is sent to the land of the dead and has until sunrise to get his family’s blessing to return to the land of the living, or risk being stuck in the land of the dead for eternity.

The first thing that stands out about this film is the overwhelming amount of detail that went into the production of this film. Coco had spent years in production ensuring cultural accuracy of the holiday and Hispanic community, and it clearly pays off. The knowledge and background are more in depth than any lesson you’d get in school. Coco offers a vast array of historical background on the holiday and it’s meaning to the Hispanic community.

Something that not only broadened my knowledge of the holiday but enhanced the film was the use of alebrijes, spirit animals that guide those who are dead. This aspect of the film was a great piece of art on Pixar’s behalf, making the character design beautiful and colorful, but it was also an interesting insight on Mexican folklore.

Not only is this film entertaining, beautiful, and fun, but it offers an interesting background for what Dias De Los Muertos means to Hispanic communities, and serious of a holiday it is. Pixar did an amazing job with explaining how those communities have such a drastically different view of death than us.

Along with such accuracy to the meaning and history of the holiday, the story itself tells a motivation story that is far more relatable than other films they have had.

Coco has a story of not only the value of family, but the beauty and meaning of being who you are. This movie reinforced the idea of not being afraid to take risks to be who you are, without cheesy lines and cliche plots you find in every child’s film.

Unlike the ending of a normal kids movie where everything is back to normal and it ends with a sappy message of being who you are, Coco gives an ending that not only tells it’s message but still shows the value of Dias De Los Muertos and family without watering down the authenticity of the holiday or the film’s originality.

Another Pixar staple is always how they accel in telling stories that everyone can enjoy as I mentioned earlier. Coco tells a story that isn’t just enticing, but full of twists and details that are so fine and unique that it is hard to define this movie as a children’s movie. Some of the detail that goes into the plot of Coco is like something you’d see in a M. Night Shyamalan movie or that of Kubrick.

With such a stunning story, it’s impossible not to mention the amazing characters made for the film. Each family member or dead relative that helps Miguel along the way are unique and don’t feel like copy and pasted ideas from other movies. Characters such as Momma Coco, Miguel’s great grandma, who have very few lines, are still just as impactful and unique as someone like Hector, a resident of the land of a dead who helps Miguel go back home who takes up a lot of screen time.

Along with fine plot details it is hard not to write a whole article on the artistic style of this film. The way the dead are animated, the colors, and the skylines and building designs are phenomenal, Coco is just as visual stunning as it is story wise.

Coco is an amazing film and is great change of pace from mediocre films from Pixar like the last Cars films, whether you are a fan of Pixar or enjoy the history of Dias Des Los Muertos, Coco is an amazing film all around.

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