Pixar’s Coco is an incredibly special film that teaches the importance of dreaming big and seizing opportunities in life, yet never forgetting the value of family. It is beautiful in more ways than one and leaves viewers of all ages feeling inspired and perhaps a little sappy too.
Miguel is an imaginative boy who aspires to be a musician just like his idol, the legendary entertainer Ernesto de la Cruz. However, his family has different plans for him due to their staunch no-music policy. Determined to prove that music is his birthright, Miguel winds up in the Land of the Dead where he finally uncovers the truth about his lineage.
It’s not often that an animated movie comes along and stuns me with both its visuals and story, yet I was excited about this project from the moment I watched the trailer. Coco does many things well, but perhaps the most impressive is how the audience is deeply immersed in the beauty of Mexican culture from the very beginning.
This is great because it introduces moviegoers to a culture that they may have previously known nothing about. The Spanish language as well as traditions and popular folklore are infused into the story line in an inextricable way and it works well.
Miguel is a very likeable character. He has the naivete of a child (obviously) and is also very strong willed for his age. When he faces pushback from his family in regards to his dreams, he digs his heels in deeper. His mantra becomes “Seize the moment”- a line made popular by de la Cruz of course.
The young actor who supplies the voice of Miguel is incredible. I’m not sure how old he is or how long ago it was that he did the voice work, but I was very impressed by his talent. It’s no easy feat to bring an animated character to life and the young Anthony Gonzalez hits the mark!
The supporting cast is also wildly talented. Benjamin Bratt (Miss Congeniality, Law and Order) voices famed singer de la Cruz, Renee Victor (Weeds) provides the voice of Miguel’s headstrong abuela, and Gael García Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle) brings to life trickster Hector.
Hector is someone who Miguel meets in the Land of the Dead and their relationship adds a lot of depth to the film. I was ultimately surprised, yet elated at the significance of Hector’s character. Bernal is a seasoned actor and I really enjoyed seeing the actor work in this medium.
The entire film is visually stunning. Much like Disney’s Moana last year- the beautiful imagery just flourishes onscreen. The visuals for the Land of the Dead in particular were my favorite. The music featured is fun, upbeat, and meaningful. That and the vivid imagery swirl together to complement the narrative in a beautiful way.
Bottom line? Coco deserves all of the praise coming its way. See it for yourself!
Coco is directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and Adrian Molina (The Good Dinosaur). The script comes from Molina and Matthew Aldrich. It features the wonderful voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil, Alfonso Arau, Herbert Siguenza, Gabriel Iglesias, Sofia Espinosa and Natalia Cordova-Buckley. It is currently in theaters now!
Have you seen Coco yet? What were your thoughts about the short film Olaf’s Frozen Adventure that preceded the movie? Let me know all about it in the comments below!