Thoughts: Pixar strikes a chord with Coco
Pixar is back on track with their latest feature, Coco. This fantastical adventure during Dia de la Muertos and into the land of the dead is handled with care and near perfect execution. The story and soundtrack make this family reunion story one to be remembered.
Coco is a story about Miguel, who wants to play music, but his entire family is against music after their great-great-grandfather abandoned their family and his daughter Coco to pursue a music career. Upon the revelation that his disgraced ancestor is actually his village's greatest musician ever, Miguel sets out to compete in the annual battle of the bands and tries to steal his ancestors guitar to use. This sets Miguel off on an adventure through the land of the dead to find his dead relatives and get their blessing in order to return to the land of the living before sunrise.
The best thing this movie has going for it is the authentic Hispanic casting. That feeling of family resonates through every cast member in the way they interact with one another. It really helps sell the Hispanic life style and the film as a whole. That is only elevated with the inclusion of Spanish words during dialogue and musical numbers. This film never forgets its surroundings and provides the audience with a pleasant reminder as well.
Coco takes a turn toward predictability during its third act, but that doesn't make it a bad movie or detract from the emotions its built up. In fact, it strengthens the family theme and adds credence to its other running theme of a singer-songwriter friendship. It does this Simon/Garfunkel relationship throughout the film that makes the film even more enjoyable.
About half way through this movie I realized I was watching one of the best Pixar films to date. The animation is top notch and the story is told beautifully across the land of the dead. Take your family to see this movie and enjoy the latest Pixar had to offer.