Embracing cultural depth
As supreme studio for modern-day, animated features, Pixar pleasantries take a backseat to no one. They really go to infinity and beyond. In fact, way beyond most of us could ever imagine. In doing so, it begs the following question: what makes Pixar what it is? Its unique, lovable characters or those who create them? This can be argued till our faces turn blue. Either way, the world always embraces Pixar’s universe. Since the beginning of its exposure, COCO struck a chord. Alongside an all Latino voice cast geared in exposing cultural beauty, the overall scope focuses on a soul-searching journey between the Land of the Living and Land of the Dead. Cinematically embracing depths behind one of Mexico’s most popular holidays (Dia de los Muertos), it all narrows down to unbreakable ties and love among family.
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Heart-warming, funny, visually delicious, and an incredible homage to Mexican culture! Full of mesmerizing outcomes, COCO is an absolute triumph in more ways than one. The way its mythos is established and presented is wonderful and brings an amazing display that explains death, family, and the importance of traditions to audiences of all flavors. Family-friendly to the core, its narrative is an entertaining and educational charm, the characters are unforgettable, the inclusion of Alebrijes is cosmic, and music…? Wow. Not that this would be considered a musical, but the music is the backbone (no pun) to the entire film. And all this rides on an underlying artistic exposition that fully respects the premises of traditional essence of Dia de los Mertos.
As another masterpiece by Pixar that tugs at the heart, while balancing it with smiles, there’s no doubt the entire planet will go mucho loco por COCO!
Grade: A+ | Genre: Animation, Family, Music | Rated: PG | Run Time: 1:50
Voice Cast: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
Directed By: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina