Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is an aspiring 12-year-old musician from Mexico. However, his family wants him to work in their shoemaking business. In a last-ditch effort to enter his local Day of the Dead talent show, he tries to steal his great-grandfather’s guitar. However, he accidentally ends up in the Land of the Dead with his dead ancestors.
While Inside Out proved that Pixar was back, Coco proved that their comeback was not a fluke. It is a return to form in terms of their storytelling. As with any great Pixar film, Coco has a healthy mix of comedic and serious moments. The film has a pro-musician/pro-artist message that might resonate with younger viewers as well as adults.
What’s notable about Coco is that it’s the first musical from Pixar. Out of all the songs that are featured in the film, “Remember Me” is the one that manages to stand out from the rest.
Most of the characters in this film (including the minor ones) are very likable thanks to their development and the performance of their voice actors. Miguel is very determined as a character who is trying to pursue his goal as a musician. In another movie, his shoemaking family could have been the antagonists. However, they do have a reason for discouraging his passion. At first glance, Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) seems like a typical comic relief character. As the film progresses, we get to know more about Hector’s past. While Miguel’s great-grandmother Coco has an important part in the film, I will not go into further detail as it contains spoilers.
I have said time and time again that both Pixar and Disney are the gold standard when it comes to animation. Coco is no exception when it comes to its visuals. The film takes advantage of using warm colors in its design of the Land of the Dead. The film’s character animation is also worth mentioning as it mixes a realistic yet cartoony style with its skeleton characters.
I might be nitpicking here, but my only problem with the film is that the ending dragged on a little bit. While Coco was going for an emotional impact with its ending, I thought it messed with the film’s pacing.
Coco is a return to form for Pixar. While I preferred Inside Out, Coco works as a stand-alone Pixar film. Let’s hope they can keep it up with The Incredibles 2.