Coco – Movie Review – An emotional, thematically rich story.

Coco follows Miguel, a young boy growing up in Mexico who has a strong desire to become a musician, even though that would be against the ancestral ban of music that his family has held for generations. When attempting to take his idol’s guitar to use during a talent show, Miguel is transported to the Land of the Dead and must find a way to return before he is trapped there forever.

I’ll start with the obvious. This film beautifully animated. Having not seen The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory or Cars 3 it’s been quite some time since I last watched a new Pixar film, but one thing is very clear. They have not lost their touch when it comes to their state of the art animation. The colour palette is vivid and immaculate which makes the film look magical in the best of ways. The animation is getting so good that some of the detail on the character models look photo realistic.

The film gives a wonderful (and seemingly accurate) insight into Mexican culture, something that not only feels very unique, but will also serve as something somewhat educational. I walked out of the cinema knowing more about Mexican culture than I did walking in, and I think it’s great that the film achieved that.

The voice acting is superb across the board from each actor, I am also glad Pixar chose to use the Mexican language at different moments through out the film. Michael Giacchino’s musical score is lovely, it’s accurately reflective of the Mexican culture that the film so brilliantly depicts. The lyrics of the songs aren’t instantly memorable but most of the songs, ‘Remember Me’ in particular are a pivotal piece to the emotional puzzle this film constructs.

At it’s core this is a beautiful story that I believe everyone can connect with, through the exploration of the relatable themes that the film presents. Whilst these themes are mature they are also essential ones that everyone will have to deal with at some point in their life, which in turn makes them very valuable themes to explore in a film like this. The exploration of these themes could potentially broaden the knowledge of a child, and it will also keep adults invested due to however they relate to the themes at hand. The way the film handles the topics of family, life, death and the connection between loved ones who are no longer alive is very admirable. It’s handled in such a graceful way that it made me reflect upon the family members I’ve lost, in a very positive and satisfactory manner. Death is something children can struggle to understand but the way the Day of the Dead celebration is depicted, as well as how the Land of the Dead is vividly brought to life, will help to paint a beautiful image in a child’s mind of where their family members go when they have passed. The thought of the film being able to do that for children, resonated with me so well, it’s simply beautiful. The culmination of the whole story results in something deeply emotional that had the tears welling up in my eyes.

There’s a handful of narrative surprises that elevated the story to being something even greater than it already was. The script is brilliant, not only for handling so many mature themes, but also for taking it’s time to unfold upon the viewer organically. The characters are all well written and I really grew to love them as I went on this journey with them. Miguel’s driving passion and resilience to meet his idol, made him very easy to get behind and to root for. The story does have a villain, I won’t ruin who it is, but what I will say is I thought they were so well woven into the narrative. It caught me off guard in the best of ways when I realised who the villain was.

Overall Coco is a beautiful and emotionally resonate story that both children and adults can learn from. Every individual who watches this film can connect with it, and take something away from it due to the intricate exploration of themes, such as family, life, death and the connection we have to the loved ones we have lost. This is easily one of Pixar’s best films to date.


(5 Stars Out of 5)

– T.Graham.

Coco – Starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alana Ubach and Renee Victor.

-Directed by Lee Unkrich.

-Now showing in U.K. cinemas.

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