As a child raised on The Nightmare Before Christmas, I appreciate movies that take typical ‘scary’ things and make them attractive and ‘kid-friendly’. Taking the spookiness and macabre away from skeletons –and death by extension- is a good move and it proves very effective in Pixar’s latest film.
Coco tells the story of Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), an aspiring musician whose family has an ancestral ban on music. Unable to make his family understand his passion Miguel ventures to the Land of the Dead in search of his great-great grandfather, a legendary singer.
Like Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, Coco depicts death and departure as a celebration rather then the macabre end of all life. The film is set during Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and the holiday’s central theme of celebrating and remembering deceased friends and family is what drives the heartwarming central narrative. The film’s vibrant and colourful animation is positively breathtaking with the skeletal characters all decorated to reflect the tradition as well as be as lively as the characters with bronze flesh and pumping hearts.
Anthony Gonzalez is the voice of innocence and passion, providing glorious dialogue, drama, comedy, and soul-soothing music throughout.
While the story is a tad predictable and the central message of the importance of family – blood being thicker than water- can get a little tedious the memorable characters, comedy, animation, and music all work together to create the warm fuzzy feels as well as the expected waterworks, making Coco a lovely family movie that everyone can enjoy.