Disney’s Pixar is pretty much one of the only animation studios which continuously manages to produce high quality films. They have mastered the art of realistic animation along with excellent story-telling. Pixar films are not just for children. The deeper layers speak to children and adults alike, and therefore always provide a fun time.. Now Pixar returns with Coco, which is an ode to Mexico. Critics and audiences alike praised the film, but is it as good as they say it is?
What is Coco about?
Coco is about a boy named Miguel, who grows up in a family that hates music. The reason for this is because his great-great-great-grandfather, a musician, left his family to pursue a music career. Nobody in the family is allowed to play music, but Miguel dreams of becoming a musician. He is obsessed with Ernesto de La Cruz, the best musician of all time. Unfortunately, Ernesto died an untimely death.
Yet his obsession with becoming a musician is the reason he accidentally ends up in the Land of the Dead. He only has until sunrise to return back home, or he is doomed to stay forever.
A colourful ode to Mexico
Death is often a subject which is difficult to talk about. When we think of death, we generally think of darkness and approach the afterlife that way. Not Pixar. They imagine the land of the dead to be colourful and filled with joy. It is pretty much our world, only this one is inhabited by colourful skeletons. Coco is a joy to watch if only for the great way they’ve imagined this land. It is an ode to the Mexican tradition of honouring the dead. I am not too familiar with Mexican traditions, but what I could gather from the internet, Coco does a splendid job at representing Mexican culture and traditions. I think Disney is on the right track when it comes to representation. It started with Tiana, then Moana and now Miguel. It is fantastic that we are looking beyond the idea that every important character in pop culture should be white. Knowing it is quite hard to accurately represent a country and its traditions, I think Pixar has done an outstanding job on this.
Pixar always manages to tell heart-warming stories, but Coco is especially an example of great story-telling. While the film is colourful, its message is clear. Hold on to your dreams but do no forget those who love you. It also teaches us not to dwell on the past, but to cherish good memories. It is one of those rare films that manages to touch you. The audience consisted mostly of an older audience, but all around me people were bawling their eyes out. It shows that an amazing story combined with great visuals speaks to audiences of all ages. Besides that, Miguel is a very likeable character. He is endearing and sweet, and very determined to reach his goals. Other characters were just as layered and fun.
Coco is a film for everybody. Few people will leave the theatre feeling unsatisfied with this gem. With a running time of nearly two hours, you will find that time just flies by. While the soundtrack is not as memorable as that of Frozen or Moana, it will still make you want to dance. The film makes you want to book a plane ticket to Mexico to celebrate its culture. Most importantly, Coco is a film with a heart, which is something I’ve missed in many recent releases. Do yourself a favour and go out and see it. I promise you that you will not regret it.