Pixar has a habit of making emotional movies. Off the top of my head I can remember strong feelings the first time that I saw Up, Toy Story 3, and Inside Out just to name a few. The Good Dinosaur…was not one of these. Luckily, their latest film, Coco, certainly is. Don’t worry though, this review is spoiler free so you can read and enjoy all of the wonderful surprises that follow for yourself.
Coco is about a boy, Miguel, whose family, as he puts is, “is the only family in Mexico that hates music” because of something that happened with a relative in the distant past. The movie revolves around Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday celebration. It was such a refreshing glimpse in how tastefully Pixar animated all of the details. In trying to emulate his role model, he ends up cursed to the Land of the Dead, where he has to find a way back to life and pursue his passion of music. However, even his dead relatives hate music, making him search for another way back!
As usual for Pixar, the animation is amazing, particularly for the dead characters and their world. When you see the Land of the Dead for the first time you almost want the movie to pause so that you can take in all the detail. It’s interesting to see the ways they make the skulls of the dead emote as much as those of living people!
There are a lot more songs than in most Pixar movies, and all of them are a character or group in the movie performing as opposed to the whole town spontaneously breaking into a song number. Since a couple of the songs are used for especially subdued, emotional moments, this works very well for the film’s tone. In particular, the most played song here becomes an emotion filled stab to the gut near the end.
The only movie I’ve outright cried while watching was Marley and Me, but Coco did make me tear up a fair amount, especially at the end. From what I saw of audience members as we were leaving the theater, a lot of people were either tearing up or crying. My wife only wore lipstick and cried so much that a lot of it had washed off by the end credits.
Definitely go see this one in theaters guys, it’s an experience. We are going to pre-order it to re-watch again.
Rating: 5/5 ★★★★★