Title – Coco (2017)
Directors – Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and Adrian Molina (feature debut)
Cast – (Voices of) Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach
Plot – During Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, young boy and aspiring musician Miguel (Gonzalez) gets transported to the Land of the Dead where he must team up with friendly soul Hector (Bernal) to track down his long lost relative and musical sensation Ernesto de la Cruz (Bratt) to get a blessing to be sent back to the world of the living.
“Remember me, though I have to say goodbye”
Review by Eddie on 18/04/2018
After some up and down efforts over the last few years, Pixar has shown the world once again that it’s the master at producing original, risky and effective CGI efforts with the loveable and colourful Coco alleviating any doubts we may’ve started to harbor about the great animation companies ability to produce high-end original ideas.
Fixating itself around Mexican culture through music and beliefs and creating a highly enjoyable incarnation of the land of the dead (filled with hybrid animals and feel good vibes), Coco follows its young protagonist Miguel as he enters unwittingly into the land of the dead on the night of the Day of the Dead celebrations as he must find his long-lost musically orientated family member to bless him back into the land of the living.
It’s a thoroughly enjoyable ride and one that co-directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina keep moving at a non-stop pace but one in which they also aren’t afraid to take time out in and contemplate some emotional and poignant musings on life and what it means to be alive and to be a part of a family, delivering classic Pixar messages that feel real and relative, rather than forced and trite.
It’s a great mix of the fun and the serious and Coco is that rare animated film that can be enjoyed by the young and the old in equal measure and one that blends its elements together to create an experience that is likely to be remembered as one of the companies most risky and successful ventures in a CV of some incredibly well-made films.
Working alongside the films unique set-pieces and foundation in a culture many outside of Mexico would fail to fully grasp is a collection of great characters and in-turn voice performances from its cast with the young Anthony Gonzalez work voicing Miguel a highlight with great supports from Gael Garcia Bernal as Miguel’s Land of the Dead companion Hector and Benjamin Bratt as the singing sensation Ernesto de la Cruz.
These characters might not be up there with the best of Pixar’s back catalogue and Coco might not be as funny overall as some of the kings of their past but it doesn’t stop this Oscar winning effort from being a league above other animated efforts from the last 12 months.
Final Say –
A film to be enjoyed by all ages, Coco is a likeable and affectionately made feature that will make you laugh and cry and is a stern reminder to us all that Pixar still has what it takes to be the king of the animated market.
4 borrowed guitars out of 5
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