Posted Dec 05 2017

Coco - This Pixar Movie Rocks - Like You Were Expecting Something Else?

Dir: Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina

Starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach

Coco is Pixar’s most visually opulent film to date. It’s also one of their finest in some time, not a automotive sequel, or nary a green dinosaur in sight. This is classic Pixar, smart, effusive, overflowing with inventiveness and ingenuity and, as they always do at their best, presenting a story full of heart, breathtakingly well told.

Here we are in Mexico for the Day of the Dead, where young Miguel (a delightful Gonzalez) must face up to and overcome his family’s aversion to all forms of music if he is to fulfil his dream of becoming a guitar player like his hero, the legendary Ernesto de la Cruz (Bratt.)

Unkrich and his co-director Molina create a beautiful and vivid vision of Mexico on its national holiday, packed with detail and lushly coloured. But when young Miguel accidentally transgresses and crosses over into the Land of the Dead, things become even more lively. Visually on an epic scale, this afterlife world is populated by family members, secrets of the past and bones, lots of bones. Indeed, every gag it’s possible to do with a skeleton, the filmmakers never miss. All of this is aided and abetted by a superb score from Michael Giacchino, including the song, Remember Me, which is played many times in many manners, but when it finally reveals itself towards the end, imay well have just landed the Oscar for Best Original Song at the same time.

A remarkably gorgeous film just to stare at, as with Pixar at its strongest, the gags are also plentiful, and come thick and fast. But it is ultimately the heart of the story and the ability to bypass saccharine (for the most part) in its telling that reveal the real strengths of Coco. It’s a story line that may verge on becoming a touch too complex, even convoluted, at times. But it is one that never fails to completely engage and move its audience. In other words, a Pixar movie. And you can’t say better than that.

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