Coco (2017) – Lee Unkrich, and Adrian Molina

A fiesta for the heart, and the souls. Coco is another proud feather for Pixar, and the House of Mouse.

Pixar, since its first full length feature, Toy Story in 1995, has made some of my all time pieces of not only family entertainment, but heart-touching tales filled with humour, amazing art, brilliant stories and some wonderfully cinematic moments.

Coco, releasing today, 22 November, is no different. Wrapped up in a fun story, is a resonating tale of family, those we love, what we’ve lost, and how we are remembered.

Steeped in Mexican lore, the film is set on Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Young Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is an aspiring musician like his late hero, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), but his family has outlawed music, an act that can be traced back to his great-great-grandmother and a broken heart.

He wants nothing to do with his family of shoe makers, both living, and deceased. On the Day of the Dead, he plans to steal de la Cruz’s guitar to play in a talent show in Mariachi Square.

Stealing from the Dead, especially on their day, is a terrible thing, and Miguel, and a street dog, Dante, are swept to the Other Side. They find themselves in a beautiful realm, where the deceased reside, until the one day of the year they can visit the living, but only if they are remembered.

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Miguel is only able to return to his world if he receives the blessing of a member of his family, and it must be done before dawn, or he’ll never get back. So, in true heroic style, he sets off to meet his great-great-grandfather, de la Cruz.

What follows is yet another fine entry in the pantheon of Pixar films, and one that I was joyously surprised with. The first three-quarters of the film, I laughed, enjoyed the characters, set design and voice performances, but didn’t realise how drawn into the story I was until the climax of the film, and then, once again – Pixar got me.

A joyous celebration of life (and death) Coco resonates with love, family, colour. Like all Pixar films there is a vibrant score (by Michael Giacchino) and in this case there is a beautiful song by Bobby and Kristen-Anderson Lopez, which in itself becomes a gorgeously crafted plot point.

This is one of Pixar’s films that is a lot of fun to watch, whether you are young, or old, and will give families lots to talk about on the drive home, and perhaps for a long time after. The pursuit of dreams, the importance of family, and finding a balance for everything – these are good reminders for everyone.

In this day of disposable entertainment, it’s easy to miss the films that really matter, the ones that tell a good story, the ones that deserve to find a way into your heart. Coco is not to be missed.

Disney Pixar’s Coco opens in theatres today.

pixar-coco-guitar

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