“Coco” is Disney Pixar’s latest offering, and sees the animation head to Mexico for the annual Día de Muertos – or, Day of the Dead. Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is banned from playing music by his family, who were hurt deeply by the abandonment of their music-playing great-great-grandfather, but ultimately Miguel just wants to sing and play his guitar, like his hero – the late Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Brett).
After escaping his overbearing family and stealing de la Cruz’s guitar, Miguel finds himself in the land of the dead, where passed on people end up and the memories from their families keeps them there. Miguel meets Hector (Gael García Bernal), who enlists to help him find de la Cruz in exchange for Hector’s photo being put up back in the land of the living so his memory lives on.
The biggest strength in “Coco” is its animation. The vibrant colours and the A+ animated characters can’t be faulted, and it really adds something special to a movie that is essentially about death. It also shows a great deal of respect to the Mexican culture, and the traditions of Día de Muertos. It’ll educate the kids (and us adults) on the traditions that surround the day, and is quite a special message in the importance of family.
Thirdly, the voice actors and songs are fantastic, and the casting is impressive. Gonzalez is only 12 years old, and is a fantastic singer and really nails the part of Miguel. Teen breakout star for sure, I’d keep an eye out for this kid.
I hesitate to call this a children’s movie, as it will generally appeal to all, much like most other Disney Pixar films. It doesn’t rely heavily on humour to portray this, but moreso a cute film with a really good – and important – message.