(This post is SPOILER FREE!)
Finally, the new Disney/Pixar film Coco was released on Friday 19th January 2018 and it feels like we’ve been waiting an absolute age for it. Released around the world back in November, I’ve seen nothing but amazing reactions and rave reviews all over social media, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting here in the UK to see what I was missing.
Not being able to quite wait for its official release date I was fortunate enough to watch it a week early since an Odeon near me were showing preview screenings.
Recently Pixar have been releasing quite a few sequels, like Finding Dory, Monsters University and Toy Story 3. As much as I do love them, it’s great to see a new story, with a new setting and new characters.
Coco is set in Mexico on Día de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) and follows the story of 12-year-old Miguel. Stuck having to choose between his passion for music and his family, a series of events causes Miguel to enter the Land of the Dead. Whilst trying to get back to the Land of the Living we discover Miguel’s talents, meet some interesting people and learn more about his family history.
On the whole Coco has an interesting plot and deals with some very difficult topics, which is unusual for a “children’s” film. Death is an obvious theme throughout the film but not dealt with in sad way, more of a celebration of the life the person had and keeping their memory alive.
Another point that is touched on is the unfortunate condition of Alzheimer’s/Dementia, which Miguel’s great grandmother appears to suffer from. Having had personal experience with this illness, seeing it portrayed on screen, I must admit struck a nerve, but it was done well.
Miguel is such a relatable character too. I think a lot of us have experienced or are experiencing Miguel’s predicament, struggling to satisfy family members whilst not being able to go down the path you want to take. Miguel’s reactions and behaviour are very realistic and a natural reaction to what his family are telling him and we’ve all probably experienced something similar in the past too.
I’ve got to admit, before going to watch Coco I knew very little about Mexican culture and traditions, so I really feel like I’ve learnt something from this film. Since the whole film is set during the Day of the Dead, we get to learn a lot about this Mexican holiday and how it is celebrated. The sentiment behind this tradition is lovely and heart warming, whilst probably changed slightly to fit in with the story line, it stays true to original celebration.
As with any Pixar film the animation is of unbelievably high quality but the animation of Coco is absolutely outstanding. Not only are the characters so lifelike with their movement, expressions, etc. but the scenery is stunning and incredibly detailed. Whilst watching the film, there were so many times I just wanted it to stop as it showed the shots of the Land of the Dead, just so I could take in all the lights, colours and little details.
A small thing that I find fascinating throughout the film is Miguel’s family often say phrases in Spanish, (without any subtitles) but due to the quality of the animation and the behaviour of the character whilst they’re speaking, you just know exactly what they’re saying.
Music is just another aspect of the film which is brilliant; very Mexican inspired and great to listen to. The central song of the film “Remember Me” is a tear-jerker once you find out the heartbreaking meaning behind it, so there’s no wonder it was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Award.
Overall, I loved Coco (can you tell?) and I think that it is one of Pixar’s best. Whilst not perfect (parts of the plot are a little predictable, although there’s a great twist) it is just a masterpiece, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend that you go and see it if you get a chance, but I advise you take some tissues with you because it’s going to be emotional trip.