Is it any good?
Do you like crying? Of course you do!
Because Pixar always does that so well. Coco is another achievement in making you feel things.
Coco had an uphill climb. The Book of Life tread much of the same ground and was very well regarded. While it isn’t my favorite animated film, it’s certainly not a bad movie. And Coco feels very much the same in the trailers. We have similar looking vistas, similarly designed characters, and what may seem to be similar plot elements at first glance. But Coco is a completely different animal and entirely worthy of your time and attention.
Coco tells the story of Miguel. He comes from a family of shoemakers, but all he wants to do is play music like his idol Ernesto De La Cruz. On Dia De Los Muertos he goes against his family’s wishes and deserts them to play music in a talent competition. Something goes awry and he finds himself stuck between the world of the living and that of the dead. He must find his way home before sunset or risk staying in the land of the dead forever.
There are a few more twists and turns, but they’re better left unsaid until you see the movie. What Pixar has done with this straightforward narrative is weave a rich and colorful tapestry of image and song to tell a story about family, ambition, and sacrifice. And in true Pixar fashion, it will probably make you cry.
It’s actually kinda slow in the beginning as we set up the stakes that we follow throughout the film. In part, that’s because the question we, the viewer, are asked at the beginning is different from the answer we receive at the end of the movie. We think we are watching a movie about a boy learning what it takes to be a musician and follow his dreams, but it ends up being a very different movie about love and family.
But as it hurtles headlong towards the finale it is as emotionally resonant as anything Pixar has done. You know in Toy Story 2 when we pause for a moment to watch the sad story of Jessie? Well, Coco feels like a movie that builds towards that as a conclusion.
It’s an achievement and the best Pixar’s done since Inside Out. I hope you do go and see this wonderful movie.
Warning: There’s no Pixar short at the beginning of this one. Instead we get a short from Disney animation starring everyone from Frozen. Why warning? Because it’s something like 30 MINUTES LONG! The short was kinda cute and features new and original songs, but wow is that a LOT of time to be spending in a completely different universe.