Disney Pixar's "Coco" is Colorful, Courageous, and full of Charm
Pixar rarely disappoints. From "Up" to "Inside Out" to "Cars," Disney Pixar does its job, and does it well. This rings very true with its latest endeavor; the Dia de los Muertos themed "Coco." Helmed by co-directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina (the former a director of Pixar greats including "Monster's Inc." and "Finding Nemo"), "Coco" delves into the rich Mexican culture and the importance of family and music.
Miguel (voiced by the endearing Anthony Gonzalez) is a part of a family that has forbidden music, ever since their great-great grandmother's husband abandoned her to become a famous musician. However, Miguel has a secret gift for playing guitar, and when forced to choose between familial loyalty and the passion he loves, he embarks on a colorful adventure in the Land of the Dead.
"Coco" is Pixar at its best: full of sumptuous thematic elements, well-developed characters, and a knack for drawing tears from even the most masculine of viewers. Its ability to build such a rich and complex world draws us in, and the heart of each character keeps us around. It would be easy to feel swallowed by the complexity of it all, but "Coco" has gifted us with a neatly wrapped present of love, loyalty, and determination. Further, Gael García Bernal's portrayal of the raggedy, street-smart Héctor is enveloping and heart wrenching; he's both the comedic relief and the devastating plot twist all-in-one. The writers have provided a road map for understanding the importance of Dia de los Muertos; its meaning is one that people from all walks of life will relish, regardless of your heritage. The relationships will hit close to home for many (we all know a sandal-slapping, brash, blunt, and holds-you-too-close Abuelita), and this is especially relevant during the family-fueled holidays. "Coco" could easily become your family's next Thanksgiving tradition. Or Christmas. Or Kwanza. Or Dia de los Muertos, for obvious reasons. It's a universal tale in a vibrant and vivid Hispanic setting.
We're keeping this review short and sweet because, truly, we don't want to ruin this one. Go, enjoy, escape. "Coco" will put rose-colored glasses over any rainy day.
Directed by LEE UNKRICH and ADRIAN MOLINA
Written by LEE UNKRICH
Starring GAEL GARCIA BERNAL, ANTHONY GONZALEZ, BENJAMIN BRATT, ALANNA UBACH
Distributed by WALT DISNEY PICTURES
"Coco" is now playing everywhere.
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