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Coco: Battle of the Reviews!


I honestly need to make a habit of bringing a box of tissues with me whenever I go to see Pixar movies. No matter how hard I try, I always manage to cry. It isn’t exclusive to sad moments either. Everyone can be happy and I’m still in tears. Pixar’s newest film, Coco succeeded in doing just that and more.

The film is about a boy named Miguel Riviera who wishes to pursue music despite his family’s generation’s old ban against it. As he tries to prove his talent to his family, he stumbles into the Land of the Dead where he meets the ancestors that enforced the ban. When Miguel can’t convince his ancestors to let him play his music, he runs away into the foreign land and meets with a trickster named Hector.

The plot itself remains engaging throughout the film. Miguel truly drives the story in his desire to become a musician despite his family’s ban. Whenever I thought the film would go one way, it would go the opposite way in a natural progression of events. The film does a good job at keeping the story interesting with its well-rounded characters paving the way.

Anthony Gonzalez leads the film as Miguel. His youthful voice adds to Miguel’s sense of adventure and determination. Gael García Bernal is especially humorous as Hector. He makes Hector sound as charming as he is desperate to get to the Land of the Living. Both of these actors bring these characters to life in a deep and emotional way.

There were so many aspects of the film that were done well. For obvious starters, the art of the film is stunning. Pixar hardly disappoints in that department. The environments in both the Land of the Dead and the Land of the Living are detailed with colorful Mexican influence. Especially when Miguel is in the Land of the Dead the colors are vibrant and some of the architecture is based on Aztec culture as well.

The character design makes each character look diverse in appearance as they are in personality. The skeletons of the Land of the Dead are just as vibrant in color as their surroundings.  If you look closely, you can see the designs on their faces are unique to each character. No two skeletons look alike. The living characters are designed with just as much detail.

It was also great to learn more about the Day of the Dead. I never really knew about the Day of the Dead until I learned about it in my high school Spanish class. My mom knew about it because the people of our tribe would celebrate it. I grew up in San Diego too so I would see it around me. The Day of the Dead is no stranger to me, but I don’t know everything about it. With all of this in mind, Coco portrays the Mexican culture and its traditions with absolute respect. The culture only adds a positive light on the story and its characters. It’s a great way to learn about an important tradition in Mexican culture—especially to those who don’t know anything at all about the Day of the Dead.

The core theme of this film is the importance of family. I think that no matter what cultural background people come from they can agree that family is important. Coco is a reminder of that.

I do suggest before you go see this film to bring a few tissues. Just in case.

Coco (2017)
Director:  Lee Unkrich
Studio:  Pixar
Genre:  Family, Comedy
Release Date:  November 22nd, 2017
Author:  Emily Casebolt
Emily Casebolt Born in Albuquerque and raised in San Diego, Emily Casebolt is a graduate of New Mexico State University with degree in Digital Filmmaking. She writes and plots stories any chance she gets from screenplays to novels. On her freetime, she watches hours of Netflix and reads countless books. She aspires to be a television writer for a one hour drama.