The value of family and following your own dreams come together in this fantastical, unique tale of the land of the dead, based heavily on Mexican folklore and traditions. Also a fantastic display of how far computer animation has come, the details on every object rendered are mind boggling.
Young Miguel is forced by his family to take part in their shoemaking business when all he wants to do is play his guitar and sing. But when on Dia de Los Muertos he tries to take his ancestor’s guitar to follow in his footsteps, he’s whisked away to the land of the dead! Now he needs to get his dead music-hating relatives to get him home before sunrise, or he’ll be stuck in the land of the dead too.
The music is the main attraction for this film, but above all it’s a story of clashing values within a close knit family. The drama is appropriately lightened with great comedy that doesn’t feel dumbed down to be appropriate for children. There’s a comically clumsy dog who tags along the adventure, and provides great slapstick laughs only capable in the animated form. The same goes for the many skeletal dead people of the land of the dead, whose bodies break apart only to be reassembled by themselves like enchanted structures.
Every song is a great ear catching tune that also puts you in the environment of a firmly Mexican story with Mexican style singing, guitar playing, and shrieking. This is one worth getting the soundtrack for!
When watching the behind the scenes take of the movie, I learned that the music directors used real musicians to strum and then used special computer technology to integrate those movements onto the characters. So when you’re watching the movie watch the movements when the character is strumming or performing. It’s the actual cords!
I also loved the twist of the narrative. There was a conclusion the audience was lead to believe established early on in the film, but halfway into the film the truth is discovered and our perceptions of the characters we’ve met and gotten to know are flipped in their head. I don’t want to reveal quite what it is, but it was a nice change from what you’d expect from a film with a narrative like this one.
Funny, dramatic, easy to get caught up in its magic, filled with great colorful visuals and music, and it might even bring a tear to your eye in the end, it’s perfect for the kids and adults alike.
Coco lands in theaters this Thanksgiving. What a better way to celebrate Thanksgiving with a film the whole family will enjoy!