November 22, 2017

R: November 22nd, 2017 | R: 105 minutes | R: PG

Through music and family, Coco strikes a rhythm that can bring back even the deadest of hearts. This original story accomplishes an amazing feat by joining some of Pixar’s greatest movies that is sure to bring families together this Thanksgiving. A young boy is born into a family that has a generational ban on music. But when he expresses his dream of being a musician, his family’s disapproval sends him on a journey into the land of the dead. Exploring his familial bonds, he must traverse a difficult line between expressing his true self and honoring his family.

With truly beautiful animation, entertaining music, and a heartwarming storyline, Coco brings life and love into an industry dominated by sequels and franchises. An original story, the movie finally brings different perspectives and experiences into the cultural mainstream. Its focus on Mexican heritage is a breath of fresh air that feels creative and new, and with a fully Latino cast and Spanish-speaking moments sprinkled throughout, remains authentic and true. But what Coco does best is faithfully represent a community while remaining relevant and touching to viewers of all backgrounds. Children and adults alike will find real value in the film, with jokes and moments meant for all types of viewers. The film does an amazing job keeping a smile on everyone’s face from start to finish. Pixar’s adventure into musical cinema also proved a success – with songs that will certainly get stuck on repeat and inspire happiness. Coco is as vibrant as its colorful and imaginative animation, and the world feels full, lively, and magical.

Yet in a movie dominated by the dead, what truly sets Coco apart is that it has soul. Its message is easy to relate to – navigating family expectations and becoming your own person – but it handles it in a unique and truly touching way. The entire journey feels meaningful, complete, and at times even unexpected. For a film whose target audience is children, it is set to a backdrop about mortality and living life with love and joy. Pixar decides to skip the opening tear-jerk sequence and instead opts to build up an entire story just to tear your heart out by the end. Coco avoids dumbing down its material for a younger audience and instead carries more emotional weight than many Hollywood films today, and is sure to appeal to every generation in a different way.

Coco is anything but dead. Its vibrant visuals, magical setting, creative storytelling, and compelling emotional weight make the movie among one of Pixar’s best. Coco is a thrilling, engaging journey into the land of the dead that proves that original storytelling is alive and well.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Johnny Johnny (Senior Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you to another place.
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Coco brings the magic and culture of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to the Pixar animation family. It’s an illustrious tale of passion, the importance of family and following your dreams. Has Pixar once again made inanimate objects into another hit movie?

Coco starts off with a bang giving the back story on Miguel, the 12-year protagonist who longs to play guitar like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Despite his family banning music from their lives because of a family “curse”, Miguel enters the town’s talent show to show how serious he is about becoming a musician.

The story continues to pick up from there as Miguel eventually finds himself in the land of the dead on the night where the dead can cross back into the living world. I think the movie did an excellent job sharing the annual Mexican tradition as they showed the importance of having family members’ pictures on the ofrenda or offering which is an essential part of Día de los Muertos. They also did a really great job on how vibrant and non-scary the dead are on this night because it’s a night of celebration of dead loved ones.

I will say that it was hard getting attached to the characters because it felt like they were too harsh against music and did not want to listen to Miguel at all. As well as a bit too much going on in the plot among all the well done animation so it was difficult to focus on just one thing. The plot twist however surely caught my attention and brought everything back on track and made up for the chaos prior to.

Worth mentioning there are scenes were characters literally die from falling objects and even poison. That being said it may not be appropriate for a super young audience.

Overall Coco made me laugh, cry and dance in my seat. It may not line up with the classics but it is sure to sing its way into your heart.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ashley Ashley (Senior Contributor) is an Orlando native who loves watching movies. Her favorite genres include comedies, thrillers and sci-fi.
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Coco, the newest Pixar film, puts a spin on death by displaying the importance of loving your family while you have them and never forgetting them when they’re gone. A living boy is trapped in the Land of the Dead with his deceased family members and must embark on a journey to unlock his freedom before sunrise. Drawing heavily from the culture of Mexico and Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, this beautifully animated film is nothing but a joy to your eyes with all of its dazzling colors.

The characters in this film are rich with personality and very well written. We follow Miguel, who dreams of becoming a musician, while being a part of a family with a ban on all music. The surrounding family members and friends build this story into an incredible tale of finding the importance of family and also following your dreams.

This film is full of comedy that is great for the entire family, but will also bring you and your family to tears. Coco is beautiful, from the animation, to the music, the characters and finally the story which is tied into a perfect bow by the end.

I would highly recommend Coco to anyone. This film will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you cherish the memories you have of your own family and the stories each of them tell. Definitely check out Coco, you won’t be disappointed. Pixar has done it again!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Logan Logan (Contributor) is a Texas native and a massive fan of all genres of film. You can find him talking about movies on YouTube as half of the CraZCouple or in line for the latest Star Wars/Comic Book film.
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