Our Thoughts On Disney Pixar Coco!

Hey All!

Today I’m going to share our thoughts on the amazing latest animated film release from Disney Pixar to hit theaters this fall is Coco. Coco tells a story rooted in Hispanic culture with the setting taking place in Mexico on Dia De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). A holiday in which the living remember and celebrate the people they love who have passed. This film is brought alive by the director of Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich) with co-directing by Adrian Molina (writer of The Good Dinosaur).

The story of Coco is actually the story of Miguel Rivera (relative new comer Anthony Gonzalez), a young boy growing up in Mexico who dreams of being a musician. Miguel’s passion is undeniable as shown in his adoration of famed musician Ernesto De La Cruz (a character designed for the film who has the star status of Elvis Presley in his prime and is voiced by movie star Benjamin Bratt). Miguel studies Ernesto’s moves and teaches himself how to play the guitar by watching movies starring De La Cruz. This is all for naught because no matter how much Miguel wants it, his family will never allow it. The Rivera family hates music. They hate music so much it is banned from their home. And when I say music I don’t just mean a specific type or genre, I mean all music. The story goes that the matriarch of the family (Mama Imelda voiced by Alanna Ubach who is best known from her supporting roles in Meet the Fockers and The Legally Blonde films) was once married to a musician who loved his music so much that he left his wife and daughter to seek out his glory in music.

Not being set back, Mama Imelda picks herself up and builds what is in present day an empire around making and selling shoes. This empire is comprised wholly of every generation of her family, which includes young Miguel. Not to be deterred and being full of defiance, Miguel decides to run away and play in the festival on the night of Dia De Los Muertos. The problem is he has no guitar. To rectify this, Miguel decides to steal/borrow the guitar of his idol Ernesto De La Cruz. The moment he strums the guitar he is swept away into the spirit realm and must journey into the Land of the Dead to find his way back home. Along the way he learns the truth about his family’s history as he deals with the moral dilemma of choosing his passion for his music and the love of his family.

This is a moral dilemma that is quite relatable across all cultures. Think of the young artists that leave home with no money and full of passion for their art. They are forced to move far away from everything they know and everything they love just to celebrate the art in their soul. Coco adds real Hispanic flavor in its visuals, music and its cast. While most of the film occurs in The Land of The Dead, it is important to remember that this is not some gothic or Greek Tragedy Land of the Dead, this is Dia De Los Muertos Land of the Dead. If you are unfamiliar with what this means, just google Dia De Los Muertos and you will see images of bright neon colors and fireworks; nothing frightening or depressing about that. While the score is composed by Pixar alum Michael Giacchino, the original music is by Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez; thus authenticating the songs to be truly of Hispanic descent. The majority of the cast is also of Hispanic descent. In addition to those previously mentioned, Miguel’s guide along this trek is voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal star of Y Tu Mama Tambien & Mozart in the Jungle. Along Miguel’s journey he encounters several characters who are also voiced by living Hispanic icons including: Gabriel Iglesias (Fluffy), Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver), Cheech Marin (Cheech & Chong).

Getting back to the title of the film and its relation to the story. The title Coco is actually pulled from the name of the daughter of Mama Imelda and her musician husband that abandoned them. While the plot and story of the film follow the young boy Miguel, by the end of the film everything hinges on the character Coco. And for a character that not only is completely digital, but also has maybe 3 lines of dialogue in the entire film, it is scenes with Coco that truly touched my soul.

While being rooted in Hispanic culture, Coco also has very relatable themes in the form of the previously mentioned moral dilemma of passion versus family. Pixar never fails to create stories like this that are both unlike anything seen in popular animation and yet very relatable on a universal level. As always they’ve made a fun, touching and memorable animated classic.

COCO is in theatres everywhere now! Get you’re tickets! You don’t want to miss seeing this beautiful film in the theatre with Olaf’s Frozen Adventure!

For more info on the film:

Like COCO on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarCoco

Follow COCO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pixarcoco

Follow COCO on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixarcoco/

Visit the official COCO website here: http://movies.disney.com/coco

Jesse Delia