BEIRUT: Disney and Pixar’s latest collaboration is one of the most hopeful and magical films of the year.
With Pixar producing and Disney releasing the film, Coco tells the tale of young Miguel, an aspiring musician, whose world is turned upside down when he accidentally ends up in the land of the dead after stealing an alleged family relic from the relative’s crypt.
Miguel: I know, I’m not supposed to love music. But my great-grandma Coco’s father was the greatest musician of all time, Ernesto de la Cruz. One day he left with his guitar and never returned, now my family thinks music is a curse.
The brilliance of this film rests in its flawlessly written narrative.
As always, Pixar produced films never talk down to their audience, regardless of their age demographic.
The narrative hits on a multitude of beats that might be a little hard for some children to comprehend, but those exact beats are the ones that are handled with the utmost care.
The writers Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich craft the scenes in a way that ensures that a conversation between parent/guardian and child will emerge from them, much like the Disney animated classics.
Miguel: I am not like the rest of my family. There’s something that makes me different.
Thematically, the film deals with family, dreams, and the importance of memories.
With young Miguel struggling to choose between his family and music, his adventure in the land of the dead not only aids in his understanding of what it means to be “part” of a family, but also that achieving dreams doesn’t come without sacrifice.
On a deeper level, the film touches on themes of death, and why it is important to always remember those who came before us.
This film marks the first Pixar film that includes songs sung by the characters, but that isn’t much of a surprise since Disney was involved in the making of this film.
Arrival Agent: Welcome to the Land of the Dead. Agents at the Department of Family Reunions are available to assist you. Please on the lookout for a living boy!
Yet, one could argue that the songs in the film came from the music played by the characters, but this is still a shift in the tradition of Pixar – a studio that wanted to push the idea of making a children’s animated film without music.
From a visual perspective, the film’s animation proves how far Pixar Studios has come and excites as far it could still grow.
The film’s color palette is mesmerizing and this aids in pulling the audience into Miguel’s world, as well as the land of the dead.
As far as 3D films go, Coco definitely engages and the three-dimensional depth never feels gimmicky but rather immersive.
The smoothness of the animation sculptures, merged with the realistic yet fantastical architecture of the film’s world – everything about this film works in utmost unison.
Michael Giacchino’s score adds the right amount of flavor to fully bring this film to life.
On a final note, Coco marks the first Pixar film that is not preceded by a Pixar short, instead it is preceded by a 20 minute Frozen short.
Though many seem peeved by this, the film does offer another powerful message and some great musical themes. The original cast is back to tackle Anna and Elsa’s lack of a Christmas tradition.
All in all, with the limited number of proper Christmas films that bring the entire family into the movie theater, Disney and Pixar’s Coco is the perfect solution. With its powerful themes, and spell-binding visual landscape, Disney and Pixar knock another film out of the park with a picture-perfect homerun. This film is recommended for all Disney and Pixar lovers, as well as the entire family.
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