Director: Lee Unkrich
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal
3.5 (Out Of 5) Globes
Plot: 12-year-old Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez) is a burgeoning guitarist that dreams of following his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) and becoming an accomplished and celebrated musician. There’s just one problem: Miguel’s family has banned music. On Dia De Muertos, though, Miguel looks to showcase his talent, only to be magically transported to the Land Of The Dead. In order to return to the real world Miguel joins up with Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), discovering new secrets about his family along the way.
Review: It can be very hard to review the latest Pixar release.
Especially when it is an original story, as the studio’s past is littered with cinematic gems that have been profound, hilarious, and stretched the cinematic possibilities for kids and adults alike. “Coco” is the perfect reminder of why Pixar needs to continue to make original films, too, as it creates a vivid, colorful, and truly imaginative world based off the Mexican holiday of Dia de Muertos, otherwise known as the Day Of The Dead.
As soon as “Coco” delves into its afterlife it brims with ideas, while also unfolding at a breakneck speed that only adds to the film’s wonder, merriment, and craziness. Because of its relentless pace, though, “Coco’s” impact doesn’t quite stick with you in the same way as “WALL-E,”” Up,” ”Ratatouille,” and “Inside Out.”
There are other elements that don’t quite work, too, as the entire idea that a family would ban music is just a little too far-fetched, plus its plot is predictable, lacking any real surprises to pull you in, while it is just funny without ever really being hilarious.
Still, because of the film’s gorgeous array of visuals, which provide a constant feast for the eyes, its vibrant energy, and just the sparkling originality of its story, “Coco” unfolds like a catchy avant-garde pop-song, a comparison that is particularly fitting as it original music makes it both glisten and unique.
If “Toy Story” is Pixar’s The Beatles, “Coco” is its Kate Bush, and that’s very much meant as a compliment.
As has become the norm with Pixar, too, the heart and emotion of “Coco” is pitch perfect, which means you’re never not invested, and sometimes you’re even on the verge of tears. And while it might not reach the heights of its Pixar predecessors, “Coco” still shows that the studio is brimming with the kind of bold ideas, brilliance, and creativity that its Hollywood rivals don’t come anywhere near to matching.