Corre, no camines (that’s “run, don’t walk!”) to see Coco, the newest animated feature film from Pixar Animation Studios/Disney. This beautiful movie is something that families will cherish seeing together. Like Moana last year, I took my family (ages 7 to 70+) to see Coco over Thanksgiving weekend, and everyone was delighted by the splendor of this wonderful cinematic experience.
Coco tells the story of a young boy named Miguel who yearns to be a musician, although he comes from a long line of shoemakers who not only despise music but have banned it from their family for generations. I do not want to spoil too much of the story here because it is such a beautiful and surprising adventure. But in a nutshell, Miguel winds up crossing over to the Land of the Dead on Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday which celebrates ancestors who have passed away. In the Land of the Dead, Miguel reconnects with his family, meets his musical idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voiced by Benjamin Bratt), helps to expose a shocking murder, and embraces his both ancestry and his destiny.
The movie has a strong message about family that is almost a little heavy-handed, but overall this is simply a fantastic film. The animation is, in a word, breathtaking. I still marvel while watching Pixar movies pondering that nothing is real; everything is just computer-created reality. It makes me think back to the car in the gas station in Toy Story. I remember being in disbelief that it was just an animated car! That happened again to me during Coco, in a scene when Miguel and his street dog/spirit guide or alebrije Dante climb up onto the roof into Miguel’s secret shrine to de la Cruz. The way the roof shingles and especially, the leaves, looked…Well, wow. It was such a simple thing but it just looked so realistic to me.
Coco is something that should be seen the big screen, so don’t wait for Netflix or a DVD to see it at home. Surrender to the magic and the music and enjoy this fantastico family movie in a theater!
Parents should note that the next chapter in the Frozen story plays before Coco. The 21-minute featurette Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is a sweet and fun holiday-themed confection that brings back Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and of course, that adorable snowman Olaf back to the silver screen. Elsa and Anna are saddened when they realize they have no family holiday traditions, so Olaf goes on a search to find some. Our family is a big fan of all things Frozen, so we were looking forward to seeing this and we did enjoy it!
Coco (Pixar Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures) is now playing in theaters.
Jennifer Niederhoffer is the founder of Impress Media, an independent lifestyle & entertainment public relations and editorial services firm. You can follow her on twitter @impressmedia or @themommysreview.
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