a COCO musing
Pixar has had a pretty spotty record after their hands-down KO of a movie TOY STORY 3. Although a sequel, it was the only one of their continuations I loved, while the other I merely liked or skipped altogether. Their original ideas, like WALL-E and INSIDE OUT amongst others, contain some of the best storytelling and animation around, and COCO continues that trend, and even transcends it.
When reading the synopsis of the movie, which involves a Mexican boy, Miguel, forbidden by his family from playing music, it seems a bit far fetched that a family so entrenched in culture so tied to its music would not allow generations to go without music. COCO never bends so far backwards to overexplain its conceit, but uses Miguel’s family to make you understand their rule.
This movie had it all for me: a boy wanting to be a musician, a well-worn but well done trope of backstabbed artist, family drama in spades, death shaping the love of life, *SPOILER ALERT* idols/the person you were searching for not being who you thought they were, *END SPOILER ALERT* etc. I don’t think I ever failed holding back tears more than in this movie. It’s told with such love and with gorgeous visuals, it’s hard to find anything to dislike. I usually find problems with pacing in movies made for children (especially INSIDE OUT) but COCO keeps things interesting story-wise and emotionally.
The emotional punch at the end is a haymaker, but COCO does such a great job of spreading the emotional resonance throughout the film. Maybe it’s because of my musical affection, close ties to my family and fascination with legacy, but I easily fell in love with this movie from the first frame. (Not of that Frozen short, though. That was egregious.)
RATING: BEST OF THE BEST
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)