After months of waiting, good old United Kingdom finally releases Coco in the cinema. Well.. almost, but we got a little flavour of the Mexican animation at selected cinema’s a week before release. Naturally, being the Disney fan that I am, I couldn’t wait any longer to see the new Pixar masterpiece. Especially as it’s already been out for months already in cinema’s around the rest of the world… quite unfair if you ask me and I totally blame Star Wars for this.
So let’s get back to the matter and hand, Coco. I can still feel the tears falling down my face as I write this review, if you’re a total crier (and I’ve been told I have a famous ugly cry) then you will be sobbing your little heart out by the end of this emotional ride. The film simply follows the little Mexican boy Miguel, on his journey to discover his family heritage and his love for music which is forbidden in his family. After borrowing the guitar of world famous Ernesto De la Cruz, he finds himself on the other side during Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). Straight off from the bat, you can identify with Miguel and his undying love of music, everyone has a passion and this is no exception. But this is just a small flavour of character depth, and Coco does an amazing job at giving each and every one of it’s characters an organic Mexican quality which is both real and relatable. I guarantee you will watch this and know someone in your life that resembles at least one of them, whether it’s the quirky Hector or the ever so sassy Mama Imelda. This has something to do with the casting process and how every voice actor is natively Mexican (bar Ernesto De La Cruz who is Peruvian). This choice is a stroke of genius, it would make total sense to hire a fully Mexican cast which provides the most authentic experience you will ever get.
The film takes you on such a beautiful journey through the Mexican culture, which watching as an outsider is culturally enriching and a huge educational piece for the world. They stay true to many traditions such as Día de los Muertos, which has been adapted to the modern era of technology and provides a fun insight to help viewers understand the tradition. Passport photo’s anyone? The research that has gone into this amazing piece of animation is beyond extensive. The music as we all know is a big part of a Disney film and this being a Pixar film, contains the perfect amount of vocal soundtrack which is traditionally Disney. The music is culturally rich with Mexican influence, it features Mariachi groups, guitar riffs, gritos and the perfect vocals which will get you moving and will no doubt be stuck in your head by the end of the film. If you’re anything like me you’ll be downloading the soundtrack as soon as you walk out of the cinema.
The animation is stunning, as you would expect from a Disney Pixar film. They know how to do animation and quite frankly will never be beat. You can see that the research into Mexican culture has bled through into the animation, from the bright colours, the architecture and all round structures to the village and the land of the dead. If you love your animation, you won’t be disappointed in this one, the colours alone are enough to blow your visual cues off the charts.
One of the big features of Coco is it’s sheer relatability with the audience. You’d think watching a Mexican based film as an outsider would be alienating, but watching this coming from a big Greek family orientated background, you start drawing the links between cultures, especially how close they are to begin with, the Spanish and the Greek’s I’d say are pretty close in terms of culture, and beliefs. BUT it doesn’t matter who you are or the background you come from, family is universal and most of if not all cultures globally have strong family beliefs and this film does it’s job at tugging on heartstrings, making you cry, and reminding you of your own family and the connection you share.
Honestly, this review can do so much as tell you how amazing the film is visually and musically, after all it is based on my opinion too which you may not agree with. But I urge you to go watch the film yourself and I highly recommend it to anyone both Disney and non-Disney fan alike. It’s highly relatable to everyone and is the right amount of Disney magic that anyone will enjoy.
Just make sure to bring a box of tissues… you’ll need them!