If you know me, you’ll know that I adore Pixar films. My favourite film for as long as I can remember has been Monsters Inc., and I proudly display my Pixar box set on my shelves. I even went through a phase where I’d keep looking at the jobs board on the Pixar website to see if my dream job would pop up, and I’d wait patiently for the day when I could move to LA to start my career at the Pixar studios. Sadly, that day never came. 🙁
Every time Pixar announce a new film, I’m instantly excited. (Unless it’s a new Cars film. Or Toy Story 4. Toy Story 3 ended perfectly, god damn it.) In today’s CinemaScoop post, I’m going to talk about what I thought of Pixar’s latest release, Coco. (I’ll say now, this post – and probably every CinemaScoop post from now – will definitely not be as long as my review of The Greatest Showman. Wow, that was an essay.)
Not sure what CinemaScoop is? Read all about it here.
Haven’t seen Coco? Watch the trailer:
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael Garcia Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
UK Release: 19th January 2018
Director: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Starring:Gael García Bernal, Anthony Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt, Renée Victor
With some Pixar films, I can be a little disappointed when they’re announced. For example, I definitely don’t feel that we need more Cars or Toy Story sequels – originals are SO exciting! (Except The Incredibles. I’m going to be first in line for The Incredibles 2. AAAH!)
However, I’ve been following Coco since its announcement at D23, a convention where Disney announce all of their new releases and projects. As soon as I heard about the plot I was excited, so I can safely say I had high expectations months before Disney even released a trailer. I just wanted Pixar to do me proud!
I’d seen a lot of people talking about how great the film is (and how much they cried) so I had no doubt that it’ll be wonderful. As good as previous Pixar favourites? No film can beat my current favourites (Monsters, Inc. and WALL.E), but I was willing to let it be close to the top of my list if I loved it as much as I hoped I would…
Expected Rating: 4 stars
Before Coco came out, so many people linked this film to The Book of Life (literally just because they’re both Day of the Dead themed, I think). Having never seen The Book of Life, I can’t really compare – but even if I had, I don’t think it’d bother me. How many films are there based around Christmas?! Day of the Dead should be no different, surely? Anyway, let’s move on. (This isn’t going to be a rant like my review of The Greatest Showman.)
All I know about Coco is that I absolutely bloody loved everything about it!
So what’s it about? Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, young boy Miguel dreams of being a musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. After a crazy and mysterious chain of events (which I won’t say because that’s a lot of the film), Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead, a stunningly beautiful land where people go after they’ve died. He meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on a colourful adventure to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Knowing next to nothing about Mexican culture, I loved learning so much about Day of the Dead and the culture surrounding it. The film shows the rituals and routines that families go through every year, and it makes me wish we had similar ways of remembering past family members! It all seems so special and magical. (Maybe that’s Pixar romanticising it and it’s not actually that magic, but I don’t know. Maybe if you’re Mexican, you can tell me how close to reality it is!)
Another thing I love is that the cast is made up of people from the right place, rather than Americans putting on Mexican accents, and the actors are unknown. They haven’t relied on famous names to sell the film in any way, which is one thing I can always commend Disney on. I think, by now, Disney and Pixar have built up a great enough reputation that they don’t need to rely on famous voices. That seemed especially important in this film – a film all about the celebration of another culture and its values definitely needed people who are actually from the country in which its set!
The animation in Coco is beautiful. I’ve seen critics calling it ‘the most spectacular visionary experience to date’, and I have to agree. Pixar are just getting better and better at animation every year, and I’m wondering how incredible it’ll be when they reach their peak!
I thought The Good Dinosaur, a previous Pixar film, was beautiful, and this was incredible in a whole other way. Whereas The Good Dinosaur has wonderfully realistic nature and water, Coco excels at character animation, lights, and vivid colours. One of my favourite aspects of the animation is the thousands of orange petals that we see throughout the whole film, including a bridge that connects the two worlds that’s made entirely of them. It’s the kind of film I want to buy a whole load of posters for just so I can put them on my wall and admire the details!
If you couldn’t already tell, I love this film. I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about it? So, the big question: is Coco one of my favourite Pixar films so far?
Yes… it definitely is.
Okay, it can’t beat Monsters, Inc., purely because I have such a big place in my heart for that film. It’s been my favourite film since childhood so in my head, I can’t make any Pixar film beat it (not even WALL.E, which I love probably just as much). But Coco has most definitely flown right up into my top 3.
Are you a Pixar fan? Did you love Coco as much as I did? I’d love to know your thoughts!
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