Is there any movie studio that is more consistent and reliable than Pixar? Sure, a couple of the sequels may have been off the mark, but those aside, Pixar movies are emotional experiences unparalleled in Hollywood. I had so much faith in Pixar and Coco that I didn’t even give my coworkers a voting option for the fortnightly movie excursion I organize. I made an executive decision and took us to Coco.
Before I talk about Coco, let’s talk about what happened before Coco: the controversial “short”, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. I love Olaf. I finally caught him at D-land a few days prior and geeked out so hard as we talked about sunshine and warm hugs. I actually did enjoy the short. I thought it was cute, and Josh Gad is all heart as always. HOWEVER, I do not believe that this was the appropriate venue for it. Not only was it way too long for a pre-movie appetizer, it had neither the spirit nor the quality of the shorts we’ve come to expect in this spot. Let’s be real, I wouldn’t have actually tried to catch this on TV as was its initially intended medium, but I woulda been happy to watch it as a DVD extra or YouTube clip.
Now Coco. A young boy in Mexico (Miguel, not Coco, but I’m not explaining that here) loves music more than anything. However, the art form has been banned in his family for generations, after his great great grandfather abandoned his family in order to pursue a career as a musician. He comes to believe that this mysterious patriarch may in fact be the greatest singer in his country’s history. I’ll skip some details, but he finds himself in the Land of the Dead on Dia de Los Muertos trying to find this man and gain his blessing in order to return to the land of the living.
As I said on Stardust, Pixar once again has outdone themselves with the animation. It was beyond gorgeous, and I don’t just say that because I love Dia de Los Muertos style imagery. And even though Dia de Los Muertos was never a part of my family’s traditions, there was plenty in the film that actually made me kinda homesick: the accents, the slang, mentions of tamales, the music. It was really beautiful seeing that culture presented on screen.
And yes, as expected, such an emotional story. A lot about family, but I also found it to be about the power of music. There was one particular scene that really got me, that started off with a touching familial moment, but it was when the music kicked in that I had to fight to hold back tears. So so beautiful, and it was the type of music I heard all around me growing up. I may have taken it for granted as not my style then, but now it brings back floods of memories. Even without that cultural connection, the film was rather moving. My coworkers and I sat in our seats thru the entire credits, hoping to compose ourselves so that we wouldn’t let each other see us crying.
Coco – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/