Before they began churning our bland sequels, Pixar studios had a pedigree boasting the likes of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, and Up. It took a long time coming but the renaissance for Pixar studios seems here with Coco.
Vivacious and vibrant, colourful and cultural, Coco tugs all the right strings.
Coco movie review
The plot revolves around a young Mexican boy, Miguel Rivera (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), who brings his family together with his love for music. His greatest desire in life is to be a musician like his idol, the fictional legend Ernesto de la Cruz. Unfortunately, his family despises music as his great-great-grandmother was abandoned by her musician husband.
During the annual Day of the Dead festivities – wherein families remember and honour their dead relatives, Miguel gets spirited away to the Land of the Dead. An afterlife realm that is anything but morbid!
Miguel meets a charming trickster Hector, and together, they venture to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
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Japanese maestro Hayao Miyazaki’s art comes to the fore in Coco as he paints a vivid and dreamlike canvas with Dragon-tigers, goofy skeletons and shimmering marigolds.
Apart from the visual spectre, Coco has so much else to offer ― Mexican culture, an ode to intergenerational family ties, an improbable dream, the price or the vanity of being a celebrity…
The movie’s title is endearingly dedicated to Miguel’s great-grandmother Mamá Coco. Left heartbroken by her dad’s disappearance, she reminisces her bygone days in silence. I found it fascinating how the movie depicted two levels of death: the “bureaucratic” afterlife and the more frightening “permanent” afterlife, which comes when no one alive remembers you. Often we feel that the departed are inaccessible but what if they are in the vicinity, just in another dimension, inhabiting a world identical to ours?
Now as for why this dog reviewed this movie?
Coco features an adorable sidekick, a goofy stray dog named Dante. He is a Xoloitzcuintli, a breed native to Central America, also known as the Mexican Hairless. Dante is named after the horse of Miguel’s idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, in one of Ernesto’s famous movies. Pixar brought in a Xolo dog into their studio to aid with animation and to collect vocals.
Xolo dogs feature prominently in Aztec (Mexica) culture and are also the national dog of Mexico. According to legend, in order to make the journey through the afterlife, you need to have one of these Xolo dogs with you. (Similar to the Mahabharata story) Dante remains in the Land of the Dead with Riveras after Imelda and a dying Héctor transports Miguel back to the Land of the Living.
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Go ahead and watch this heartfelt film. A sheer delight for kids and anyone who still remembers being one.