Yesterday I was invited to a media screening of Disney-Pixar’s new film Coco. Coco is an original fantasy, mystery animated feature film and Pixar’s first musical. In Coco, we follow the story of Miguel, a young boy who desires to pursue a career as a musician. However, despite Miguel’s dreams, music is banned in his family. When Miguel accidentally visits the land of the dead during the Mexican holiday ‘Dia de Mertos’ better known as ‘Day of the Dead’, he finds himself on a mission to seek the help of his musician great-great-grandfather to return him home to the land of the living.
Coco is beautiful. The Mexican music marries with the stunning visuals to create the epitome of Pixar’s genius storytelling. The film features traditional songs as well as original songs specially created for the film. Although the main theme song for Coco is “Remember Me/Recuérdame” which is performed in many different variations throughout the film, my favourite song would be “Proud Corazón/El Latido de mi Corazón”. The word ‘corazón’ is Spanish for ‘heart’ and this film has a lot of that.
Coco stays true to Mexican culture, addresses the universal subject of family and celebrates the past. Each theme of which everyone can relate to. Although a musical, the film doesn’t feel like one. Every single time a character would sing, it would be because they were either playing a guitar or accompanied by characters playing instruments. No character would randomly break into song, at least not by the typical musical standards. Despite this fact, the music flowed naturally with the story.
There were many twists and surprises in Coco that I thoroughly enjoyed. As the mysteries of the story unravelled, the more I was emotionally invested in Miguel’s journey. By the end of the film, I was bawling my eyes out, and so were the people around me. Pixar’s Coco is an endearing story about family, music and love. Although Mexican themed, you won’t get lost in translation as the story is clear, exciting and wonderful.
I now have a crazy desire to visit Mexico, attend the Day of the Dead festival, listen to Spanish guitar, re-watch the film in Spanish (there’s a version entirely in Spanish with subtitles which I’m sure is equally as amazing) and to share this film with my loved ones. I highly recommend seeing Coco. It is a masterpiece in every aspect of the word, with music and a message that I guarantee will be adored and enjoyed by generations to come.