Directors: Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt
Set to the backdrop of the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico (hello, SPECTRE), our hero, Miguel (Gonzalez), is born into a family of shoemakers who believe music is a curse after his great-great grandfather walked out on his wife and daughter to pursue a career in music, never to return.
Since then, all music has been banned from the family home. The musical Miguel refuses to accept this and in attempting to emulate his deceased idol, the enigmatic Ernesto de la Cruz (Bratt), he finds himself in the afterlife and on a quest to return to the land of the living before it’s too late whilst his family’s true history is revealed.
Teaming up with shifty Héctor (Bernal) the pair, along with the cutest ugliest dog on film, begin their adventure through the well organised chaos of The Land of the Dead. What follows is a variety of chases and some valuable lessons in love, life and the consequences of deceit and betrayal.
Disney-Pixar have never been afraid to tackle the sensitive subject of death and Coco is no different. Bambi’s mother, the loveable Bing Bong from Inside Out and the adorable Fredricksons from Up have all broken our hearts as, one way or another, they’ve met their demise or had to deal with losing a loved one. They treat children and adults as equals and rarely miss their intended mark. In Coco, death is handled in true Disney-Pixar fashion with tact and sensitivity.
Featuring a kaleidoscope of colours, Coco is incredibly pleasing to the eye and features some outstanding animation. Sequences throughout the film have so much attention to detail they appear realistic enough to make you forget you’re watching an animation.
The music is a treat for your ears. Original songs from Frozen’s Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez combined with Disney-Pixar favourite, composer, Michael Giacchino embrace the Mexican culture and theme with respect and charm. There are excellent vocal performances from Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel, Gael García Bernal as the tricky Héctor and Benjamin Bratt as singing sensation Ernesto De la Cruz.
Coco is a delightful adventure for all the family. Witty and touching, Disney-Pixar have, yet again, raised the bar for animated films and created, arguably, their best effort yet.