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Coco is a heart warming tale of that encourages you so many thoughts about the themes presented. Perhaps though the most touching and universal one is that of family. How a part of you is made up of someone who left this world a long time ago. There’s a profound mystery about that and also something very humbling and touching. Coco grants the opportunity to see such people and to see how you measure up to each other. Strangers who are undeniably immediately familiar because well they’re family. Pixar may not hit it out of the park every time like the old days but their leading batting average remains assured with releases like this.

We meet a boy named Miguel who is part of a loving family of shoemakers. Many years ago the family got into shoemaking when an ancestor Imelda Rivera was abandoned by her husband to pursue a career in music. Imelda needing to support her child Coco started the business and never looked back banning anybody in the family from taking an interest in music. Now Coco is elderly and her grandson Miguel hides up in his attic with a home made guitar and practices playing inspired by the legendary musician Ernesto de la Cruz. Without going into specifics Miguel during the day of the dead celebrations find himself on the other side in the land of the dead where he attempts to meet his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Miguel has a song in his heart, a talent that must be set free from a family that needs to understand that. Yet he too must understand where this fear of music comes from, that nothing can ever be as valuable as your family’s love.

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Pixar have created another visually stunning world, moving scenes of emotions we can all relate to, sly sight gags that poke fun at tropes and a particularly catchy theme song that grows on you slowly. The cast is first rate including Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel, Gael Carcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguia and Edward James Olmos. As Miguel navigates the land of the dead the middle sags a bit but the film comes home strong. I’ve seen the Day of the Dead celebrations referenced in the pop culture I grew up with but never took the time to learn what it was about. I enjoyed a mainstream release that showed such a sweet explanation of it. Being shown something new and interesting in film was very enjoyable. It’s quite a thoughtful moving tradition about letting the dead by remembered by your family and let them be in your lives one day of the year and in your hearts the rest of it.

-Lloyd Marken

18 thoughts on “CUCKOO FOR COCO

  1. Nice review, Lloyd. I have never settled into Pixar. I prefer traditional animation from the early Disney days, like Dumbo. I also like Japanese Anime, but find Pixar quite ‘strange’ to watch.
    I reckon I must be almost alone in this dislike of Pixar, as I know everyone else loves it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. As always thanks for checking out my stuff even the stuff that ain’t your bag. Very kind. My reader has been not loading all week on WordPress but hopefully it will come good otherwise I’ll have to go in manually to catch up on everybody’s blogs.

  2. I liked this one, too. I was wondering if the topic matter would be too scary for my 4- year- old granddaughter, but she loved it. The appeal of the boy and magical world of the beyond was technically marvelous. A true feat and step forward in animation.

  3. Excellent work! Just the right length to say what it needs to, but not so long that you can’t read it during a commute on the bus or the train. The length of a review is crucial and this is just about right!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it John, it is certainly a fastball for me. Even my short reviews on Scenestr run to 600 words. This one was under 500. Don’t hold your breath for another one that short but that being said maybe one for Paddington 2 will be that short.

  4. We took my Mom to see this in a wheelchair at a Cleveland Ohio multiplex theatre. She enjoyed some of the Spanish (she taught this and English and. World Lit for 30 years). She felt it would be scary with the child worried about getting back home and the hand showing death’s bones appearing. I loved the colors, humor and the way everyone had Hispanic heritage. It was an amazing story with redemption! Thanks, Lloyd for your perceptive and clever review. 🌈
    Did your theatre show the making of this film first? It was great how they had three of the creators come out to say, “Thank you for coming to watch this film which took a long time to create the layers and artwork.” (Paraphrased this)

    1. No making of before the film so thanks for sharing. I’m glad your Mum enjoyed it and thank you to her for long years of service as an educator. I hope she is well and glad she is getting out to the movies still. Does she have a favourite film?

      1. She loves black and white film noirs, Thin Man series, but she liked “It Happened One Night” and “Roman Holiday,” too. Dad and she loved, “Camelot.” ❤
        Thanks for your kind wishes for my 89 year old Mom. She has many marbles left in her mind, particularly in the early part of the days. She lives in a memory care unit now. Safer, since January, 2016 walked out of the other place into snow and got pneumonia. She’s still fun and funny, recognizes me and says I’m a writer due to my blog. 😊

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