What makes Pixar movies so much better than most other animated movies? Quality maybe, brand recognition that draws in the best animators. But it is more than that. They have heart. Someone cynical would consider the emotional aspect all of Pixar movies take as cheap and forced. But in this one occasion, I am not that person.
When I initially heard that Pixar was working on a movie about Dia De Los Muertos, I was skeptical. Would they be able to create a movie about another culture without succumbing to insulting tropes? Or would they create a movie that is an amalgam of many different Latin American countries so that they movie has no real identity? I shouldn’t have been worried. Coco is a vibrant, uninhibited joy from start to finish, telling the story of a young boy in a small Mexican village and digs into that specific culture.
We follow Miguel into the Land of the Dead as he looks for his great-great-grandfather, of course getting into trouble along the way. My favorite scene visually was when Miguel first crosses over, on a bridge of marigold petals and first gets a view of the Land of the Dead. It is stunning, lush and layered, especially considering it is a view of the afterlife.
It would be hard not to talk about this movie without mentioning the soundtrack. Inspired by mariachi music, the soundtrack is entertaining and unendingly catchy. They managed to have 4 version of the same song, “Remember Me”, which is constantly stuck in my head. Pixar does it again, one of my favorites of the past couple of years, and just reminded me how pumped I am for Incredibles 2. 9/10