A formidable return to form for Pixar, Coco is an utter delight.
The studio’s first with an all-Latino voice cast (save Pixar stalwart and Cheers veteran John Ratzenberger), Coco centres on music-obsessed child Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) enamoured with a local lyrical legend (Benjamin Bratt), who, on Dia de los Muertos, soon finds himself stuck amongst the other-worldly visages of spectres and his family long since passed.
Delving into the Land of the Dead, Miguel, the lone musical devotee among his large, restrictive family, sets out to find his idol who may be able to deliver him back home.
Coco is film primed to mine the greater depths of any viewer’s emotional readiness, bearing a universally relatable narrative of familial bonds and the drive by any and all for meaning in our lives far beyond the confines of our own mortal coil. These staples of the film are shrewdly rendered throughout, the manners in which the observance of the yearly tradition translates onto the other plane in the best of Pixar tradition underlining both the tragedy and joy within our own lives and recommending Coco all on its own.
Broaching many of the narrative beats of the studio’s triumph Up and for that matter Frozen, the deeply moving and keenly heart-warming interactions of Coco’s different generations are among its best moments. Hilarious at times and with some memorable tunes, two creatures not at all dissimilar to three of the critical non-human figures in Up are also recurring highlights.
The film’s twists, in quick succession, will not unlikely be apparent to the more observant audience members and many adults for whom, together with their younger counterparts, this film is clearly intended. The apparentness of these ruptures in the story does little to dilute their sizeable emotional impact, though one of the most searing and abundantly elegant of Coco’s memorable innovations comes not before, but after the credits. This filmic addendum, the best of recent memory, is well worth the wait.
A vibrant and frequently moving treat for the whole family, with Coco Pixar has nailed it yet again.
Coco is in cinemas now