Family Movietime: Pixar’s Coco
Disney and Pixar’s latest entry Coco, attempts to give us a glimpse into the traditions of Dia de los Muertos. Miguel a young boy from a family of shoemakers tells us the story of his family’s history with shoes and their refusal to allow music in any way shape or form. Of course Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) wants nothing more than to be a musician like his idol and local town hero Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). So who’s Coco? That’s Miguel’s aging great grandmother. She’s nearing the end of her life and while she doesn’t talk she is Miguel’s only friend besides a stray dog.
Miguel’s quest to secretly enjoy music results in property damage, theft and a trip to the land of the dead. While this may seem a little dark understanding the way Dia de los Muertos is viewed will change your tune. Unfortunately, this misadventure to get back to the land of the living doesn’t save this film.
Coco wants to be a film about strengthening the bonds of family, keeping traditions, the power of honoring the dead and their memories but there’s a huge family secret which is super problematic. It drives the cusp of this story but in someone so focused on family why would such a large secret be told wrong and shamed? Nothing I could do could get me back into this story. The secret is just the opposite of everything they have tried to drill into Miquel’s head. He goes from a stubborn headstrong kid to the one who has to save the family legacy which the family doesn’t even realize they are destroying.
Coco misses its mark on pulling at heartstrings. It is supposed to make you respect your elders, listen to stubborn children, or follow your dreams? I can’t tell. Gael García Bernal and Sofía Espinosa also star.
Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Release Date: November 22, 217
Run time: 1 hours 49 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Pay for 3D: no