Pixar’s movies all have one theme in common: they all seem to revolve around the preservation of memories. “Coco,” the new Pixar film, is a loose variation on that theme. Set during Mexico’s annual Dia de los Muertos holiday, it illustrates in great detail how families celebrate, honor and remember their dead loved ones.
Just like the holiday, the film is not at all mournful, but joyous. “Coco” tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who magically traverses between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead, which, despite its name, is not at all a gloomy place. Rather, it’s an enchanting city, glowing with vibrant color and garnished with chimerical creatures, or “spirit animals.” It’s no exaggeration to say it shows us things we’ve never seen before, something that happens so rarely in modern cinema.
Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. The story is filled with vibrant colors, lovable characters and surprisingly unexpected plot twists.
I won’t elaborate on the plot twists to avoid any potential spoilers.
If you are looking for a movie that will make you laugh and cry (or, if you’re like me, makes you insist that you have something in your eyes and that’s why you’re crying), this is the movie for you. It is incredibly touching, filled with comedic relief thanks to Dante (the dog), and shows you that preserving memories is important to keeping family traditions alive.
Additionally, the short film before the film, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,” is icing on the cake for this cinematic adventure.
I would highly recommend seeing the film in theaters. The surround sound and massive screen only add to the overall film watching experience. It is a film that I definitely intend to go see again in theaters.