Last week I had the chance to attend the red carpet Disney*Pixar COCO premiere in Hollywood. Thanks to an invitation from Disney to head out on this all-expense paid trip, I was able to not only interview the cast, but watch the movie. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the film, answering some questions you might have, and sharing my Coco Movie Review – NO SPOILERS!
COCO Movie Review
I knew this movie would get to me after watching the trailers.
I knew to pack extra tissues in a small handbag where I didn’t have much extra room. It was a necessity I thought. I wasn’t wrong.
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
A Few Words – No Spoilers and Why
There are few stories in this world that surprise you, take you to a place you didn’t know. COCO is one of those stories.
It’s incredibly well-written, filled with humor, love, humanity, and family. BUT it’s so special a story, that I will not spoil it for you.
I want you to walk the path that Miguel walks when he “visits” the Land of the Dead. But I do know that parents will have some questions because of words like “Land of the Dead” and skeletons as characters, so I will talk you through any concerns.
Is COCO appropriate for young kids -scary?
In a movie with skeletons, this might be the first question from parents.
Rest assured that Disney tackled this issue head-on and did everything to make sure kids would not be scared. That said, make sure your kids have seen the trailer (it’s all over television right now too, so they likely have seen it). You will know from the trailer whether the skeletons will scare them. I can’t imagine they will, as Disney really did a great job.
You see, though the skeletons are obviously dead, they are dressed in clothes (makeup and mustaches too), are incredibly funny (yes, every last one of them), and continue to make us laugh throughout the movie. If anything, these skeletons make death less scary as each skeleton is a version of who they were in life. So you’ll see Miguel’s family who have already passed, aunts, uncles, etc.
Death is sometimes a difficult topic to discuss with children. My daughter has grown up really understanding death in a way that most kids don’t. She easily talks about it, having been born at a time when I had just lost my own mother. COCO is a movie that will help you talk about death to your kids, if you want to. It’s a great tool, one that makes kids less fearful in my opinion, because death is part of life. And that life, well, it is to be celebrated and remembered.
The central theme of the movie is really about discovering who you are, what you love, and chasing your dream.
Is COCO a religious movie? What about Dia de los Muertos?
No, COCO isn’t. And Dia de los Muertos isn’t about religion either, something I learned while researching and also talking with the creators.
Admittedly, I knew very little about this Mexican holiday (other than decorations seen in stores), so I was intrigued and curious if that would impact my experience in seeing the movie.
Dia de los Muertos is a day to remember and honor those who have gone before you. Whether child or adult, you don’t need to know anything before walking into this film, as you’ll see Miguel’s family explaining it all to him. It’s a festive occasion that is very personal. There is no wrong or right way to do it. And not all people with that heritage necessarily celebrate it the same or even at all.
While my family doesn’t celebrate Dia de los Muertos, I certainly fell in love with what I saw portrayed on screen.
Dia de los Muertos is simply the setting to an incredible adventure for one little boy.
The Music and Humor and COLOR.
The movie is incredibly funny with bits of humor packed in the middle of such a heartwarming tale. And the vibrant colors make this film one of the most visually appealing I have ever seen.
Surprisingly, COCO is a movie about life, not death, and as with all Disney*Pixar films, you will root for the good guys, despise the bad guys, and love the family despite all its faults.
No matter your culture. No matter the color of your skin. No matter your religion. You will resonate with this film and it will touch you like perhaps no movie has done before.
The Heart of COCO
It is here where I must lead you. The adventure I won’t spoil. The surprising characters I won’t divulge. But, the heart of COCO is family.
Remembering those who have gone before you, so that you know where you came from, that is at the core of this movie. That theme is one that tugs at my heartstrings perhaps a little too hard, having lost my mom. Most of you have lost someone who you hold dear to your heart. For some, they were taken when they were old and gray. Yet others, like my mom, seemingly before their time.
Either way, they left a mark on our hearts, and you will think of them while watching COCO. There is no way not to. To be remembered, something we all aspire to be one day.
Take a look…
COCO opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd!
Take a look as I walk you through my Disney*Pixar COCO premiere experience, from my dress to the celebrities spotted!
What do you think? Are you looking forward to COCO?
Have any questions for me, just let me know and I’ll try to answer them the best I can!