Have you ever felt a connection to someone, maybe a family member that’s passed, that you’ve never met? Some believe these people are part of the same soul group. Without getting too metaphysical, it’s a philosophy that people are connected in life and even after because their souls belong in the same inner circle. Think of the “cut from the same cloth” mentality. This was an unexpected underlying theme of Disney Pixar’s movie, Coco.
The plot follows Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a 12-year-old aspiring musician on a journey beyond life during Día de los Muertos. Despite his family’s ban on music which stems back generations, Miguel is determined to meet his musical idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjiman Bratt). With the help of his slick friend, Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), the pair set off on an incredible course to discover the truth of Miguel’s family history.
One of the first, undeniably noticeable features of this film is the beautiful animation. The Land of the Dead, where much of this story takes place, is both colorful and eerily breathtaking. Each section of the city is made up of 30,000 plus individually drawn homes. The meticulous details taken to create such a masterpiece were apparent and appreciated.
Disney Pixar sets the bar high, yet the performances were nothing short of these standards. Relative newcomer, Gonzalez, performed a sweet and sincere Miguel, but left a somewhat unmoving vocal performance on the stage. However, Bratt nailed the narcissistic and vocally entertaining, Ernesto.
This fan’s favorite performance was Alanna Noel Ubach’s portrayal of late great, great grandmother Mamá Imelda Rivera. Her sensational singing and commanding speech stole the show.
These characters and more are all intertwined on a level that is almost kismet. Their story of boundless love and how soul groups remain intact through life and death is truly endearing. Not to give away spoilers, the ending of this movie made me ugly cry and I liked it. And if you want to know who Coco is, you’ll have to see this film to find out.