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Coco  : As Comforting As Hot Cocoa
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Friday, November 24, 2017
Animation Film
Lee Unkrich
Anthony Gonzalez, Miguel, Gael García Bernal, Hector, Benjamin Bratt, Ernesto de la Cruz, Alanna Ubach, Mama Imelda, Renee Victor

Follow chirpy little Miguel as he cosies up to his great grandmother Coco, befriends a street dog and cuddles up with his large, happy family of shoemakers. But Miguel nurses a secret. He’s passionate about music, he can’t wait to go up there, play his guitar and sing his heart out. But ever since his great great grandfather had walked out on his wife and little daughter Coco to share his music with the world, his great great grandmother had thrown music out of the house. Music separates, shoemaking unites the Rivera family. Shunning music is a legacy handed down from generation to generation.


But Miguel doesn’t want to make shoes, he wants to make music. Like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz, he’s caught between his family and his calling. He wants to be like Ernesto whose motto was, seize the moment. Music over family. Ernesto had declared, ‘Music is not in me, it is me.’ 


With Miguel discovering that the great great grandfather whose name is taboo in the family was a world class musician, the little fella flees from family in pursuit of his passion.


Much like Indians, Spanish-speaking Mexicans too are huge on family and traditions, and have a Day of the Dead for ancestors.Flowers and favourite foods of those who’ve passed on are laid before their photographs as families seek their blessings.


Powered by a predominantly Latino cast and crew, Disney-Pixar usesMexican customs and culture with subtle sensitivity and great storytelling skills to have Miguel connect with his ancestors, correct a terrible wrong done to them and learn that family comes first.But a song does have the power to changeyour mind.


Director Lee Unkrich of Toy Story 3 fame and co-director Adrian Molina with their team of writers, make a stimulating and entertaining blend of live and dead characters to put out spirited messages that should go down well with a family audience.


The running time of 104 minutes bubbles like a lively amusement park.The Land of The Dead is colourful, vibrant and funny, with the skeletons more lively than scary. Especially Hector the lovable con who meets Miguel and wants him to go back and do him a favour in the Land of the Living.


Compositions by Michael Giacchino crop up occasionally to enliven or enlighten.


Anthony Gonzalez brings alive Miguel while Benjamin Brattand Gael Garcia Bernal give life to Ernesto and Hector with voice skills that match the superb animation.


For a delightful film that most in the family will connect with and kids will watch repeatedly, Coco gets a 3.5* rating. 


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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