I’ll be completely honest – I’ve not loved that many Pixar films. I didn’t love Toy Story when it was originally released, but I put that down to the fact I was 12 years old when it was released and it was so different from the movies prior to it that were some of my first experiences in the cinema (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King) and remember not really being interested in Monsters Inc.
There was a change in about 2007 when I saw Finding Nemo and loved it. Then I rewatched Monsters Inc about 2013 and loved it (I remember how traumatised I was when they shredded Boo’s door – “Kitty? Kitty?!” still destroys me), and then the happy tears when Sully managed to see her again (“Kitty!”).
Since then it’s been a little hit and miss with me. I loved Cars, Monsters University and Inside Out, and while I enjoyed WALL-E, Up and Toy Story after a repeat watch I just found there was something that kept me slightly at a distance.
I wanted to love Coco going in, as the plot, the song-writing team behind Frozen and Finding Nemo working with songs in such a different style, and the cinematography in the trailers all really excited me.
We managed to see this movie in Canada in December last year, and were lucky enough to see Olaf’s Frozen Adventure as the ‘short’ before the movie (I’m putting it in quotation marks as there were complaints about the length of it. Running at 22 minutes I can understand that people with young families may have found it added a little too much time when added to the trailers and 105 minutes that Coco runs, but I thought it was a great start. Especially as the movie is set in a culture that such a large amount of the audience may not be familiar with, I think that giving them something to settle them in with known characters was a great idea.
Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff brought characters that we know and love (or not, as the case may be!) to life again with a story due to thaw even the most frozen heart (did you see what I did there?) with Olaf looking for traditions that Anna and Elsa could incorporate into their own Christmas. The animation was great, comedy was spot-on and stayed true to the original movie and score was incredibly strong as you’d expect – the soundtrack is still on my phone, and we’re mid-January at the moment. There was a great combination of laughs for both adults and children with beautifully honest moments that really worked as a whole and it’s something that I genuinely believe will become one of my family traditions going forwards.
Now… onto the reason for this post.
I wanted to see the movie again before I committed myself to this, and after seeing a preview of the movie last weekend can say wholeheartedly that this movie is (in my humble opinion) one of – if not the best – movies Pixar have released.
The movie starts with the traditional Walt Disney movie motif played by a mariachi band then dives straight into a beautiful, stripped-back set-up of the story and the family history told through papel picado (bright pieces of paper with shapes cut out of them to reveal a picture).
Without giving away too much, this is a beautifully animated movie that you *must* see it at the cinema if you can. The sight of the city of the dead that you see in the trailer on a screen that large is something to see, and as you’d expect from Disney, the attention to detail is incredible. The cultural authenticity is second-to-none, as I heard sat near a Latin American family raving about it and laughing hysterically.
The movie boasts a score by Michael Giacchino and songs by Kristin and Bobby Lopez (of Finding Nemo the Musical and Frozen). The songs always fit into the movie as songs rather than thoughts that progress the storyline, which works incredibly well.
Pixar have done a similar thing with Coco as they did with Inside Out, and have explained what’s potentially a complex subject with real simplicity and honesty – in this case mortality and the never-ending love family have for us. It also manages to show that dreams aren’t always exactly what you’d expect but that they’re still worth pursuing.
Something Coco stays true to in typical Pixar/Disney fashion is twists you don’t expect and insanely emotional endings. If you leave the cinema without having cried you have no soul! I can’t wait to go back and see this movie again, and could spend thousands of words raving about it, but you should really go check it out yourself.
Something Coco stays true to with Pixar and D
If you have any questions about the movie let me know, and if you’ve seen it… what did you think