Can you imagine a world with no music? Not being allowed to listen to it, not permitted to play it, either. This was the reality for Miguel Rivera, until he took matters into his own hands. You see, Miguel was raised by his parents, grandmother, and great grandma, Mamá Coco, in their shoemaking business. Miguel’s grandmother did not allow music of any kind in the home or the business, because of family heartbreak from generations before. The passion for music proved too much for headstrong Miguel, and he set off on an adventure to try to prove to his family that music was an essential part of life.
Coco takes place in Santa Cecilia, Mexico, a fictional town created by Disney’s Pixar Studio, that rests on the living side of the bridge that leads to the Land of the Dead. Pixar truly outdid themselves with the authenticity of this film. From the use of common Spanish words, without including translation, to the traditions portrayed by the people living, and not so living, in the village.
Coco premiered at the Morelia, Mexico film festival first, and became Mexico’s top grossing film ever in just a few short weeks. Coco is comprised of an all Latino cast including recognizable names such as Benjamin Bratt, Gael García Bernal, Alanna Ubach and Edward James Olmos. Miguel is voiced by Anthony Gonzalez, a newcomer to the industry, with only a handful of appearances under his belt.
The animation in this movie is top notch. Actually, it is at least three notches higher than top notch. The colors, the details and the movement are amazing. The story is one of love, of loss, of heartbreak and most of all, of family. The cultural references are honest, and accurate, and prove to reinforce everything people don’t yet realize they love about Mexico and its people. Coco is absolutely worth a family trip to the theater, and for my family, probably two or three trips.