I’ve now seen “Coco” three times. Twice in 2D and once in 3D.
Further confession time.
I really hate some Pixar movies.
Yet more confessions time.
I utterly loathed “Inside Out”.
I’m sorry if any of that upsets you or makes you feel poorly disposed towards me. I’m just trying to be honest.
It’s just a glorious celebration of the things that really matter…family, love, loyalty, music, friendship. In a workd where it’s the accumulation of “stuff” that matters and where we increasingly measure our worth in “likes” and “retweets” it is a delightful thing to see a story that rejects all of that.
Miguel lives with his family in a small village in Mexico. They make shoes. They eat. They hate music. They really hate music. They hate music in the way that people who buy Florence and the Machine records hate music.
The reason for this violent hatred of the thing so many of us love so much is simple…a terrible wrong was inflicted on the family some four generations past. His great, great grandmothers husband left the family to chase his dream of becoming a musician, never to return home.
In private moments and in hidden spaces Miguel obsesses over the greatest musician of all time; Ernesto de la Cruz. With his home made guitar and collection of old VHS recordings of de la Cruz movies Miguel dreams of a life as a musician.
That obsession eventually leads Miguel to attempt to steal the long dead singing star’s guitar from his tomb. This decision sends him to the land of the dead on Dia de Muertos. There he seeks out his great, great grandfather…de la Cruz himself…in order to receive his blessing and so be able to return home.
Throughout the film it is the family that is the real hero of the story. Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents…alive or dead…are all there when they are needed, are all willing to make sacrifices and are all driven by love. It’s a beautifully positive message and one that is needed in this uncertain world we live in.
Where “Inside Out” seemed to be trying too hard to do too much, “Coco” keeps things simple and is a much warmer and more involving film as a result.