A review of Pixar’s Oscar winning film, Coco.
Joe Valerio, Staff Writer
September 29, 2023
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept.15 to Oct.15, this is a review of Pixar’s Coco (2017). The 19th movie produced by The Walt Disney Co. is a highly acclaimed animated movie that successfully tackles Mexican culture and folklore.
Coco follows the story of a young boy who dreams of becoming a famous guitarist. Twelve-year-old Miguel Rivera lives in modern-day Mexico and aspires to become a musician, but is thwarted by his family that despises music.
On the night of Day of the Dead, Miguel and his family get into a conflict causing him to run away to the town’s cemetery. Then, incidentally, he is transported to the “Land of the Dead” and trapped.
In the “Land of the Dead,” Miguel and the audience are treated to the grandiose spectacle that is the inhabitants of the world, including eye-catching scenery and countless colorful characters. Here though, Miguel meets his relatives who inhabit the afterlife and reconcile the strife between himself, his family, and music. Miguel learns that family is just as important as music and makes an effort to understand the family’s history. The selfless act is enough to send him back to the “Land of the Living.”
Director Lee Unkrich wanted the film to represent his own Mexican culture and have a Mexican role model for Hispanic children to look up to, among the line of other Disney characters.
The animated film won two Academy Awards, one for Best-Animated Feature and the other for Best Original Song with “Remember Me” at the 2018 ceremony. Coco premiered in Mexico a weekend before Dia de Los Muertos,” of that same year, and grossed over $800 million worldwide.
Overall, it is a movie about family, togetherness and understanding one’s culture with tender moments that really grab an audience with its heartfelt emotion. Coco is one of the better movie recommendations for a film or for one to watch during Hispanic Heritage Month. It immerses you into its world without knowing any prior knowledge, giving an otherworldly experience that will leave you amazed with family-friendly enjoyment.