Until dethroned, Pixar is still king among animated movies. While they have had a few misdirections such a Cars, most Pixar movies are from pretty good to amazing. I’ve actually seen all of them, except for Coco which isn’t odd since it just came out last year. I was close to seeing in theaters around Christmas time, but I just didn’t get around to it. This one was a interesting choice for Pixar to go as unless you’re Mexican-American, you’re probably more than unfamiliar with the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead and other beliefs about the after-life and whatnot.
The story’s main character is Miguel Rivera who is just a ordinary boy from a semi-poor family in Mexico. Miguel’s family is actually really anti-music, and that isn’t some bizarre random belief, but it all stems from Miguel’s great-great grandfather. He was an unknown musician who left the family and never came back. His daughter Coco is still alive (but very very elderly) and while she mentions “Papa” with a senile smile, the younger generations of the family do not want Miguel to get into music. After trying to enter a music competition, Miguel tries to borrow a guitar from his idol’s grave, the very Elvis-like Mexican musician Ernesto de la Cruz. However the spirit world punishes Miguel for “stealing” and throws him to the land of the dead.
Miguel is still alive, but he must get the blessing from his family to return, or by sunrise he will actually be dead for real. His great-great grandmother Imelda Rivera and her close family try to send Miguel back to the living world but on the condition that he throws music away forever. Miguel rejects them and runs away to find another family member. Miguel thinks his mysterious ancestor is the famous Ernesto de la Cruz who is quite popular in the afterlife too. A trickster named Hector makes a deal for Miguel to meet Ernesto but on the condition that he takes his picture back to the living world so he can visit as a spirit there. But will Miguel find the answers he will be looking for in his family history?
Overall I wouldn’t say Coco is Pixar’s best, but one of the better ones. It’s good that Pixar can still crank out a good original tale instead of relying on a sequel to entertain veteran fans. I will say I found the first half a little slow, but the ending is pretty good. 2017 was a weak year for animated films, so it surprised me none when Coco won the Oscar for Best Animated Picture for the year of 2017.