The latest offering from Pixar uses the colour and passion of the ‘Mexican Day of the Dead’ to spin a charming tale about a boy trying to get back to his roots and follow in his ancestor’s footsteps as a musician.
Coco touches on a lot of topics in a pretty swift run time - death, family, memories, dementia and the choice of following your dreams at the risk of disappointing those who love you. Sounds heavy for a kid’s film but it’s told with such joy, colour and flair that it never starts to wallow in sadness.
The plot does go through the motions a little and the major reveal about who Miguel’s father is surely comes only as a surprise to him. It’s actually surprising to see something quite so predictable from Pixar, but perhaps the ‘twist’ was meant for the kids and the sense of inevitability was there for the adults. Either way, it does occasionally make you look at your watch.
That said, the final third wraps everything up masterfully and all those problems melt away. Unkrich ends the film with such warmth and finesse that half the house was in tears as the credits rolled.
Not Pixar’s finest but still a wonderful, vibrant, unique and emotional piece of work from some of the best animators in the business.