Reviewed by Emma Rogers
The new Disney family film, Coco, departs from the usual setting of princesses/medieval towns/animal lives and this time visits a boy and his family in Mexico during the festival of Día de Muertos or ‘Day of the Dead’. The young Miguel wants to become a musician (music makes me feel alive!) but is forbidden to make music by his shoe-making family. Unsure why, the defiant Miguel refuses to toe the line so ends up in a whole new world of trouble, namely, the Land of the Dead! He meets his ancestors whom he’d only known from photos, and throughout the film encounters on a journey to fulfil his request to return to his family in the living world. Just like any Disney film, it’s a bit of a weepy, but with a great twist at the end which will keep adults engaged, but many of the children, along with the adults, were crying by the end!
The film is very bright, colourful and backfills Mexico’s history and way of life in order to explain the plot. Children will find it interesting to learn about the Día de Muertos festival, but it is slightly scary with visions of skeletons, albeit brightly decorated skeletons! The idea of the ‘other side’ being so expansive, memorizing, and certainly provokes conversation among children. I particularly liked the vibrantly coloured spirit animals which play a part in the ending of the film, and a few physical comedy jokes which will keep the adults happy. The animation quality is fantastic, and if you watch on HD, you can see the reflections in their eyes, and tiny facial movements along with very well written dialogue of what it’s like to live with a young boy with too much life – just like real life. It’s not as deep nor has the comedic effect of other Pixar films (e.g. Toy Story) but it is amusing and a good plot with a less than predictable outcome, but still, a Disney finish!
Disney Pixar’s Coco is in cinemas throughout the UK from 19 January 2018.