It’s time to look at one of Pixar’s newest films! It’s definitely been a pretty big hit and the film has a lot of heart. While it may not be the greatest Pixar film of them all, it is definitely quite solid. The music selection is probably Pixar’s best since and Mexican music in general is something you don’t hear too often. If I ever became a ghost I would certainly expect everyone to leave me a lot of Macaroni and Cheese. I didn’t see any cheese products in the film from what everyone was leaving for the ghosts so I felt like this had to be pointed out.
The film stars a kid named Miguel who is having a hard time fitting in with his family. They really can’t stand music because a long time ago their great ancestor left the family to become a world famous musician. Miguel believes like Gon Freecs that maybe this was justified and still wants to be a music master. The family forces his hand and which causes Miguel to break into a shrine and steal the legendary guitar. The problem is that he is now stuck in the world of the dead and must find the famous musician to be able to get him back to the real world.
Naturally there are a few twists and turns in the film and my plot summary is rather general and cuts out quite a bit. While you will likely see the final plot twist coming about the musician, it doesn’t take away from the character. Ernesto makes for a pretty hype villain and the guy certainly knows how to put up a pretty good front. Nobody dares mess with this guy in either world and he has a strong cult to back him up. The scene where he embraces the song while still trying to get the picture away from the heroes showed that the guy was quick on the uptake and he had no hesitation. This villain wasn’t going to start doubting himself after coming this far or do anything drastic like turning good. Ernesto always knew to seize his moment and never forgot this.
As for Miguel, he’s a reasonable main character I suppose. He’s not great, but kids rarely are. At the very least he showed that he was pretty good with a guitar. I think the movie would have worked even better if the main character had been someone like Ernesto, but a lot of the plot would likely have to be retooled if that was the case. Pixar did a good job of keeping him from being too annoying at the very least and I also wouldn’t have accepted going back to the human world with the conditions that were imposed on him from the family. That would have definitely been a little too much if you ask me.
Hector, pronounced Ector is another one of the big characters. Again, you’ll probably see his plot coming from his first appearance, but that doesn’t hurt him…the rest of the film does that just fine. I just couldn’t bring myself to be a fan of this guy. Not only did he actually leave everyone for music, but then he couldn’t even see his dream through to the end. In the dream world he is basically a running joke to everyone around him and it’s just hard to sympathize. He was naive to the end and not noticing what he was drinking was a rookie mistake. Perhaps if he had won a fight I would have gained more respect for him, but at this point I think it was all over for him. Don’t think he’s a terrible character, but he is probably the worst character in the film now that I think about it.
Despite the film being called Coco, the character doesn’t get much of a role. She seems like a nice enough person I guess, but her memory could use a bit of work. I wish she could talk a little more so she could actually stand up to the others. Miguel’s Aunt/Grandma character seemed reasonable. She was good at throwing her shoes around and keeping Miguel in line even if it didn’t work too well. On the whole Miguel’s family seemed nice. They really just had one rule, don’t associate with music. For everything else they were perfectly reasonable. It’s just a shame that Miguel had to find the one taboo and quickly shatter it.
I do have one relatively big issue with the film. It’s the dog’s design. Lately it seems to be an in thing to make the animals look rather ugly at times. Remember how disturbing kid Dorry was in the Finding Nemo sequel? This is even worse as the dog’s tongue is always hanging out as if he is panting and it makes the character hard to look at. That honestly just looks painful and I felt bad for the dog the whole time. He never actually served a purpose in the film and should have been cut out. Whoever did the character design for the dog also should have been fired on the spot or told to axe the design instantly. It’s just so unfathomably terrible and it was distracting whenever he was on screen.
That aside, I didn’t really have any problems with the film. As I mentioned earlier the soundtrack was quite good. It probably wouldn’t hold up as well if I could understand all of the lyrics since I got most of them and the songs weren’t exactly my style. The beat of the music is good though which is certainly important. They are all very fast tempo which is exactly what you want to see with good music. Slow songs work once in a while, but I have to stress that these are very rare times and usually a fast tempo is the safe option.
The whole ghost dynamic was pretty fun as well. It’s definitely interesting to have a whole system set up, but it does make you feel bad for the people running the scanning program. That was my first thought at the cashier wished the ghosts a happy time on this special once a year day. That’s because the people working the desks wouldn’t be able to enjoy the day themselves. It’s definitely pretty realistic as many people have to work holidays here as well, but I just felt bad for those people. Hopefully they got triple pay.
Overall, Coco is a pretty fun movie. Aside from the distracting dog it’s hard to find any real issues with it. I suppose the cast wasn’t great, but we got some solid musical themes and a lot of action pieces so that worked well enough for me. I’d be up for a sequel, but the movie has a really complete beginning and ending so I suppose it’s not like it actually needs one. Pixar continues to impress with consistently good movies so it’ll be fun to see what they have planned for next time. If you haven’t seen Coco yet then I definitely recommend that you fix that!