Movie Review: Disney•Pixar’s COCO (Digital HD)

Disney•Pixar’s COCO was directed by Lee Unkrich and co-directed by Adrian Molina from a script by Molina and Matthew Aldrich. The voice cast includes characters from the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. From the Land of the Living, Anthony Gonzalez voices Miguel, Renée Victor voices Abuelita and Jaime Camil voices Papá. Lombardo Boyar voices a town mariachi, and Ana Ofelia Murguía voices Miguel’s cherished great-grandmother Mamá Coco. Sofía Espinosa provides the voice of Miguel’s loving Mamá and Luis Valdez lends his voice to Tío Berto, Miguel’s hardworking uncle.

From the Land of the Dead, Gael García Bernal voices the charming trickster Héctor, Benjamin Bratt voices Miguel’s idol Ernesto de la Cruz and Alanna Ubach voices Miguel’s great-great-grandmother Mamá Imelda. Alfonso Arau voices Miguel’s late great-grandfather Papá Julio, Herbert Siguenza lends his voice to both Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe, Miguel’s late identical twin uncles and Gabriel Iglesias lends his voice to the Clerk. Natalia Cordova-Buckley voices the legendary artist Frida Kahlo, Selene Luna voices Miguel’s aunt Tía Rosita, and Edward James Olmos lends his voice to Chicharrón. Also lending their voices are Carla Medina, Dyana Ortelli, Blanca Araceli, Salvador Reyes, Cheech Marin, Octavio Solis and John Ratzenberger.

Disney•Pixar’s Coco is the story of a 12-year-old aspiring musician’s extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors. In Pixar Animation Studios’ 19th feature film, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt)—despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

The movie follows young Miguel who has a passion for music but he’s forbidden to play it by his family. There’s a strong reason why his family doesn’t want music played and this is explained as the movie plays out. What happens is, Miguel ends up running away from home and winds up in the Land of the Dead. He ends up meeting some of his ancestors during his colorful adventure that also leads him to meeting his great grandfather. There’s also a twist that comes with this meeting between the two distant relatives that slowly reveals itself. Something else that Miguel discovers is that if he doesn’t return to the Land of the Living before sunrise, he’ll be trapped in the Land of the Dead forever. Miguel’s adventure not inly turns into a happy family reunion of sorts but it ends up becoming a race against the clock for the young boy. In the end Miguel ultimately makes it back home plus he brings a little more joy and happiness to share with his family as well.

Bottom line is, Coco was another entertaining entry from Pixar Studios. I really liked the story about this young boy and his driven passion for music that’s incorporated with deep Mexican heritage that was delivered beautifully. This amazing world is full of rich Mexican history and traditions that’s complimented by vivid colors, imagination and fantasy that honors the “Day of the Dead” without ever getting too dark. The voice cast did a really good job with these likable characters and the animation is exactly what we’ve come to love so much about these wonderful Pixar movies. This style of animation has its own unique look and that’s why they still lead the pack after all these years. Even though this isn’t my favorite movie from Disney and Pixar, I thought the directing team of Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina did a great job bringing this interesting world to life on screen. It might not appeal to everybody but the movie has a little something for everyone in it. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and then it’ll make you laugh some more.  Disney•Pixar’s Coco will be available On Demand on February 27th and is a movie that the entire family can sit down and enjoy together.

Distributor: Disney•Pixar

Run Time: 105 Minutes

Rated: PG

Video: Widescreen (2.39:1)

Audio: English Dolby Atmos

CC: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! The great thing about the digital copy is that it’s loaded to the max with some amazing bonus material. The impressive list of extras include seven deleted scenes, filmmaker commentary, twelve featurettes, a music video and movie trailer.

  • Deleted Scenes with Introductions – Director Lee Unkrich and co-director Adrian Molina talk about the deleted scenes and the part they played in the development of “Coco.” (36:16)
  1. Da de los Muertos – In this musical extravaganza, the colors and excitement of Día de los Muertos come to life as we meet superstar Ernesto de la Cruz.
  2. The Way of the Riveras – A musical number in which Abuelita and Miguel prepare their Día de los Muertos celebration while she teaches him Rivera family history and traditions.
  3. Celebrity Tour – Héctor, a Land of the Dead tour bus guide, agrees to help Miguel, revealed to be a living boy, on his quest to find de la Cruz.
  4. The Bus Escape – The Rivera family catches up to Miguel and Héctor and attempts to halt their mission to find de la Cruz.
  5. Alebrije Attack – Miguel and Héctor are interrupted on their journey to find de la Cruz by a fierce alebrije.
  6. The Family Fix – After de la Cruz reveals his true colors, the Rivera family puts their dismay aside and comes together to repair the smashed guitar needed to send Miguel home.
  7. To the Bridge – As the Land of the Dead counts down to the end of Día de los Muertos, Miguel and de la Cruz come head-to-head on the marigold bridge.
  • Filmmaker Commentary – Presented by Lee Unkrich (director), Adrian Molina (co-director) and Darla K. Anderson (producer).
  • The Music of “Coco” – Collaborating with musicians of Mexico and some unique instrumentation, this documentary explores the beautiful fusion of music essential to the story of “Coco.” (13:13)
  • “Remember Me” Music Video (02:51)
  • You Got The Part! (02:12)
  • Paths to Pixar: “Coco” – Explore how the film crew’s personal stories resonate with the themes of the movie itself. (11:44)
  • Welcome to the Fiesta – A musical exploration of the skeletons that make the Land of the Dead in “Coco” so wondrous and intriguing. (02:19)
  • A Thousand Pictures a Day – Join the “Coco” crew on an immersive travelogue through Mexico, visiting families, artisans, cemeteries, and small villages during the Día de los Muertos holiday. (20:04)
  • Mi Familia – Developing the Riveras was a labor of love that took the cast and crew on a deep dive into the meaning of family. (09:59)
  • Land of Our Ancestors – Watch Pixar artists lovingly construct layer upon layer of architecture from many eras of Mexican history, bringing the Land of the Dead to life. (06:17)
  • Fashion Through the Ages – The cast of characters in “Coco” are from many different eras, making for some magnificent costuming opportunities. (08:38)
  • The Real Guitar – The majestic guitar that spurs Miguel on his journey through the Land of the Dead is a unique creation. Watch as it is initially designed by a Pixar artist and ultimately realized as a real instrument by a master luthier in this poetic ode to craftsmanship. (03:06)
  • Dante – How the crew fell in love with the uniquely Mexican breed of Xoloitzcuintli (or “Xolo”) dogs that inspired Dante. (06:15)
  • How to Make Papel Picado – Join Pixar artist Ana Ramírez González as we learn how papel picado is made traditionally, and then try your own approach to this beautiful art form. (02:18)
  • Un Poco “Coco” – A montage of original animated pieces used to promote “Coco.” (01:02)
  • “Coco” Trailer (02:11)

 

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