first_imgStay on target MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Is Coco good?Very good.What’s it about?The story concerns a Mexican boy named Miguel Rivera who dreams of being a musician but faces fierce opposition from his extended family, a generational collective of shoemakers who disdain and forbid all music owing to having been founded by an iron-willed matriarch. The footwear entrepreneurship found salvation after her husband left home to become a musician himself and never returned. Through a series of plot complications, Miguel comes to believe that his absentee great-great grandfather is actually Ernesto de la Cruz, a celebrity musician who famously died young. And in attempting to prove this, finds himself trapped by a curse in the Afterlife during Dia de Los Muertos; the Mexican holiday wherein passage between the living and dead worlds is traversable under certain circumstances.So it’s similar to The Book of Life from a few years ago?Only very broadly. Apart from both using supernatural characters rendered in the style of Dia de los Muertos decorations the two aren’t actually very similar. Whereas Book of Life was very much about its supernatural mythology, Coco ends up being an intimate family drama where – apart from the sight gags and otherworldly adventure business, obviously – the afterlife plot device is ultimately a way to tell a story about a kid confronting his own family history in literal terms.How so?Once crossed-over, Miguel is quickly discovered there by the skeletal spirits of his ancestors, who are able to send him back but want to do so with the condition that he foreswear his musical ambitions. So he embarks on a quest to find de la Cruz, whom he believes can be more helpful in that regard – enlisting help from a skeleton hustler named Hector who has an agenda of his own.I heard there was some controversy here?At one point it was going to be called “Dia de los Muertos,” and Disney filed a copyright for the title. Obviously, this did not go over well at all with people in Mexico and throughout Latin America who’ve been celebrating the Holiday for several centuries. Disney eventually reversed course.What sets it apart from other animated movies this year?The decisive grounding in Mexican popular culture and folklore gives all of the proceedings a refreshing sense of identity apart from prior variations on the same kind of story. It’s not just a matter of Disney/Pixar borrowing a setting and a culturally-specific holiday, the storyline and Miguel’s journey through it allows for what’s effectively a walking tour of Mexico’s lasting contributions to art, music, movies sports and popular culture… but in a way that feels genuine and “lived” as opposed to just grabbing the well-known stuff – including some surprise cameos (sort of) by the Afterlife versions of historical figures I… can safely say I never expected to see in a Disney movie.How does it compare to other recent Pixar movies?At this point I feel like we’re reaching the point where comparing each new Pixar movie to where it might fit into the “canon” with the others has become kind of a pointless exercise – I mean, this isn’t some small artisanal operation anymore, if it ever was one… but for what it’s worth I’d say Coco is easily the best since Inside Out even though I didn’t have any real issue with Finding Dory or Cars 3. What IS kind of nice is that it feels like the first Western animated movie in forever that doesn’t feel like the need to merchandise played a strong role in the production. I’m sure there WILL be merchandise, and I don’t have anything against that per-say, it’s just a refreshing change to see something and NOT immediately be able to pick out which supporting character is trying to be this year’s Minions.Is this one of those Pixar movies that will make me cry?I did.center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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