The Book of Life was one of my favorite films of 2014. When I first saw the trailer for Coco, it was hard not for me to draw comparisons. A celebration of the Day of the Dead. Mariachi. Centered around music. Coco brings its own flavor, however, a unique experience all its own. In fact, if it weren’t for the god-awful twenty-five-minute Frozen short right before (since removed due to numerous complaints), this would have been close to a perfect moviegoing experience.
Little Miguel loves music. He has to sneak away to watch old recordings of his favorite musician Ernesto de la Cruz because the rest of his family thinks music is a curse. Following a mysterious chain of events (don’t want to ruin it for you), Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead and must somehow find a way to get home before its too late.
The colors. Oh man, the colors. Vibrant, popping off the screen. It screams life even during the scenes in the Land of the Dead. This is one film I wish I would have seen in IMAX. The colors add an amazing pop, from the spirit animals to the city landscapes at night, making this one of the most beautiful animated films I have seen.
The colors alone are just a small touch to the overall creativity and originality behind Coco. The Land of the Dead is loaded with sights to behold, some you might miss if you blink. The attention to detail is spectacular from the cool bridge that guides the dead to the Land of the Living to the colorful spirit animals. I’ve seen a lot of movies and I haven’t seen anything like this.
Not only are the visuals amazing, but the music holds its own as well, driving the entire story in an entertaining and powerful way. There are a lot of touching moments that revolve around the soundtrack. There will be musical numbers that make you laugh while others leave you with more of a somber feel. Maybe I cried a little. Maybe I didn’t. You’ll never know for sure. One thing I can say is this movie was about as touching as any I have seen this year.
Disney/Pixar is known for leaving you with a great message and Coco is no exception. Miguel was willing to follow his dreams at all costs, even if it cost him his life. How many of us can say the same? Another phenomenal job by Pixar. I give the film a 96.