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Coco is just a little too sweet

We are a tad behind on all the reviews that need doing at the mo, and the ‘for why’ bit has been puzzling us.

So naturally, we’ve spent time pondering it and not actually writing the reviews. Because that makes sense.

And we’ve realised that, in all three cases, it’s because we’ve not really felt moved to write them.

For different reasons, sure, but the fact stands for all three.

So, with not much further ado, and having run out of lives on Candy Crush after finally shutting down Footie Manager, let’s get cracking with Coco.

This, the latest Disney/Pixar jobbie, was trailed for quite a while before it finally hit the big screen – and to be honest, it looked fun.

Now, the problem with new Pixar films is what has gone before.

From the opening scenes you’re judging it against the likes of Toy Story or Up.

Some would say Inside Out too, but not us. Left us cold, that one. You really need to have kids to get it.

Really, the best thing to do is judge each Pixar outing on it’s merits and ignore the heritage (unless it’s a sequel, obviously).

So that’s what we tried to do with Coco, a story about a small boy who goes chasing his dream and ends up in the land of the dead.

Like you do.

With his dog, Dante, too. Which is an added plus.

Now, the story is absolutely fine. One would almost push it out there as far as quite good.

And the animation is as good as anything the guys have produced before – rich colours, capturing emotions, all the shizzle you’d expect.

And it has laughs – a lot of them centred around Dante – and keeps you entertained throughout. Even the 3D bits aren’t intrusive when watching it in 2D as nature intended…

So why, then, did it leave us feeling a bit flat?

Why was it easy to just wander off and find something more interesting to do right after watching it?

Basically, it just leaves you a bit cold.

Up was the last emotional wallop we felt from a Pixar film, and with Inside Out it was clear that yanking on heartstrings was the main concern – over and above plot.

And Coco feels somewhat similar.

As we said, the story is good and balances comedy with drama and a nice twist towards the end.

(As a quick aside, there’s a point where you think you’re in the final third and then, a long while later, you realise you weren’t.)

But the story of young Miguel running off to play the music his family has banned just feels entirely aimed at making us FEEL stuff, rather than letting our emotions occur naturally.

It’s like Pixar is trying to take ownership of our feels.

And that’s a shame, because this could have been a much darker film, and would have been all the better for it.

It’s the sweetness that leaves a bad taste.

That’s not to say it’s a bad film – far from it. It’s not Cars 3 (yeah, we know what we said…).

And the funny bits are funny, and Dante turns out to be actual star of the movie.

But it would be nice if Pixar could just write a good story next time rather than trying to work out which emotion should be manipulated in each and every scene.

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Unsalted Popcorn
A fresh approach to film reviews - no spoilers, just honest and heartfelt opinions.

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