Date Watched: – 14th January 2018
Director: – Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Genre: – Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Starring: – Voices – Anthony Gonzalez (Miguel), Garl Garcia Bernal (Hector), Benjamin Bratt (Ernesto de la Cruz), Alanna Ubach (Mama Imelda), Renee Victor (Abuelita), Jaime Camil (Papa) and Alfonso Arua (Papa Julio)
Not too sure what to make of this one, as a Disney/Pixel film the concept of the film being based on the Day of the Dead which is a Mexican holiday took me by surprised as it’s not the normal young child friendly film I expect from Pixar (Toy Story, Finding Nemo etc.) though I enjoyed it I’m not sure that this should be marketed as a film that’s suitable for young children. It opened in the US on Thanksgiving but the UK had to wait unit this week for it to be released.
Imelda Rivera was the wife of a Musician who left her and her daughter Coco to pursue a career in music and she started making shoes and opened a Shoemaking business and banned music in the family. Many years later Imelda great-great-grandson Miguel who lives with his family including an elderly Coco dreams of becoming a musician like Ernesto de la Cruz a popular actor and singer from Imelda’s era. Miguel accidentally damages a photo from the Ofrenda (an offering made during the Day of the Dead celebrations) and notices that it is of Imelda and her husband and Coco as a baby, the husband is holding the famous guitar that da la Cruz used but the face is ripped out, Miguel concludes that da la Cruz is his Great-great Grandfather and after an argument with his grandmother (Elena) he runs away to enter the local talent show but as he is unable to borrow a guitar (Elena had smashed his) he breaks into the Mausoleum of Ernesto da la Cruz to borrow his guitar but as he picks up the guitar and strummers it he becomes invisible to the living but can be seen by the dead. His dead relatives come over and sees Miguel and they mention that Imelda can’t come over as her photo is not displayed as Miguel has the photo, the family make their way to the office where Imelda is at the officer explains that Miguel is cursed and must receive a blessing from his family whilst holding an Aztec petal, Imelda gives him her blessing but puts a condition on that he must not play music and he returns to the land of the living but as soon as he arrives back he plays the guitar and returns to the land of the dead, and since the family don’t give him the blessing that allows him to play music he runs away to find da la Cruz to get his blessing. He then bumps into Hector, who is down on his luck as he wants to visit his daughter but no-one in the living world puts his photo up that would allow him to travel to the living, who offers to help Miguel in exchange of putting his photo up so he can visit his daughter, Miguel promises and they set off. Hector says the best way is to win the talent contest which the winner will play in the party that da la Cruz is hosting. Miguel does well in the contest but his family arrive and though Hector tries to return Miguel to his family he escapes and gets into da la Cruz mansion where he then plays and announces he is da la Cruz relative but Hector confronts him and Miguel learns that da la Cruz poisoned Hector to get his songs which Hector had written for them but Hector had decided to quit and return to his family. Miguel then realizes that Hector is actually his Great-Great-Grandfather not da la Cruz but they’re thrown in a pit without anyway to escape but Dante (Miguel’s stray dog) finds them and alerts the rest of Miguel’s dead family and they rescue them, but as the sun starts to rise which would cause Miguel to stay in the land of the dead Hector starts to fade as he is being forgotten so the family give Miguel there blessing without any conditions and Miguel returns to the Living, he rushes home to see Coco and tries to get her to remember her father Hector and then plays the song that Hector used to sing to her and Coco remembers. A year later Coco has passed and Miguel has a baby sister but her photo along with Hector’s is placed on the ofrenda and Hector can finally visit the rest of the family again and music is no longer banned in the family.
Whilst I really liked the idea of the using the Day of the Dead festival that is not often used in films (and other countries Holidays besides the American ones) and I liked the film as mentioned I’m not sure this is aimed at young children as Pixar tend to do so this might harm this releases. I know it was very well received in the US when it opened at Thanksgiving and the animation is top draw as you would expect. I had been looking forward to this film for a few months since we saw the first advert (of Dante) last summer and though it didn’t disappoint but didn’t really go beyond this. I rate this a 7/10 as could’ve been better and not sure really suitable for what I would say is the intended audience.