Coco Screen 5 articles



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  • As visualized by director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and lead writer Adrian Molina, the land of the dead is breathtakingly stratified—an impossible cityscape of cobblestone and cable cars, where chimerical Day-Glo alebrijes zip around the sky and the mansions of the posthumously famous tower in the distance. The macabre premise might suggest a childhood fascination with the gross and morbid, but the execution is Pixar craftsmanship at its most polished, for better or worse.

  • With so much information to plow through, the film too often bolts from one plot point to the next when it should be simply sitting back and enjoying the moment. Because when it turns down the volume on its cacophonous narrative and turns up the music, Coco achieves moments as powerful as anything in the Pixar canon.

  • Most of the time the movie is a knockabout slapstick comedy with a "Back to the Future" feeling, staging grand action sequences and feeding audiences new plot information every few minutes, but of course, being a Pixar film, "Coco" is also building toward emotionally overwhelming moments, so stealthily that you may be surprised to find yourself wiping away a tear even though the studio has been using the sneak-attack playbook for decades now.

  • To be forgotten means to lose all connection to family, and in learning this, Miguel becomes more thankful for his own family ties. His recognition engenders a longing for his living family, and this development makes Coco resemble many Disney animated classics. If the film isn't particularly scary, it makes up for this lack of terror with a heightened sense of wonder. The land of the dead is a marvelous creation, packed with visual detail and allusions to Mexican folk art and modern painting.

  • Requiring audiences to do more emotional work than they would for four live-action Oscar-bait films combined, Pixar’s Coco is a beautiful testament to the power (and pains) of family. It also deconstructs myths around fame and celebrates Mexican culture. . . . Given that most Hollywood films and TV shows set in Mexico are about drug dealers or louche spring-break romps, Coco’s tender and accurate depiction of los Estados Unidos Mexicanos is long overdue.

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