What Makes Coco So Special

There is something special about Coco.

I’ve sat in Pixar movies that grab you by the heart, make you cry, and leave you wanting more. I’ve seen beautiful animation, heard great music, and experienced phenomenal stories, but I have never experienced anything like Coco.

The problem is that there isn’t just one thing that you can point to as “extraordinary” about Coco. There are several.

The voice acting by Pixar’s first all-hispanic cast is phenomenal, especially from Anthony Gonzalez, who is the speaking and singing voice for the lead character Miguel. The music by Pixar veteran Michael Giacchino (Inside Out, The Incredibles) is outstanding but not overwhelming enough to steal the spotlight. A team of songwriters combine to create emotional songs including one refrain that is bound to become a lullaby in homes around the world. And writer and director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) creates such a great story that it is almost impossible to walk away with a dry eye.

I’ve been told there are no perfect movies and Coco does have some issues. Most of the film takes place around the holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which is a holiday that involves praying for deceased relatives. Though the main characters religiously celebrate the holiday, the religious elements of prayer seem completely stripped from the movie.

I’m sure it is possible to celebrate Dia de los Muertos without praying for relatives, but it does seem like an oversight for Pixar to not even mention prayer.

Still, that’s not enough to substantially change my feelings about the film. Coco is a movie that challenges us to remember our ancestors and tell our children the stories of those who came before them. It’s fitting that a film all about remembrance is so hard to forget.

Final Rating: 9.8/10