When I watched Disney/Pixar’s Coco (2017), I was definitely expecting something more like their earlier movie The Book of Life (2014), where a misunderstood guy who wants to be a musician is forced into another occupation that’s been passed down the generations in his family, and the passion of music takes them to an alternate dimension, but Coco was different and more complex than the simple plot The Book of Life followed. The main character, Miguel (Anthony Gonzales), lives for his legend Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) in playing guitar. When a talent show comes to town and Miguel loses his guitar, he steals Ernesto’s guitar in order to participate in the same talent show that started Ernesto’s career in music. Miguel travels to the land of the dead with a single strum of Ernesto’s guitar, and he needs to get home before sunrise or he becomes a skeleton permanently as well as the other citizens of the land of the dead.
I would recommend this movie to people of all ages. Although Disney/Pixar is known for making films that are kid-friendly, a good serving of comedy for adults found its way in Coco. This is not to say kids won’t understand the jokes, it’s just that the humor will be appreciated by adults and kids. Some of the funny parts included when Miguel’s dog Dante randomly spurted his head out of the trash can and when after Miguel tells his life story (more on that later) and the musician who at the time is getting a shoe shine says “I asked for a shoe shine, not your life story.” His accent really makes it more funny.
Although Coco made me literally laugh out loud, it was also a pretty dramatic movie and I will admit, it even made me cry. But, take that with a grain of salt because because I cry pretty easily. Some of the most dramatic parts included when Miguel gave his life story and how depressing it is when, and this is a huge difference between The Book of Life and Coco, no music is allowed in a 50-mile-radius of his home and inside his heart Miguel feels like a musician. It just really reminded me about how kids have barely any control over their own life. Another dramatic scene is Miguel breaks a promise that could’ve been his easy escape from the land of the dead because of his love of music.
This is a Disney movie, so of course there’s a moral at the end of the story. In this case the moral is the old saying don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but with a twist that will really make you think. Sometimes people may be better or worse than expected at first glance.