Review: Coco (2017) (Another Pixar Masterpiece?)

(SPOILER FREE)

“Sometimes, I think I’m cursed”

Well, I was not prepared for that! Pixar’s latest animated film, Coco, proved to be an emotional rollercoaster for me. I’ve not cried that much during a film for a very, very long time. And it wasn’t just a few tears…towards the end it was a full-on flood! My fiancée didn’t even shed a tear! Maybe it proves my theory of the male period…but that’s a tale for another time. It probably means that I can’t review it objectively, but I’ll try my best. For now, Coco stands out as a top-tier Pixar film. And that’s saying something, isn’t it?

It’s a typically Pixar type of story. It takes place on the Mexican Day of the Dead. The “hero” of the story, Miguel Rivera, is part of a family that hates music. They hate music due to his great-great grandfather walking out on his wife to pursue his dream of being a musician. Miguel loves music, however, and his urge to play guitar/sing threatens to tear his family apart. On the Day of the Dead, he steals his great-great grandfather’s guitar (his great-great grandfather turns out to be Mexico’s most famous musician, Ernesto De Le Cruz) and is transported to the land of the dead. With the help of Hector, a down-and-out spirit, Miguel attempts to find his way back to the living.

“No more music”

Try not to cry Hammy, try not to cry…

Of course, being a Pixar film, you’ll be able to plot out the film pretty much from the beginning. I sure did, but that in no way impeded my viewing pleasure. There’s a complex world to outline (see Inside Out and Wall-E), but the exposition is always entertaining and rarely frustrating (see Inception!). It also has the hallmarks of the typical Disney film: animal companion, catchy songs and a (fairly) blunt moral lesson. But don’t worry; it’s still blatantly a Pixar film. There’s still enough difference between the two animation studios!

One major difference is the presentation. You can’t deny that Disney’s computer animated films are beautiful. But Pixar have the edge in terms of colour, design and innovation. The land of the dead is beautifully realised, even more so than the land of the living. Given a choice between the two as presented in Coco, I know which one I’d choose. Spirits in Coco are presented as skeletons, and at one point a skeleton’s jaw literally dropped. That happened to me several times over the course of the film due to the stunning animation.

But a film can only get so far on stunning good looks. Coco most definitely has a heart, and a narrative that just keeps moving forward.  Apart from the exposition near the beginning, there’s no room for dalliance. Whether or not you know where the film is heading, there’s always forward momentum. There’s the occasional chase scene to spice things up a little, but there’s always something visually stunning to admire. I’d say this has just the right balance between action and character interaction. Pixar are adept at visual storytelling, and this is yet another great example of their ability to do so.

“Remember me”

How do the skeletons speak without any vocal chords?

But it wouldn’t be a Pixar film without guiding you through highs and lows, through laughter and tears. And I’ve never been emotionally affected by a Pixar film as much as I have by Coco. Sure, the first five minutes of Up had me in tears. Sure, the end of Toy Story 3 had me in tears. But I was threatened by tears at least three times before the finale in Coco. And when the finale hit…I was struck by uncontrollable sobs! I knew what was coming…but I still couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. Coco is a tale about grief and loss, like many other animated films, but it’s perhaps the most emotional Pixar film of them all.

Even thinking about it now, my eyes tear up! Maybe I’ll have to watch it a second time to judge the film objectively, but for now I’d rank it as one of Pixar’s top efforts. My prime Pixar pick still remains Wall-E, but I’ve watch that many times. I still need time to properly process Coco, but it at least rivals Inside Out as one of Pixar’s modern classics. Let’s be honest: no one wants Pixar sequels, as they inevitably disappoint (apart from the Toy Story sequels…but I’m sure Toy Story 4 will disappoint! Toy Story 3 was the ideal end…why bring that franchise back? Damn you, Disney!). We need more films like Coco and less films like Finding Dory. Coco is at once uplifting, inspirational, bittersweet and overwhelmingly emotional. It’s also another instant classic for Pixar.

VERDICT: 9/10. Coco stands tall along with Toy Story, Wall-E and Inside Out as another instant classic from Coco. Just bring tissues. Lots of tissues. Because if you have a heart, you’ll be blubbering like a baby.

What did you think of Coco (2017)? Leave your thoughts/comments below!

4 thoughts on “Review: Coco (2017) (Another Pixar Masterpiece?)

  1. rachelhunt22 January 31, 2018 / 9:44 pm

    Almost watched this tonight. Went with Cars 3, which I thought was good but I get why others dislike it. Really have to watch Coco soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews January 31, 2018 / 9:47 pm

      I haven’t seen any of the Cars film! But you must watch Coco!

      Like

      • rachelhunt22 January 31, 2018 / 9:52 pm

        How have you not watched any of the Cars film! They’re Pixar. Everyone should watch all the Pixar films 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hammy Reviews January 31, 2018 / 9:53 pm

          On the to-watch list of Pixar films: all of the Cars films, Finding Dory, and The Good Dinosaur!

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.