Movie Title: Coco
Rating: PG, 1 hour 49 minutes
In a Nutshell: Gracias Pixar! This extremely vibrant, colorful animation has heart, visually stunning effects, and celebrates a wonderfully rich Mexican culture that we rarely get to see in the movies. It will have you contemplating what happens to you and your loved ones after we die as an added, inspiring bonus.
If you’re not familiar with Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” holiday, you might be a little creeped out by all of the skeletons at the beginning of the movie, but by the end, you’ll wish your country celebrated it too.
My twin sister and I wrote a book together about how to research your family tree and celebrate your heritage. People from around the world sent us their inspiring stories about how they felt their ancestors from “the other side” helped them to find the missing information they were looking for on their family tree! If you want to have a spiritual experience, do your genealogy! Check out our book called CLIMBING FAMILY TREES. Right now, it’s FREE on Kindle!
Tips for parents:
- The story might be hard for young children to follow.
- Some of the dead ancestors are a bit spooky and creepy, especially when they first see them. There are TONS of skeletons!
- Challenge your kids to spot the Pixar character pinatas hanging along the street in the beginning of the movie (Buzz Lightyear, Wood, Mike Wazowski). You’ll also see the Pizza Planet delivery truck in another scene. I love that.
- A lot of Spanish words are spoken with no subtitles. You’ll still understand the story if you don’t speak Spanish. Here are a few that are important to know: Ofrendas = offerings
Mijo = Mi hijo = my son
chamaco = kid, brat
- There are some “spirit guide” animals in the story. This is a perfect time to talk to your kids about what you believe happens to people and animals after we die.
- People drink alcohol.
- No profanity.
- “One cannot deny who one is meant to be.” – Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Pratt)
- “Seize your moment.” – Ernesto de la Cruz
- Helping friends
- “Nothing is more important than family.” – Miguel Families ARE forever!
- Life goes on beyond this mortal experience.
- “That’s what family is supposed to do…support you.” – Miguel
- “Never underestimate the power of music.” – Ernesto de la Cruz
Things I liked:
- I adore Jaime Camil. His character is ridiculous and charming on the Latino SitCom “Jane the Virgin.”
- The colorful, stacked houses in the movie were inspired by Guanajuato in Mexico.
- The music is really engaging. The actual composer of the movie appears in caricature as the conductor at the end of the movie.
- I thought it was cool how they used the Aztec marigold throughout the movie to connect things together. It’s used traditionally on the Day of the Dead for the same purpose: to connect the living with the dead.
- If you see this film in the theaters, you’ll get to see an ADORABLE 21 minute musical short of “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” with characters from the movie “Frozen.” Apparently, quite a few audiences in Mexico have complained that it’s too long! Ha ha I thought it was awesome and the audience I saw it with applauded happily at the end of the movie. It’s all about families and their traditions during the holidays. Super cute.
- After the “Frozen” short, the directors of the movie “Coco” also talked for a minute, which is something I rarely see before a movie starts. Interesting.
- The beginning of the movie was clever how it told Miguel’s ancestry through lacy flags.
- The movement of the animation was AMAZING. The details were so impressive. I watched an interview with director Lee Unkrich, who explained that they tied GoPro cameras on people playing the guitar in order to get the fingers exactly right as they played.
- I loved the tiny details in each frame. For example, you could actually see tiny little chin hairs on Great Grandma Coco (Ana Ofelia Murguia).
- Voice talents include Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garcia Bernal, Anthony Gonzalez, Alanna Ubach, Gabriel Iglesias, and Latino legend Edward James Olmos.
Things I didn’t like:
- It reminded me a lot of “The Book of Life”, which came out three years ago from Twentieth Century Fox, although I liked this one much better.
- In Brazil, the name of this movie is “Viva”, which means “life”, because the word “coco” sounds too similar to a naughty word there.
- This film broke the record for the longest production time, because it started in 2011 and didn’t hit theaters until November 2017.
- Merchandising has really gone big. Southwest Airlines actually painted one of their Boeing airplanes in Coco design.
- The Santa Cecilia graveyard in the movie is named after the Catholic saint of musicians.
- Dante, the dog, is named after Dante Alighieri, who wrote “The Divine Comedy” and also went on a journey to the world of the dead.
- “You don’t have to forgive him, but you shouldn’t forget him.” – Miguel
- “The music is not just in me. It IS me.” – Ernesto de la Cruz
- “No one was going to hand me my dream. I had to reach out and take it.” – Ernesto de la Cruz