Pixar’s Coco takes us to the Land of the Dead – but it’s still a joyful, emotional and musical adventure story, packed with colourful characters and a powerful message about family ties
Coco, available from Saturday 20 October in Sky Cinema on demand. Cert PG. Also available in HD
Our story begins in a small town in Mexico as the Day of the Dead approaches. Twelve-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is obsessed with music, but his family have been dead set against musicians ever since his guitar-strumming great-great-grandfather abandoned his wife and daughter – Miguel’s great-grandmother, Coco.
Despite their opposition, Miguel feels he just has to play and he steals a guitar from a tomb so that he can enter a local talent show. But this crime causes him to pass into the Land of the Dead, where he risks being trapped forever. With the help of ragtag conman skeleton Héctor (Gael García Bernal), Miguel goes on the hunt for his hero, the movie star and musician Ernesto De La Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), who may have a hidden link to his family’s past that would allow him to send Miguel home…
Even by Pixar’s standards, this is a gorgeous film: the Land of the Dead is the most intricate and beautiful virtual set that the studio has ever designed, and the bridge of marigold petals that leads there is a glowing, golden marvel. Now that you have the film on Sky Cinema to watch again and again, look out for all the skull shapes hidden in the city (plus the usual Pixar Easter eggs).
This is a film with really encouraging messages about the importance of family ties, the ways that we are bound to and shaped by our ancestors, and the idea that no one we love ever truly leaves us. And it’s also a real celebration of music, with Pixar recruiting both voice cast and musical talent from all over Mexico to bring us an authentic taste of Mexico’s sounds, its Día de Muertos festival and the emotion behind them. Let yourself get swept away by Coco, and you’ll never be scared of skeletons again.
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Image credits: Coco © 2017 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved.