Coco had already been showing for a few weeks before I registered that it was the latest offering from Disney Pixar. The hype was lingering in the background, but the only thing I really knew about Coco was that it was accompanied by a ridiculously long Frozen short, which, thankfully my local cinema kindly omitted to show.
PLOT: During the Day of the Dead festival, young Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) gets trapped in the Land of the Dead. The only way he can escape is to get a blessing from his long deceased family. The problem is, Miguel is a musician and his family have had a long running embargo on all things musical. END PLOT
I knew nothing about the Day of the Dead festival other than it was the backdrop to an episode of Community and, if my memory serves me correctly, (it usually doesn’t), it featured in a James Bond movie. The cultural significance of the festival was unknown to me, but it is a poignantly beautiful custom that I truly wish was an annual event here, in glamorous Northern Ireland. The importance the Day of the Dead placed on departed family was not lost on me and struck more chords than I would probably like to admit.
Miguel’s journey in the Land of the Dead starts off as colourful fun but evolves into a serious drama with plot twists, that were in hindsight, blatantly obvious, but I didn’t see them coming. I was so absorbed in the story that I was unable able to think ahead. I experienced Coco in real time and loved every second of it.
I didn’t realise how invested I was in Coco until Miguel came back from the Land of the Dead, and, from that point on I cried. I cried for Coco, I cried for my family and I cried because Abuelita reminded me of my Nana, with her perfectly set hair and pink apron. The film told its story honestly and didn’t manipulate me into feeling sad. I cried openly because Coco earned my tears.
Disclaimer - my Nana never once threw a shoe at a dog
There are films that come along once in a while that you instantly fall in love with. Coco is one of those films. It gets the easiest 10/10 I’ll ever give.