“The Book of Life” which was released in 2014 gave a glimpse of what Mexican tradition of “Dia De Los Muertos” looks like. The animation gave an excellent twist on a folklore tales that is often told by Mexican community. Fast forward to Halloween in 2017, another animation movie called “Coco” was released by Disney and Pixar using the same theme and tradition of Mexican people. We were skeptical at first whether this movie could surpass the amazing “The Book of Life”, but it delivers! “Coco” tells about a boy named Miguel who lives in a small town in Mexico and his family. His family is a renown shoemakers in that area and has long hold the tradition of passing the craft of making shoes from generations to generations. However, Miguel wants to break free from the rule. He doesn’t want to be a shoemaker, he wants to be a musician although he knows that his family especially his abuelita (grandmother) despises musicians and all kinds of music. The root of this hatred comes from Miguel’s great great grandfather who left his family behind to pursue his career in music, so since then, the family prohibited all kinds of music in their household since it would disrespect the matriarch of the family, great great grandmother Mama Imelda.
On the day of Dia De Los Muertos or The Day of The Dead, when the spirits are believed to cross the bridge to come to the place of the living, Miguel accidentally crossed the barrier and made him able to walk to the after world. There, he met his ancestors, from grand aunts, grand uncle, and Mama Imelda herself. To be able to make his way back to the place of the living, Miguel had to receive consent from his family to return. However Mama Imelda gave him a condition he could not abide, he should not pursue his dream of being a musician. So, Miguel was in a race of finding other kin of his before the sun rises. The journey of Miguel finding out about his own family, his idol, as well as himself were captured in such emotional plot. We should add this movie on a list of animation that could make us cry alongside “Up”, “Inside Out”, “Spirited Away”, “Toy Story” and more. Directed by Lee Unkrich, “Coco” is a movie that could be enjoyed by both children and adults. Once again, on “Coco” we could see a stupid but lucky pet in the form of a street dog named Dante, a Disney thing that is always present on their animation movies. His presence gives a comic relief but also a comfort since his character was quite reliable albeit often did foolish things.
The antagonist in this movie was played out by Miguel’s idol, Ernesto De La Cruz, who turned out to be not as great as Miguel thought. Another plus point, this movie is opened by a short movie from Frozen. Chronicling Olaf’s venture to find a Christmas tradition for Princess Elsa and Anna, we enjoyed seeing the afterlife of the girls’ happy ending. Seems like Frozen 2 is going to be a thing. Anyway, where does the “Coco” come from? You’d better watch it yourself to find out!