Coco – 5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Coco – 5/5 –  For every film that I see, I always hope for that experience.  No matter what genre, styling or length; I hope for that genuine feeling of sitting there and being enraptured by the big screen.  No matter what, the experience is what makes the film worth that highest of accolades.  It takes a lot to hit that feeling, but when a film does, it is something that provides true escapism.  With Disney/Pixar’s Coco, it is a tale that captures the essences of what it means to go the movies.  Straight to the point, Coco is a cinematic masterpiece.

Premise:  An kid with talents, Miguel travels to the Land of the Dead to discover the true meaning of what family and music means for him.

Being an animated film, the characters are brought to life through voice acting.  There is a plethora of characters so I recommend referring to the film’s IMDb page.  It doesn’t matter if it is the main character Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) or side characters like Hector (Gael Bernal), Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) or Mama Imelda (Alanna Ubach), they all do a fantastic job bringing to life their animated characters.  Through their voices mixed in with the animation, they convey distinct personalities that feel real to the audience.  Each character (In the real world or the Land of the Dead), you feel a connection through their emotional interactions and backstories.  There are layers of defined characteristic flaws that provide layers of depth.  No matter who is on screen, there is a sense of true commandment.  They stand out with unique designs, color and witty complexions.  The dialogue is quippy, the feelings are raw and the consequences of their action are dire but riveting.  The power comes across through the culture.  This provides the importance of every relationship; past and present.   You believe in this world and understand how each character matters to the story.

The direction is unique to an animated feature.  It takes the generic ‘journey’ tale and flows it with a feeling of immersion.  What I mean is that you come into this world as if you are already there, part of the family and the character’s quest.  With an introduction that sets up the place where Miguel lives, it shows us his culture and the Day of the Dead, a celebration of love ones that have passed away.  There aren’t any forced exposition, dramatic quips or convenient plot devices.  What you have is a familiar setting that dives into the themes of family and personal choice.  What follow Miguel, a kid whom enjoys music but can’t play because of his family.  Through some mishaps, he heads out on a quest to discover the truth of family, love and dreams.  You experience the wonders of the Land of the Dead and how that imbues into the ongoing story.  As the film progresses, you get to see the otherworld through Miguel.  That immersion takes effect because of the unorthodox connections, emotional moments and unpredictable storytelling technique.  Everything is done through the eyes of Miguel and his interactions with the Land of the Dead.  It is awe inspiring, providing a raw glimpse into the honest complexion that unfolds.  As the backstories unfold and deepens the plot, the thematic twist moves all the loose threads into realistic conceptions.  You begin to see that ‘heart’ of the film.  This is where that emotional roller coaster takes effect, pushing forward the consequences that unfold on Miguel’s journey.  As the film moves into the finale, it is a mixture of intense moments and gripping sensations that will leave you speechless.  The poignant detail that reels you in provides a gut wrenching climax that is an experience original to itself.  As you wind down in the epilogue, you are left with a joy about family and love.  There is truth in the journey, providing you with what going to the movies is supposed to be.

The cinematography is some of the best animation I have seen in quite some time.  From the character design, the hometown of Miguel and the Land of the Dead, the contrast in environments helps provide immersive details to the story.  Angling in that contrast is a window into two different worlds.  From the colorful structures, character and lively worlds, it brings enthralling emotions through visual appeal.  This breathtaking journey adds to the escapism.  The score is another wonderful element.  Providing original songs and instrumental music that is deeply woven into the culture, it adds a grounded feeling to everything that is surreal.  The amount of emotional worth put into every song and musical scene is gripping.  It brings in you into the world, feeling the power of the journey.

Coco is simply one of the best animated films.  Disney/Pixar simply knows how to provide pure storytelling on the big screen.  If you’re a fan of anything regarding Disney, Pixar or great stories, this is one for you.  This is worth the full price of admission.

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