This week, we watched the 2017 film Coco and the short Dante’s Lunch- A Short Tail.
Coco was a breath of fresh air when it was released in 2017 because it was an original Pixar film amid several sequels. Releasing between Cars 3 and Incredibles 2, this was a film that many, including myself, greatly looked forward to. This was going to be a Pixar film like no other by celebrating Mexican culture by presenting a story about the Spanish holiday Día de los Muertos. When it came to theaters, there was no original Pixar short beforehand, but Olaf’s Frozen Adventure instead, which caused some controversy. Not only was it overlong, running at about 20 minutes, but was also not well liked by many audiences. Because of this, it stopped screening before Coco not too long after its run in theaters.
Coco is about a young boy named Miguel who lives in Mexico and loves music. His idol is the famous Mexican singer Ernesto de la Cruz, who is from the town where he lives. Every day, he wishes to be a musician but his family forbids it because of their grandfather who was also a musician but abandoned his family. Instead of music, their family trade is shoe-making, something that Miguel wants no part of. Taking place on Día de los Muertos, translated as Day of the Dead, we see not only how this culture celebrates the holiday, but also just how central your family is to who you are as a person.
This film has it all: beautiful animation, breathtaking colors, unforgettable music, and a great message. Every time I watch this film, the color palette that was chosen never ceases to amaze me. We have come to expect great animation from Pixar, but Coco is on a whole other level. There are certain shots in the film, particularly in the land of the dead, that are sure to take your breath away. I also love the music in the film. “Remember Me” is an iconic song that is so stylistically believable and without it, Coco would be a much lesser film. In fact, the phrase “remember me” is really the theme of the whole film, with strong ties to Día de los Muertos itself, which is all about remembering your family and loved ones after they pass on. I also appreciate the care that was put into the plot and that the film was much more unpredictable than it could have been.
For those who have not yet seen Coco, it comes highly recommended by me and is a welcome original Pixar film amid the several other franchises that Pixar offers.
Dante’s Lunch- A Short Tail was a promotional trailer that was released prior to the release of the film. It features Dante, the hilarious and not very bright dog, struggling with a bone that seems to be cursed. This is a fun little short that is fun for those who have seen the film, and it definitely serves as a way to pique the interest of those who haven’t.
Next week, we will be watching the Bao, Incredibles 2, and Auntie Edna.