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Pixar’s Coco Is The Perfect Family Movie

It was near the end of the beautiful animated film Coco, when I thought that I would finally make it through a Pixar movie without crying. I had laughed, enjoyed the music and marveled at the gorgeous animation, but no tears. Then it happened; I was suddenly a mess and trying hard not to weep.

Coco is about a boy named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) who wants more than anything to play the guitar. But his family won’t have it. His great-grandfather was a musician and even though he died long ago, his family is still bitter from his abandonment. They want Miguel to follow in their footsteps and have a sensible life making shoes. Inspired by the music and career of the great actor and guitar player, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) Miguel runs away, determined to enter a music contest. He ends up in the cemetery on Día de Los Muertos.

It’s when he crosses over into the magical world of the afterlife to find his family when Coco really becomes something special. Coco is about a boy’s adventure to follow his dreams, but it’s also about so much more.

Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico and other parts of Latin America (and now all over the U.S.), but if you’re not familiar the holiday, don’t think that this movie isn’t for you. Coco is a funny, beautiful entertaining fable about what it means to love and remember your family. (Everyone in the afterlife is a skeleton, but I don’t think kids will find the skeletons scary. They’re brightly animated and fun.)

There is a scene with an old guitar player, voiced by Edward James Olmos, who is starting to fade away. It’s what happens when family stops remembering you. It’s beautiful and I had a hard time holding it together.

While there are few heartbreaking scenes, Coco is a lot of fun. There are fabulous musical numbers, daring chase scenes and fantastical creatures. Plus, there is a wonderful Frida Khalo number. How could you not love a movie with dancing Frida Khalos?

Coco opens nationwide today and I hope you see it this weekend with your family. I took my boys and my husband with me to a screening at Disney Studios and it was an amazing experience being there watching a movie about Mexico with an all Mexican cast. It’s a glorious and positive celebration of our culture and I was happy to share it with them.



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