Death has never before been so alive
Miguel, an aspiring musician kid, runs around between colorful Mexican alleys with folkloric varieties of footwear, handmade by his family, who considers shoemaking business as the absolute job of each congener from generation to generation. Sadly, all his dreams will be interrupted by the unshakable family aversion to any minimum melody coming from an instrument; music has been radically abolished as a result of a fatal event of the past. Confused, brimming with different future plans and dangerously wrathful by the demands of his family, Miguel will be involved in a fantastic adventure, impressively deep, against time by festive landscapes of an enigmatic second dimension, one in which the deceased beings reside, those who remain semi-alive thanks to the memories of the living humans.
Without any remorse, it could be said that the last Walt Disney Animation Studios & Pixar Animation Studios big bet took place almost one year ago with "Moana" by Ron Clements and John Musker, overlooking Brian Fee's irregular directional debut in summer flick "Cars 3." Almost 365 days of waiting provoked that the expectations to see the new original idea of the perfectionist studio were boosted without a break, and as they were unlocking fine details about the work, the audience demands got harder disproportionately. Needless to say, when the prior film raises the bar at a fairly high level, expectations embrace a difficult range of overcoming, the criteria for reviewing this audiovisual work were hardened in a way that it would only be considered really good if only meet the needs of the toughest public. To the delight of everybody, the newest incursion in animation genre by Disney doesn't simply meet the demands before a damn good-looking visual section, the best part comes from the charm of its characters and the substantial plot proposal that can be a long subject of debate and analysis.
Computer animation has a host of genuinely creative possibilities. Over the years, thousands of silver screens have projected hundreds of stories which reflect the diversity of ideas and thoughts that can be extracted from a human mind. Within this interminable catalogue of film opportunities, the vast range of global cultures shines by itself in the visual field and despite the studio has tried to circumscribe most of its films in American environments, also gave free rein the screenwriters, resulting in small gems as "Mulan", "Aladdin" and, now "Coco".
Oscar-winner Lee Unkrich and Seattle Film Critics Award-winner Adrian Molina seem to be consolidated as the kings of the present-day animation because, through the "hypothetical" inequality of years working in the field, they have achieved, in a magnificent way, to synthesize the characteristics with greater sensitivity and affinity from their previous works to use them in a plausible co-direction that allows the film to be what it is. Likewise, it was an outstanding job what they did with the general draft or/and the original story that plays a vital role for the success of the idea, in which it's possible to catch respectful and fresh reference parallelisms to certain functional aspects present in prior flicks such as the independence representation from "Finding Nemo", the overcoming of a specific problem in a gracefully dynamic way from "Monsters, Inc", and, of course, the most perceptible, an emotional and severe final message coming together harsh reality from "Toy Story 3." Additional to the aforementioned two directors-screenwriters, names of the caliber of Jason Katz and Matthew Aldrich stand out in the writing for their prestige and recognition in the company, leaving, as a result, an Aldrich-Molina explosive mix that provokes the correct working of the powerhouse script. Encompassing or synthesizing the valuable teachings of this movie is an impossible task, given that it drops them according to how the facts are happening, however, it's possible to notice edifying advises geared the unstoppable chase for a dream, responsibility that this act requires, love of and for the family, the reminder that evil still is out there waiting for an affable figure, probity, humility, the power of goodness and, of course, death. The latter subject is clearly the central concept with which the film manages to surpass some barriers, while at the same time, it's the one entailing a harder complexity. Although with the advent of modern ideologies and, consequently, relegation of the more traditional customs, this phenomenon has been shown a considerable decline, over the years, a blacklist on utmost-importance-but-sensitive-treatment subjects has been in the pipeline, themes that nobody dares to address, a series of matters which, for different reasons, are kept under an invisible but practicable veto by studio blockbusters and medium-budget movies, which prefer to avoid them because of the labile and perilous result that would mean a false step; taboos or not, these subjects would mean for any major film studio a daring position of "all or nothing." Homosexuality, political divisions, massive attacks or tragic events, social conjunctures, crude indecent language, explicit violence, euthanasia, suicide or murder compose a long list from which no one mentions. Now, if for an adult mind is really cumbersome to digest films of this kind, it's understandable that a young mind wouldn't endure even one-half of this content. However, in the case of this animated feature film, death, an openly polarizing subject at present, has got a subtle, clever treatment in order to capture, in a fantastic way, the truth hiding the loss of a loved one, using accessible analogies which stir up a proactive unique masterclass in core plot idea development. About this, the whole film moves with a comfortable margin among corny drama and circumstantial comical situations that achieve, within all that unreal and hopeful context, reflect difficult and pure reality, leaning, with respect, in the ideal Mexican holiday that fits perfectly with the leitmotiv. It's clear that what makes easier the excellent final cut is the charisma and the particular essence of the story and its characters, they are pawns serving as a bridge between message and audience. And, in addition to the fundamental role played by screenwriters, the subsequent movie weight lies in the vocal skills of actors, they must transmit a set of emotions and sensations through sound, through voice. Among the agglomerate of the cast, as well as the crew, unequivocally Latin names shine, which is its second greatest strong point: the opening to a new original culture. Anthony Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt, Jaime Camil, Ana Ofelia Murguía and "Mozart in the Jungle" actor Gael García Bernal lead the mission of lifting their homeland up, their traditions, their voices, their needs, and now is the perfect time for a movie like this, one in which the Mexican territory is the setting for action; it must be heard not only by American ears but by everyone in this world, as an example of moving on, friendship, union; It is no secret that between country and country, hostile walls have been erected, for the moment "supposed", on economic, political and social relations; the "Make America Great Again" slogan has stoked a dangerous flame of egocentricity and intolerance that threatens the lives of thousands of either legal or illegal inmigrant, and although it's a really serious bussines, it's applaudable that from an artistic scenario begin to give the first hopeful blows to break a full-hatred wall down. And "Coco", even though its story has nothing to do with this complicated conflict at first glance, manages to raise a short but grateful criticism. To sum it all up, the film works in many ways, keeps strong messages for all ages, each spectator can extract whatever it wants from an adventure that is consolidated as the animated motion picture of the year.
Creatively, the film uses its tools in a way that exhibits the meticulous quality showed in the Pixar works. It follows the patterns of introduction and development evidenced in previous works, and although the most assiduous film buffs can feel repetitive this prototype, it's always estimable the effort to dodge the traditional through stories that transcend narrative barriers, unequivocally, through emotional scripts. While the first two acts are a complete enjoyment, the highlight is reserved for the final part because "Coco" has the luxury of having the second more emotionally disturbing and sentimentally dramatic climax in an animated film of the 21st century, only behind, no doubt, "Toy Story 3". It's overwhelming the set of emotions that an audiovisual extremely glorious moment can convey audience, one that has been fire engraved in the annals of cinema, one that will ensure the presence of hankies. Although for many spectators can feel it anticlimactic and abrupt, this ending combines, perfectly, with the atmosphere of the narrative, revealing vigor and longevity that Disney maintains to date.
The visual section is a whole other story. After a beautiful graphic simplicity coming from "Cars 3", the studio goes back roots and decides to bet on sharply-meticulous landscapes again, using as tools bright colors, colorful textures and confections that are going to leave you open-mouthed, maybe, that's why many film attendees come to the theaters with each new release, they're aware of the dimensions of tidiness and the labor demands that the company portrays through its continuous masterpieces. In the same way, the sound aspect excels in counted periods, however, in which it succeeds, it does it in an unbeatable way. Although it does not reach near-perfect scores as Lin-Manuel Miranda's melodies for "Moana" or Randy Newman's for "Toy Story", the film extracts what can most of these in the drama set-pieces, undoubtedly highlighting "Remember Me" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, which climatizes the most powerful emotional moment in the movie.
"Coco" by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina condenses a wide range of American cinema's strangeness and traditional elements, delivering the animated audiovisual work of the year par excellence. This enjoyable and deeply touching Magnum opus has reserved a gold place in the most prestigious movie awards, however, beyond critic acclaims or awards, its creators must feel fully fortunate that their film has gained a little piece of memory and love in the heads and hearts of millions and millions of people, perhaps, just like I did. We can breathe a sigh of relief, Disney pics keep to signify learning pillars for the growth of many people.