Colorful, beautifully animated, and culturally sensitive, Coco is an affecting, multilayered coming-of-age drama. Miguel just wants to make music, even though it's forbidden to him because his family believes that music cursed them. Gonzalez, a tween who performs Mariachi music, is an ideal pick to voice the movie's main character. He may not be a household name yet, but after his movie-carrying performance, it's clear the 12-year-old is, like his animated alter ego, a talented performer. Featuring "Remember Me," an original song from Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (the husband-and-wife team behind the Frozen soundtrack), and other songs written and produced by a team of Mexican songwriters and consultants, Coco boasts an authentic soundtrack and a memorable score by award-winning composer Michael Giacchino.
The voice cast is nearly all Latino (and most actually are Mexican), with internationally renowned Mexican-American actor Edward James Olmos and comedians Cheech Marin and Gabriel Iglesias voicing supporting characters. Bratt (who's half Peruvian) has just the right timbre of gravitas to play de la Cruz, a famous and vainglorious musician who died at the peak of his career. As for the titular character, she's Miguel's wheelchair-bound great-grandmother (Ana Ofelia Murguía), and her scenes with Miguel will bring a tear to even the most jaded viewer's eyes. The movie will be especially moving for anyone who's had to separate from their family, whether because of death or another reason (including immigration complications or difficult situations back home). But of all the movie's relationships, it's really Miguel's with Hector that's the most nuanced and fascinating. Bernal's Hector is so much more than he seems, and whether he's pretending to be Frida Kahlo (the ghost of Kahlo herself also makes an appearance), playing the guitar, or pleading his case to be remembered, he's the film's second hero. Like the best Pixar movies, Coco is ultimately a story about the power of relationships and why familia is so important.