Movie Review: Coco

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars

Bottom Line: Stab Olaf repeatedly with his stupid carrot nose. Takes a while to get going, but turns into a fun, colorful, family themed movie.

Ok, Disney, we really need to talk. The beginning of a Pixar movie is usually set aside for a short, independent animated special. That was thrown out the window here. Instead, what do we get? I’m not even sure. What the eff was “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”? I mean seriously, holy crap. Disney has a pretty good reputation of buying studios and letting them do mostly their own thing and they have done so with Pixar. Until this flaming sleigh ride of blatant commercialism gone horribly wrong. I don’t think it was nearly as bad as everyone is screaming, but it is just so out of place and so saccharine and so in your face that it riles up so much hatred. Luckily, Disney has listened to the venom spewing pubic and has promised to remove “Olaf’s Horrible, Horrible Mistake” from the beginning of “Coco”.

And on to “Coco”! Perhaps this movie deserves four stars, but it is part of a package and the package must be taken together. “Coco” itself is a delightful film even if I strongly disagree with the main theme of the movie. More on that later. It is colorful and vibrant and brings the Mexican heritage surrounding Dios de los Muertos to life beautifully. It does take a bit of time to get going, but once it does, it is an enjoyable ride filled with music and skeletons and spirit animals. The movie’s only other real flaw is how long the final bad guy battle goes. Other than that, lots of fun.

I would make a horrible Mexican. The main theme of “Coco” is family and how all important they are and how they come to visit you on Dios de los Muertos as long as you remember them and put up a picture of them on your shrine and this is pretty ingrained in Mexican culture from what I can tell. Ugh. I can give the whole afterlife concept a pass because it’s really cool and the idea of you being alive in spirit as long as people have you in their minds and hearts is very touching. The whole emphasis on family, though, I could do without. Some families are great. Most of mine included in that. Some, though, are not. Where is the theme in this movie for the people that belong in the latter group, of which there are many? According to “Coco”, they’re out of luck. How difficult would it have been to add in a much more inclusive version of family. Family is not who you’re born to or where your family tree branches. Family is who you choose to spend your time with. The ones who make your life special. The ones whose lives you make special. My family expanded beyond blood relations long ago. It’s time that movies like “Coco” do the same.

Now that the short that shall not be named is no longer opening for “Coco”, I highly recommend going to see this movie with your family, no matter who they may be. Maybe even go to a Mexican restaurant together afterwards and celebrate this family that you’ve created for yourself with a margarita or two. Family is what you make it. Keep them close. Hold them tight. Celebrate being in each other’s lives.

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