I’m honestly at kind of a loss for words right now.   Disney and Pixar’s Coco is, of course, a tremendous movie, both beautiful to look at and wonderful to experience.   It’s a feast for the eyes, a joy for the soul, goddamn crushing in some moments, and actually had me, one of the most cynical bastards in the multiverse, shedding actual tears towards the end.   This movie is tops.   It’s the bee’s knees.   It’s tits.   I loved it.

There was only one thing that kept it from being perfect.

But, I’ll talk about that in a minute.

First of all, the plot:  Miguel is a small brown child who lives in Mexico where a lot of people appear to be brown.  Due to his great-great grandfather running out on his great-great grandmother to become a musican, music is expressly forbidden in his home which completely sucks because Miguel wants to become a musician, following in the footsteps of his idol, the late singer, Ernesto de la Cruz.   One night, for reasons I won’t spoil here, little Miguel… uh… “borrows” de la Cruz’ guitar from his tomb and accidentally transports himself to The Land of the Dead where he meets all of his dead relatives and goes on a frantic quest to get his family’s blessing to return to the mortal world.

Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that, but I don’t want to ruin it for you.

For those of you saying that Coco looks like a rip-off of The Book of Life because both of them take place in The Land of the Dead, you make as much sense as someone who says that What Dreams May Come rips off Defending Your Life because both of them take place in heaven.   While there’s a slight visual similarity, the two films are vastly different so, shut up.

As I’ve already gushed about, this movie is a visual and emotional powerhouse that is a pure joy to sit through.   My one problem?

Okay, if you haven’t seen the movie, best stop here:

Spoiler Alert

Coco was great as a story without a central villain, a lot like Inside Out.  The conflict was cultural and emotional where you can see where Miguel is coming from, but you can see where his Great-Great Grandmother was coming from too.   With the ticking clock literally eating away at our protagonist, there was no need for a central villain.

But, Coco shoved one in anyway in a predictable and lame manor, suddenly turning de la Cruz into the bad guy.    It just wasn’t necessary and added very little to the plot.   Sure, we needed a reason for Hector to have never returned home, but that could have been handled in any number of ways, it didn’t have to be murder.

I don’t know… I just feel the movie was getting along just fine without a villain and, to shoehorn one in during the last half-hour of the movie seemed corporate and pandering and Coco could have done without it.

Spoiler Alert

Still, even with that misstep, Coco is a winner.  I could gush more, but I feel that would be redundant so let me just say this:  See it and you won’t be disappointed.

The last three Pixar movies have been okay to disappointing to almost unwatchable…. it’s so wonderful to see this studio back on its game and I really hope it can stay there because, if they fuck up The Incredibles 2, I will hunt them down one by one.

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.