Christmas means lunches and dinners with family, presents to unwrap, but also the new Disney/Pixar movie opening in theatres! This year it’s the turn of Coco, a kaleidoscopic adventure that brings us in the distant Mexico and the far more distant world of the dead. The movie is out in Italian cinemas on December 28th, just in time to relax (and empty the stomach) waiting for New Year’s Eve: let’s talk a bit about it.
Miguel Rivera is a young boy with a great passion for music. It’s a pity that songs and musical instruments are banished in his family! To realize his dream and follow the steps of the great Mexican musician Ernesto de la Cruz, little Miguel end up by mistake in the realm of the dead, during the night of Dia de Muertos. There he meets with his departed relatives and a weird skeleton called Hector. With just few hours to come back home, Miguel starts looking for de la Cruz, the only one that maybe can reveal the biggest secret of Rivera family.
If we were to describe Coco with an adjective, we would definitely choose super colourful. The world of the dead created by Pixar is a psychedelic rainbow that leaves us speechless for its liveliness and complexity. But behind the lights, the colours and the overwhelming rhythms of Mexican music, there’s a melancholic story, with an unusual theme for a movie (in theory) for children: death. Of course, there’s nothing scary or creepy, but Coco is not afraid to show us even the less sugary implications.
The director Lee Unkrich and the screenwriter Adrian Molina imagine the great beyond as an amazing city full of music and colours, linked to the world of the living by a small thread: memory. In fact, the memories are the thing that establish the destiny of the dead: who is remembered in the ofrenda (the shrines with the family pictures) can visit the living during Dia de Muertos, who is forgot by everyone dies a second time and disappear into nothingness. Therefore, Miguel’s mission becomes a race against time to save his new friend from oblivion.
If on one hand Coco made us shed some tears, as in the best Pixar tradition, on the other it’s a feast for the eyes and an irresistible whirlwind of music and adventures that will keep you on the edge of your seat for all the duration of the movie. There are also nice plot twists and an ending that will make you hold your breath: keep your tissues ready!