Verdict - With Showers Of Marigold Petals And Melodious Mexican Rhythms, Galore! 'Coco' Will Melt Your Heart.
Long long ago,back in the winter of 96 I made my very first Christmas wish. As I sat underneath the mistletoe, all cozied up to Jim Reeves crooning Christmas carols through the stereo, I longed to become a musician. Back then, all my fellow classmates in second grade wished to pursue their career as doctors, astronauts or Scientists but, I nurtured my love for music and stood on firm grounds,dreaming of a day when I would become a musician. Abiding by every Disney movie which lured me to chase-after-my- dreams; 'Coco' is by far the Best!
Sitting alongside a younger audience many of whom, who aspire to become artists, brought back those earnest desires I cherished back when I was a toddler and a treasure trove of sundry memories.The movie which is a musical fantasy, produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney, has revamped 'sparkly fairy dust' and 'true love's kisses' for the warmth of family love, glory of Mexican tradition and a stroll through the Mexican holiday- 'Day of the Dead.'
'The Day of the Dead' is celebrated throughout Mexico by gathering family and friends to remember and pray for the deceased, to help support their spiritual journey. The movie opens its doors into the Rivera Household where the members prep for the auspicious occasion. From a loving Abualita who greets her loved ones with wide open arms to a clan of ecstatic family members,the Rivera household seems like any other quintessential Mexican family,except for their peculiar despise for music.
Here's why the family loathes music for generations.Once upon a time the Rivera's matriarch Imelda was married to a man who abandoned his family to become a musician. Struggling to raise a daughter on her own, Imelda began making shoes to support her family which later bloomed into a shoe business. Ever since then, music was banned from the household. Amidst the cut- throat music haters, exists Miguel Imelda's twelve year old great great grandson who secretly dreams of becoming a musician like Ernesto de la Cruz (a popular singer).
Since music is strictly forbidden in the house, Miguel was denied an entry into the music competition at the plaza. Despite Abualita crushing his beloved guitar and smashing it into pieces; Miguel sneaks his name into the music competition by stealing Ernesto de la Cruz's guitar from the singer's tomb.The guitar teleports Miguel to the land of the dead where he reunites with Imelda and the rest of his ancestors.Miguel could return back to the land of the living only if he receives a blessing from Imelda. When Imelda denies her blessings for Miguel to become a musician, he elopes to find Ernesto de la Cruz and receive his blessings with the help of a dead trickster named Hector.Hector rendezvoused Miguel under one condition. You see, souls in the land of the dead live off the prayers they receive from the living on 'The Day of the dead'. Hector was being forgotten, slowly nearing his void. He wanted Miguel to remind his daughter about her dear father so he could live.
Anthony Gonzalez as the sprightly Miguel Rivera touches your heart from the very first scene. Those googly coffee brown eyes and naive giggles wont fail to bring a tear to your eyes. Even his goofy dog Dante manages to steal our attention.Benjamin Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz, Alanna Ubach as Mama Imelda Rivera (Miguel's great great grand mom),Renee Victor as Abuelita Elena Rivera (Miguel's grand mom)and Gael Garcia Bernal as Hector, are the perfect voice overs for their designated characters.Reminding us that Success doesn't come for free and that one must do whatever it takes to seize their moment, director Lee Unkrich and his crew's effort behind visiting the City of Mexico to create this movie reflects in the story line, plot as well as the heart warming characters.Though the trailer for 'Coco' reminded me of Tim Burton and Mike Johnson's 'Corpse Bride' this Mexican tale is a movie to snuggle up to this winter.
Well,if the film would have been released exactly twenty years back, I would have been strumming my guitar at the Grammys right now. Since that's never happening, I hope Pixar and Disney continues to keep us on our tip toes, inspiring us to become who we truly want to be.