Analysis of Pixar’s Coco
a beautiful dream
Would you cross a bridge that unknowingly leads to the land of the dead? would you immediately return to the land of the living? Would you try to meet your own idol? If all the answers are yes, then you need to see coco. All these questions are what our character faces in this beautiful animated film. Miguel unexpectedly travels to a different realm and tries to return to the land of the living to fulfill his dream of being an aspiring musician, which is exactly what he intends to do. Coco is a remarkable and moving film about family, passion, and the exploration of culture. it is a must see for its wonderful plot and approach to family dynamics, its portrayal of growth through storytelling, and its beautiful animation and cinematography.
Released in 2017, Coco Movie is an animated adventure family film. Directed and written by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina and co-written by Matthew Aldrich and Jason Katz. the protagonists of the film are miguel rivera, hector and ernesto dela cruz. The general plot of Coco is about a 12-year-old Miguel Rivera who longs to be a musician, however, music is prohibited by his family for generations due to the disappearance of his great-great-grandfather. As the film unfolds, we begin to discover the truth behind the family’s situation with music and how Miguel plans to change his (Coco’s) destiny.
The importance of family is seen explicitly throughout the movie coco. according to matt seitz, a well-known film critic, states that “one of the most fascinating things about the film is the way it builds its plot around the members of the rivera family, living and dead, as they struggle to determine the narrative official life of miguel. great-great-grandfather and what the disappearance of him meant for the extended clan”. thus emphasizing the connectivity of the Rivera family within the film. the disappearance of his great-great-grandfather caused the family to dislike music and as a result ban it altogether, thus portraying music as an unreliable way of life and a distraction to what matters most: family (coconut). the use of the plot of the film between the characters is used a lot to manifest the closeness of the rivera family by becoming renowned shoemakers, which helps them stay together as a family, supporting each other, teaching everyone their own way of life (coconut). Furthermore, we see them working together to bring Miguel back to life to save Hector; Fortunately, he went back in time to sing a song to his great-grandmother Coco, which leaves viewers with an emotional moment for the whole family (Coco). from the living to the dead; the family sticks together no matter what, proving that blood really is thicker than water. the family bond between the characters is what draws the audience to the film. as miguel navigates his family’s plight with the music at the beginning; they improve his relationship by accepting miguel’s will to change his story. The movie’s incredible focus on family dynamics is what draws the film to the general public, but the plot is what draws audiences to watch the film showing values for children and adults alike.
Each film has shortcomings in narrative writing, however Coco delivers her narrative flawlessly by focusing on Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old boy, as he embarks on an adventure to achieve his dream of being a musician. since then the family has banned any form of music; Caused by the mysterious disappearance of his great-great-grandfather, it did not prevent Miguel from learning music by secretly watching movies of his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. miguel learned to sing and play the guitar, thus igniting his passion for music. As the story progresses, we see Miguel’s perseverance in being a musician, which leads him to find his great-great-grandfather. for example, he goes against his family’s terms and seeks to return through his own terms. Miguel joins a contest and sings in front of a crowd for the first time and hides in the band’s trombone to sneak past the guard, to catch up with Ernesto dela Cruz (Coco). discovering the truth about his idol and his family, miguel realizes the importance of the family and what he must do to solve the history of his family (coco). the film’s narration also shows a clever progression as it moves from musical scores and meaningful dialogue between characters. For example, when Miguel runs away to evade his family, a song by his great-great-grandmother comes up that reveals his love of music, sparking a meaningful conversation about what mattered between the characters’ lives. a small scene that perfectly fuses music and dialogue. It is also shown when Hector sings a rather grown-up song to his dear friend, recognizes the children present and adapts the lyrics to be appropriate (Coco). Also, when Miguel and Hector shared the stage, they provided a smooth transition between the dialogue and the song that moves perfectly together (Coco). The narrative and storytelling of the film is matched by musical scores that enhance the film’s creativity that keeps it simple and catchy that leaves viewers singing along to the songs even long after they get up from their seats.
Most animated films create the world their characters would reside in and it can often be difficult for animators, but coco showcased the incredible culture of latin america through every aspect of the film. Especially through the use of its beautiful animation and vibrant colors, the film’s cinematography highlights every part of the Latino culture. from its architecture and surroundings to the small petals of the bridge; Arriving in the land of the dead we see the taking of the city with imposing buildings as far as the eye can see and energetic alebrijes flying everywhere (coconut). the film’s gorgeous animation is accentuated by every detail the animators provide, from the straw hat hector wears we can see every line of the straws, every shape on the alebrije skins and most importantly how distinct and individual is the painting of the skull of each character (coconut). which leaves the audience in awe of the new world they are introduced to. Furthermore, as the film progresses, small details are highlighted, particularly when Miguel stumbles upon an artist’s studio, we can see the depth of the background even through the darkness and the reflection of the city in the window glass. when miguel looks out (coco). As with most animated films, it’s come a long way since the days of two-dimensional movies like Pinocchio or Dumbo, Coco showcases the developments of the animation industry from color to sound, its vibrant colors and warm tones. they draw viewers in throughout the film. it makes it incredibly easy to follow and helps draw the audience’s attention solely through the story.
Even though coco may be perceived as a children’s movie, it shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re looking for an interesting movie. All in all, the film is a carefully made classic that is exceptional and needs to be seen at least once. the well thought out script, the intricate details in the animation, and the wonderful cinematography certainly make it a movie for all to see.
coconut. directed by adrian molina and lee unkrich, pixar studios, 2017. soap2day, www.soap2day.biz/2529-coco.html. accessed June 22, 2020.
seitz, matt zoller. “coconut movie review & summary of the film (2017)”: roger ebert,
November 21, 2017, www.rogerebert.com/reviews/coco-2017. accessed June 22, 2020.