Again, the hell are people doing not talking about this more?
I'm serious man like Coco is a great film, I rate it higher than Brave and I really really liked Brave! It shares some similar elements of films I've seen before like Corpse Bride and even Pixar's more recent movie Soul but it doesn't detract from the story, characters, animation, emotion, and entertainment this movie brings. I cannot talk about this plot too much because it really and truly not only hit me with a twist I had no idea was going to happen but it kinda is one of those movies that is incredibly hard to summarize. Every moment that takes our young protagonist Miguel on a journey to the land of the dead, leads into another pivotal moment in the plot. Obviously there's more to it than just a young boy that gets transported to the afterlife and has to get back in time, but just seriously take my word for it when I say it is a very good story that effortlessly and effectively plays your heartstrings like a harp and is some of Pixar's most recent best work. I think it genuinely belongs up there with old school Pixar movies like Toy Story and A Bug's Life, and new Pixar classics like The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. The animation is stellar, with terrific character designs, a color pallete that already was bright and vibrant but when you reach the afterlife it is kaleidoscopic in it's beauty. I love the total Grim Fandango design vibes the characters have in the land of the dead, and it must be commended how much pieces of mexican culture they put into this movie. I mean obviously with me being a person that hails from Texas, we're good neighbors with that country in more than just geography. I'm not even novice level in speaking spanish or even understanding it but I was getting lots of little bits of the dialogue, and I actually kind of commend the movie for not giving subtitles and it would be a trip to watch this whole movie in espanol. I really have so much praise to give this movie in many many facets than just blanket terms of animation, and story, and so on but I don't dare give anything away. There was only one part of the movie I took slight issue with and I'm not usually super personal here on the site but the family drama and severe mean spirited at times behavior of Miguel's family both living and dead brought back some not too great memories of my own. I wish I could say I was a better person and didn't pick sides and just say family is family, that forgiving someone shouldn't be an impossible thing to do. Compassion is not weakness, anger is not a solution, families are never perfect. But I chose my side, and while I do not hate them I can't fully forgive them. That's hard man, and the fact that an animated movie, a movie for young kids, can make me feel that way is...really something. The movie's theme essentially is memory, Dia de Muertos is a holiday to honor and remember family that is no longer around like they used to be, Miguel's great grandma has memory problems and it becomes a giant part of the finale, the fact that technically you can die and go even further beyond in the afterlife when no one remembers your name or who you are, but it does show comfort in the world after death and to cherish the memories of your family. And yet again very much like Brave, I feel it's a movie that's being forgotten. I don't hear that much talk about it since it came out just 5 years ago, and I find that just unforgivable bordering on criminal. It's almost kinda Soul before Soul, and while unabashedly different still has a meaningful message and similar ideas. I almost can't believe how strong the movie is, it's been a hot minute since we've had a week this good on this show and I can't guess what Turning Red will have for us but I'm looking forward to the future. 4 stars, 9/10.