Directed by Lee Unkrich
Quick synopsis… In Disney/Pixar’s extraordinary adventure, a boy who dreams of becoming a great musician embarks on a journey to uncover the mysteries behind his ancestors’ stories and traditions.
- Before I watched this movie, I thought for sure that Coco was the name of the kid.
- The kid is actually Miguel.
- And we start out with him sharing his family’s tragic history.
- Miguel’s great-great-grandmother, Imelda, was married to a great musician who left his wife and daughter, Coco, to pursue his dream.
- But when he never returned, Imelda eliminated all music from their lives.
- Instead, the family grew, focusing on making shoes.
- Miguel comes along, however, and loves music, wanting nothing more than to play and sing.
- He idolizes the deceased Ernesto de la Cruz, who was a great performer and actor, known mostly for his popular song, “Remember Me”.
- That’s important for later.
- Anyway, Ernesto was accidentally killed by a giant bell that fell on him as he was wrapping up a performance of that famous song.
- While Miguel is shining the shoes of a mariachi guitarist, he is encouraged to enter himself into the music competition that’s happening for Dia de los Muertos.
- But Miguel’s grandmother forbids him from even attending, much less entering the talent show.
- Dia de los Muertos is about family and Abuela shows him how they honor the dead by putting up pictures and leaving out their favorite things and foods so the dead can visit.
- Hard not to notice that the picture containing Coco’s father has his head torn away.
- As if the family wants to forget he existed…
- Miguel gets away to a hiding spot he has where he’s made his own makeshift guitar that looks a lot like Ernesto’s famous guitar.
- For an instrument that would very likely not have a very good sound, it sure plays beautifully.
- He tries to sneak away so he can play in the talent show, but is given the good news that he’ll be working in the family shoe factory every day after school before he can get away.
- To hide from his grandmother, he slid his guitar and Dante, his dog, under the ofrenda… but the dog accidentally knocks off the picture of Imelda, Coco, and the headless musician.
- Unfolding the photo, Miguel discovers that the man in the picture is holding Ernesto’s famous guitar.
- Logic then dictates that his great-great-grandfather is, in fact, Ernesto de la Cruz.
- This leads to a pretty heavy confrontation with the rest of the family and Miguel’s grandmother smashes his guitar.
- Anger leads Miguel to wish he wasn’t part of this family as he rushes out to be in the talent show.
- But since he has no guitar, he has to look for one.
- And why not look in his great-great-grandfather’s crypt, where the famous musician’s famous guitar now resides?
- When he takes the guitar, something magical happens in the flower petals that are laid out to lead the dead into the land of the living again.
- And then when people outside the crypt notice the guitar is gone, the rush in to investigate…
- But they can’t see Miguel… and even walk right through him.
- The only people who can see him now are the dead.
- Disturbing for Miguel, since he’s interacting with a bunch of skeletons.
- Dante is the only one from the the land of the living who can still see and interact with Miguel.
- His dead family members recognize him and take him to see his great-great-grandmother Imelda, who is stuck on the other side.
- The rules for the dead are that, if no one put a photo of you on an ofrenda, you don’t get to cross over for the day of the dead.
- At the Department of Family Reunions, Imelda is trying to get things straightened out, insisting that her photo is always on the ofrenda.
- They discover that Miguel is cursed because he stole from the dead, instead of giving to the dead.
- Because of the guitar.
- A family member can break the curse by giving her blessing for him to return to the land of the living.
- But Imelda’s blessing is conditional: no music ever again.
- Miguel agrees, but immediately breaks his promise, which brings him back to the land of the dead.
- So Miguel runs away from his dead family and seeks the blessing of Ernesto.
- He finds Hector, who claims to know Ernesto.
- And since Hector is unable to cross into the land of the living, he figures that he and Miguel can help each other.
- Hector explains that the land of the dead runs on memories.
- When you are well remembered, you keep on going and can cross over.
- And since no one has ever put Hector’s picture on an ofrenda, he’s never been able to cross over.
- And he is very close to being forever forgotten.
- Kids, this movie has an incredible twist that I’m sure I should have seen coming but I just didn’t.
- And I’m not going to give it away.
- But watching this family come to accept each other for who they are is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
- If you make it through Coco without shedding a tear, teach me your ways.
- Seriously… especially once Miguel gets back to the land of the living and interacts with his great-grandmother again.
- Ugly crying…
Okay, that’s enough of that. Thanks for tuning in to Day Three of the 2020 A to Z Challenge! If you like Disney movies, then you’re likely to like where I’m going for the rest of the month. I’ll be doing a movie beginning with each letter of the alphabet each day (except Sundays) all month. And I’ll try to give hints about the next day’s movie in case you want to take a guess in the comments.
Clues for tomorrow’s movie are that it begins with a D and it’s a Disney movie. Just kidding… It’s animated. And it’s a spin-off from a Disney Afternoon series. That really should narrow it down. Any guesses?