BY RYAN MACKETT


THE LATEST film from Pixar and Disney is another instant classic. As is customary for Pixar, it seems with each film they release they continually get better and better, on both a storytelling and visual, technical level.

Coco tells the story of Miguel, a young boy growing up in Mexica desperately trying to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician despite his family’s ban on music. After a bit of a mishap on Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday know in English as the Day of The Dead, Miguel finds himself navigating the Land of the Dead alongside his trusty canine pal Dante and long-deceased members of his family.

It should come as no surprise to hear that the film is stunningly beautiful. The visual interpretation of the Land of the Dead features gorgeous splashes of colour, stylized skulls and some amazing mystical creatures. The quality of the animation is top-level; Pixar’s creative teams are second to none and continue to set the standard for animated films on a technical level.

Creatively, from a storytelling perspective, I would rank Coco among some of Pixar’s best. Be prepared to have your heartstrings pulled when viewing this film. The Pixar geniuses have a magical way of marrying the most incredible, creative visuals with simply astounding storytelling prowess. The emotional resonance of Pixar’s films are well-represented in Coco.

The themes deal with family, loss, following your dreams and embracing who you truly are. I think it’s fair to say that e everyone will somehow be able to relate to an aspect of this film.

While Coco has had one of the longest production schedules of any Pixar film to date, I cant help but notice how timely the release of the film is. Coco celebrates Mexican culture in awe-inspiring ways, and thanks to some great “cameos” from famous Mexicans along with an incredible voice cast, the film truly elevates to the “magical” trademark exhibited by most Disney features.

Young newcomer Anthony Gonzalez plays the delightful protagonist Miguel, Benjamin Bratt plays the infamous Ernesto de la Cruz, Gael Garcia Bernal plays Hector, Alanna Ubach plays Mama Imelda and Edward James Olmos plays Chicharron. The voice talent was fantastic and made these characters come alive off the screen.

When viewing a Pixar film, I hesitate to consider them “kids movies.” The way Pixar is abele to deal with such deep themes and storytelling elements in ways that are both entertaining to children and thought-provoking to adults is one half of the amazing talent of the studio. Coupled with their ever-evolving animation technologies, Pixar films are still the gold-standard for animation and storytelling. Highly recommended.

Ryan Mackett is an artist and film enthusiast who resides in Thunder Bay. Email questions or comments to him at tbaymovieguy@gmail.com.

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