Pixar still doesn’t fail to amaze! With fancy that could put the fanciful to shame, Coco movie invites applause even by hopping into different universes. It launches with the theme of a dreamer Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) who is bent on becoming something he is destined to. Just when you think the movie is going to be all about it, it turns into something more exciting as it progresses.
There are tons of messages inscribed in its alluring run, and even if you choose to overlook them all, you still end up getting an extraordinary passionate tale of love, hope, despair, and valour. All in all, it presses on the penultimate lesson that it carries forever in its womb – Remember the forgotten!
When life gets me down, I play my guitar. The rest of the world may follow the rules, but I must follow my heart.
The Olaf Debacle
First things first, I was in one of the theatres that showed Olaf’s Frozen Adventure prior to Coco Movie. Whilst I am sure it must have miffed a lot of people, owing to how long it played for a short, the short animated film wasn’t really bad exactly. I watched people leave the theatre wondering if they were in the right one. Many got up complaining that they didn’t pay to watch a musical.
There it was! The problem with Olaf! It ran for too long and to make matters worse, it was a musical. Not everybody likes musicals! If at all they had gone for some super humour, people would have actually liked the idea of watching two movies by paying for one. But it turns out to be excruciatingly punishing. Even though, I felt it was kind of alright!
The Coco Movie Magic
Coco uplifts the downed spirits almost immediately when it starts off with a stunner. Watching Miguel’s life is like framing yours in a movie frame, if you have a family who fails to get you. There is the Xolo Dog Dante, with a tongue that wags like a tail, who forever accompanies Miguel wherever he goes. He will bring a smile to your face almost immediately.
You are going to get me in trouble Dante. Someone could hear me! I wish someone wanted to hear me, other than you.
Miguel carries in himself a dream to be a singer, convinced it is in his blood.
You know that feeling like there’s a song in the air and it’s playing just for you?
His gusto isn’t shared by the members of his family, and his dream is literally shunned by everyone owing to a past tragedy. Despite their austerity, he still ends up falling in love with it. You know, some things you don’t have control over. You can’t really explain people why you love doing a thing, it is just inbred!
Music tore her family apart. Shoes brought them together.
Day of the Dead (Spoilers)
Convinced that his great-great-grandfather was none other than the insanely renowned Ernesto de la Cruz voiced by Benjamin Bratt, Miguel wishes to prove himself by playing for the crowd for a talent show on the Day of the Dead.
No one was going to hand me my future. It was up to me to reach for my dream, grab it tight and make it come true.
He sneaks into Ernesto de la Cruz’s tomb and steals his guitar. But when he strums it, he ends up entering the Land of the Dead. There he discovers that nobody from the world of the living is able to see him and his dog, and vice versa. But the dead are able to.
Tonight is about family.
Figuring out that the only way to get back to the world of the living is by receiving blessings of his dead family on an Aztec Marigold petal, and that if he stayed up to sunrise he would become one of the deads himself, he approaches Imelda (Alanna Ubach) his great-great-grandmother. Imelda grants him her blessing however on a condition that requires him not to pursue music. Convinced that Ernesto would think otherwise, he decides to pursue him in the land of the dead.
I am not like the rest of my family. There’s something that makes me different.
There he encounters Hector voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal who is keen on visiting the Day of the Dead for the mere fact that he was being forgotten. Being forgotten in the land of the dead meant an unavoidable passing away into eternity.
With promises to help Miguel meet Ernesto, in exchange for letting him take his photo to the land of the living, so that he could see his daughter before passing away, they embark on a journey together.
It has been an honor. I hope you die real soon.
Hector is created as a great companion to begin with, but with Miguel lying to him to fulfill his own motive of meeting Ernesto, he ends up getting trapped in a quandary. Unable to convince Miguel to let his photo be taken to the land of the living, he finds himself pursuing Miguel as the boy finally meets Ernesto.
Our memories have to be passed down.
The Climactic Truth About Ernesto de la Cruz
As Miguel ends up meeting and declaring himself as the great-great-grandson of Ernesto de la Cruz, we perceive him being accepted owing to the beautiful voice he has. However, soon we find out that there’s a huge plot twist. He isn’t exactly the hero he poses to be. In fact, he is an impostor who had poisoned Hector when the latter had decided to go back to be with his family. He had even stolen his guitar and had become famous by using Hector’s works calling them his own.
Hector is a poor bloke deprived of name, fame and his family, misunderstood for not coming back, in fact, he was meaning to, before he was murdered. He was deprived of the credit that he truly deserved.
You don’t have to forgive him, but we shouldn’t forget him.
The reason why Hector was diminishing gradually was because he wasn’t recognized by anyone from the world of the living. Let alone his daughter, Coco (Ana Ofelia Murguia), for whom he used to dedicate all his songs. Coco, by the way, is Miguel’s great-Granny who is really old and is suffering from memory loss due to old age.
Ernesto, the prick he is, takes the photo of Hector and throws him into a pit alongside Miguel. There Miguel bonds with his true great-great-grandfather.
One cannot deny who one is meant to be.
With the help of Dante, who turns into his spirit animal, an alebrije, and his dead family, Miguel and Hector are saved. They upend Ernesto’s Sunrise concert and expose him in front of the crowd, as he is crushed by a giant bell just as he was killed in the real world – a poetic justice. However, they are unable to get to Hector’s last photograph as it falls down and disappears.
The Final Moments of Coco Movie
Imelda blesses Miguel to return to the world of the living where he sparks the memory of Coco who is on the verge of forgetting Hector.
Miguel, I give you my blessing, to go home and to forget about music? And never forget how much your family cares for you.
Miguel sings the same song, her father (Hector) used to sing for her when she was a child. It reignites the lost memory helping her to remember, thus bringing Hector back to life….uh….back to the world of the dead i.e. stopping him from passing away into eternity.
Remember me, though I have to say goodbye. Remember me, don’t let it make you cry. For even if I’m far away, I hold you in my heart. I sing a secret song to you, each night we are apart. Remember me, though I have to travel far. Remember me, each time you hear a sad guitar. Know that I’m with you, the only way that I can be, Until you are in my arms again, remember me.
Coco shows him the missing face from the photograph she had kept for herself because of her love for her father. Miguel’s family accepts Miguel as part of their family again.
Before the curtain falls we fast forward to a time where Coco is no longer there, but her saved letters written by Hector has helped Miguel to publicly denounce Ernesto and revere Hector with all the credit posthumously.
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Even if you choose to overlook the fantastical story woven in the world of the dead, you still register Coco movie as an impactful story about a child trying to unveil a long overlooked family secret. It is a secret that could change lives!
You take it as his mission, as if Miguel found out the truth behind his true grand-grand-grandpa by coincidence, owing to his love for music, and by interacting with Coco, and you still have a solid proof story to feast upon.
But that’s the beauty of fantasy! It takes you into a world of magic just to elaborate a fair point, and when you get it, you realize how taut it becomes in its structure.
The Forgotten Theory
Pixar has once again tingled our emotions by taking a shot at the forgotten theory, as it had done in the past with Inside Out. It’s a topic that’s immensely saddening. I couldn’t control my emotions when it flared that shot.
Coco movie connected to me on a personal level on so many occasions. I have often wondered about how some people’s deeds resound till eternity. And that’s like an achievement per se when people are remembering you for ages to come. My maternal grandfather late Dr. Ajit Narayan Singh Tomar was a writer like me, but little of his work is left in today’s world. I tried to track him down, but there’s nothing substantial on the internet about him today. For the mere fact that internet hadn’t blossomed during his time, when he was alive and in good health (he had gone blind during old age).
Now I am left with his memories alone, that aren’t as strong as the light he used to propel. I feel really awful that people don’t know him anymore, despite the amazing books he had written and published. I can’t track down his work, and I see people turning a blind eye towards him. As if he was akin to Hector, mistreated during his time.
I don’t want people to be forgotten. The really good ones, they deserve our living time, whether or not there’s an eternity waiting to swallow them. Above all, I don’t want me forgotten, whether or not I do something great in life ahead. It is an intensely disheartening thing! It impels us in a pit that’s devoid of love.
The Final Verdict
A standing ovation to Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina for helming this beauty of a flick. Three cheers for the entire team who made this entire project possible! Coco movie deserves all the love there is in the world. A fantastic film that should not be missed.