Tighten up those heartstrings, as they’re about to be tugged hard. Coco is a deeply affecting film that manages to go beyond the usual emotional roller coaster that is a Pixar film by also giving me something to believe in.
Do you recall how heart-wrenching the first ten minutes of Up is? A powerful presentation of life and death. That same feeling can be found throughout Coco. It sounds heavy and it is, but there is laughter and joy amongst the bittersweet.
It’s a comforting take on a subject that I’ve struggled with in the past
I cried in the cinema and I’m welling up just writing this, as I can’t help but think about my Grandad and how he is still spoken about years after passing. That the joy he gave, the lessons he passed on, and the memories he is part of could be the things allowing him to see his great-granddaughter warms my heart. She will grow up to know all about him so he will live on. It’s a comforting take on a subject that I’ve struggled with in the past.
Fortunately Coco isn’t purely a successful look at mortality. It’s almost a given that animated films visually impressive, but the Day of the Dead setting—macabre white mixed with stunning bursts of colour—is used to create a stand-out aesthetic that few films can match. That it’s so faithful and respectful of Mexican tradition and culture (as far as I can tell anyway), only adds to how special this film is.
Pixar have done it again. If you can think of a better way to describe feeling both immensely happy and sad at the same time let me know. Bittersweet doesn’t do this film justice.