Saw Coco with my brother, mom, and grandma—the ideal way to experience it, considering it explores themes of family, legacy, memory, tradition, and the love that crosses generations and transcends even death.
Personally, I adored the film. I think its less-than-enthusiastic critical reception (in the States, anyway; in Mexico, it’s currently the highest-grossing movie of all time) owes more to the fact that it falls somewhat short of the perfection that Pixar achieved with masterpieces like Wall-E and Up than any fault of its own. The plot does get unnecessarily busy in some pretty predictable ways in the final act (Disney sure seems to be fond of the “villain hidden in plain sight” trope), but this minor shortcoming hardly detracts from the sublime beauty of the art design, the emotional weight of the conflict, and the toe-tapping appeal of the music.
At the end of the day, Coco played my heartstrings with the effortless finesse of a mariachi. After twenty-two years, through soaring highs and lows that are still way above average, the studio behind Toy Story hasn’t lost its magic touch.
[Originally written November 25, 2017.]