November 29, 2017

Coco Review

Another animated work of art from Pixar

Coco’s ambitious promise may be larger than what it can deliver. As an animated work of art, Pixar’s latest has no current rival. The animated metropolis of the dead is a visual feast to equal any family’s Thanksgiving meal. The skeletal residents and relatives of young Miguel (v. Anthony Gonzalez) are rich and real, not simply deceased ciphers. Sure, the greatest singer of all time, Ernesto de la Cruz (v. Benjamin Bratt), fails to justify his Mexican Elvis mystique, but movies often have trouble selling such faux-legends. Disney continues to pursue multicultural narratives that can coexist alongside their monocultural classics. Additionally, Coco seeks to assist children with the concept of death. 

All the stars are aligned for Coco to rise through the ranks into all-time great animated features. Perhaps it is that weight of expectation that slows the film down just when it should be hitting its stride. Even the kids in the showing I attended seemed quiet and logy in the middle. An exciting last act perks everyone up and will leave a good final impression. However, Coco may be more laudable than enjoyable, more award-winning than simply winning; neither fits the Disney formula for enduring success.