Pixar does it again with delightful family film, COCO

I had a hard time knowing where to begin with my thoughts on this movie. I left the theater feeling completely overwhelmed by my feelings and had to sit with them awhile before I could put words down on the screen.

Official COCO Synopsis: Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”)

The theme of family is totally relatable for all human beings. While we don’t always agree with each other or understand each other, family is important. All of the people who came before us are part of our story, part of who we are.

Miguel and his family are at odds over his love of music. There is a hard, fast rule that music in any capacity isn’t allowed and there is no discussion or real explanation. After a large argument, Miguel runs off, only to end up in the Land of the Dead, where he meets his ancestors and his adventure begins.

I loved almost everything about this movie – the characters, the culture, the imagery, the music. The storyline hooks you from the beginning and doesn’t let you go until the credits start rolling.

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It opens the window for a lot of good family conversations. For instance, Miguel’s grandmother, while mostly out of love, is completely shut off to his point of view. She won’t even hear it. The kids and I were able to talk about how that isn’t a good way to go about disagreements and how everyone should be able to share their side of things. We were also able to talk about fame and how some people will do whatever it takes to climb to the top, with no regard for others feelings.

What will the kids think?”

Both my children (ages 8 and 6) enjoyed the movie. The small girl is a crier like her mama and definitely had tears fall during several scenes, so just a warning for those with sensitive souls.

My kids said that they weren’t scared of anything in the film, but some children may find a few scenes pretty intense.

A word of caution for parents: mild spoiler

While the idea of death is a focus of the movie, I was a little disappointed by one storyline choice. We discover one character is a murderer and that was not a conversation I was prepared to have with my six-year-old. Literally her first words as we left the theater were, “What’s a murderer?” and then we had to talk about bad people and bad choices.

However, that aside, it doesn’t really change my love of this movie. I was in tears at the end (seriously, bring tissues!) and left with an intense desire to call my grandparents.

Go see it and let me know what you think!

Coco is in theaters nationwide today and is rated PG. It has a runtime of 1hr 49min.

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