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Disney’s Coco tells the story of young Miguel, who, on Mexico’s Day of the Dead, finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead. Refusing to accept his family’s blessing home on the condition that he never plays music again, Miguel heads out to find his famous great-great-grandfather who left his wife and daughter to pursue his music career.
If you’re still on the fence on whether to see it, here are five reasons to watch Coco, and one perhaps to stay away.
+ Learn about Mexican customs
For Mexicans, the film might offer pride and nostalgia for customs long celebrated, but for the rest of us, it offers an insight into a culture we may not know that much about.
Do you know why Mexicans scatter marigold petals towards altars decorated with images of their loved ones? Not only does Coco tell you, but it does so while conveying the weight of these customs for those who celebrate them.
+ Embrace the themes of family and death
Disney has a way of handling dark topics with a levity and optimism that are welcome in an increasingly dark world.
In Coco, these centre around family, death, and the loss of loved ones. Instead of ripping out your heart Mufasa-style, though, the film — aided by Mexican belief systems — offers a warm approach to the importance of loved ones and honouring their memory.
So if you’re looking for a reprieve from that growing existential dread, Coco is far from a terrible choice.
+ Let your ears revel in the beauty of the score
Considering much of Coco relies on the wonder and power of music, it should come as no surprise that its acoustic guitar-driven score is a joy to experience.
At times jovial, others haunting, the music of Coco sucks you into the Land of the Dead, allowing you to feel with Miguel, even if you don’t entirely understand or relate to his position.
+ Let your eyes revel in everything
Coco is set in the colourful Land of the Dead, where everything is doused in marigold orange, and neon animal-like spirit guides abound.
Each frame offers immaculate attention to detail on the animators’ parts, from the characters’ gorgeous guitar-picking, to how each skeleton walks with their own unique gait.
+ Watch skeletons be hilarious
There’s something inherently amusing about skeletons and the fact that there is one inside all of us — which is why watching skeletons prance around in the Land of the Dead makes for thoroughly entertaining viewing.
They’re also sure to fill the children in your life with glee — which is also half the fun.
– Coco may not be as enjoyable for adults alone
Coco is first and foremost a children’s movie. While there are one or two jokes for parents to enjoy, the film is not geared towards an older audience — evident in its predictable story and series of physical gags.
This isn’t to say that Coco isn’t worth going to see without a little one, but if you’re looking for a clever Disney film that delivers to all ages, this probably isn’t it.
But it is a very endearing film — and offers music and light for those who need it.
Feature image: screenshot, “Coco Official US Teaser Trailer” via Disney-Pixar/YouTube