Critic Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
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Critic Reviews for Coco
None of Coco's few flaws can fatally undermine the film because it is, most of all, a smart and enduring piece of storytelling with a satisfyingly twisting narrative and richly complex theme.
This engaging Pixar animation plays magnificently with elements of Mexican folklore and fine art.
Pixar's Day-of-the-Dead gem pays loving tribute to Mexican culture with animation that brims over with visual pleasures, comic energy and emotional wallop.
... the film is exuberant and heartfelt, and the hero's journey takes him through spectacular territory...
Coco settles into something gentler but still irrefutably sweet: a movie that plays safe with the status quo, even as it breaks with it.
Audience Reviews for Coco
Pixar isn't gone. Pixar hasn't left us. Sure, they've had their ups and downs and the last few years has seen more downs, but when they release a film as warm, gorgeous, and respectful such as Coco, it seems foolish to say they will never be as good as they once were. Coco may not scale the heights of the Inside Outs or Toy Story 3s, but the film is thoroughly entrancing and filled with visual and emotional beauty. At times, its maturity in dealing with death is disarming and it achieves a kind of tribute to Mexico, while still making its story accessible and even educational to more Americanized audiences. It's simple to see why some might be nervous about the film's fate within the first twentyish minutes which tread out a long backstory and some groundwork that takes on much too much exposition. Once, the Land of the Dead is introduced, Coco becomes a Point A to Point B adventure which is nice but a bit routine for Pixar. However, a mid-film twist nicely switches the focus on a more interesting character, and thus the film transforms into a wholly heartwarming and meaningful entertainment. Throw in some fun songs, and a rich atmosphere, and Coco becomes strong Pixar, if not masterpiece Pixar. Many of the emotional cues will seem familiar to fans of Inside Out, but they still hit hard. Pixar is crafty in how they sneak attack you with poignancy and this one hits you quite unexpectedly and culminates in a brief but tear-inducing moment near the end, that factors in the 'Coco' whom the film is titled after. Even if this moment isn't as potent as the ending of say Toy Story 3, it brings the film to a lovingly human finale. It's a lovely film, rather shockingly dark as well. The film's catchy music as well as the dazzling animation make sure Coco is always beautiful to look at and listen to. But its love for family, music and culture is evident from frame one, and proves when Pixar focuses on new ideas, they resonate anew. One of the best films of the year and a lock for that animation Oscar. Rating: 92
People can be very sentimental when it comes to Pixar's early work, especially when comparing it to their recent stuff, but I'm not, which is why I can say confidently that Coco is the best movie Pixar has ever made. The animation and colors are beautiful, the exploration of culture is done well, and the narrative of death in a kid's movie is handled perfectly. Above all of that, however, is this film's incredibly creative and well thought out story. It's funny, clever, and equally as immersive as the visual spectacle that this film is.
aking a cue from Miyazaki's Spirited Away, Pixar's newest animated wonder is a leap into a fantasy world with a young protagonist trying to get back to his family through trials of courage. A young boy wants to be a musician but his older grandmother forbids it, blaming music for luring away her grandfather and almost ruining the family. He steals a famous celebrity's guitar from his crypt and is transported to the world of the dead on Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The boy is able to meet his departed family members but if he can't make it home by the end of the night he'll stay there forever. This is a pretty dense film with a lot of rules to remember and yet the movie's wonderfully structured story doesn't give you more than you can handle. One rule leads to another organically, and you're fully invested in the world and the characters. The Mexican culture and heritage is portrayed with extreme reverence while still being playful. This is a movie about death that treats it seriously but can still have fun when it counts. It's lively, joyful, and sneaks up on you emotionally, as all great Pixar movies seem to do. I was wiping away tears by the end, and I'm sure fathers will be wiping away even more. The screenplay takes staid concepts (power of dreams, importance of family, respect for elders) and finds meaningful ways to personalize them. It's ultimately a story about sacrifices and relationships between generations, how we honor and remember those we cherish. The visuals are colorful and gorgeous, though I didn't feel the world of the dead was as memorable in its various locations and developments as the characters. Coco is a funny, charming, heartfelt, poignant, and vastly entertaining movie that soars with great imagination, story development, and an enrichment of characters to fall in love with. Nate's Grade: A
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