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Coco (2017): Disneyland Of the Dead


DollEyes
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This is the thread for Coco, the Disney/Pixar film about a young Mexican boy named Miguel who wants to be a musician like his late grandfather, but his family won't let him. However, Miguel follows his dream anyway, all the way to the Land Of the Dead.

  The voice cast includes Benjamin Bratt & Gael Garcia Bernal.

Edited by DollEyes
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Well, I cried while watching it.  So I can't say it wasn't a big success.

However, there's one noticeable niggle, at least for me.  When I think on it, the protagonist doesn't really have the sort of internal character conflict/growth of previous protagonists.  He has what is basically a false character arc about "learning" that he needs to give in to his family's wholly inappropriate demands of him, which is mainly just so that the supporting characters can learn that they shouldn't ask him that.  There are moments where it seems like the movie is trying to do a straight "kid learns the importance of family" story, but I never got any sense that Miguel didn't understand that; he was angry at them only because they were being dicks, particularly his bullying grandmother (the fact that his parents didn't stand up for him after she smashed his guitar was total abdication of responsibility on their parts, incidentally).

Edited by SeanC
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It was a very enjoyable movie. I'd rank it in the second tier of Pixar movies ("Up" is around the same level). However, be prepared for the "short" in front of the movie. It made me actively hate anything to do with "Frozen"..... And I haven't seen "Frozen".

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The “short” was a bit long and tiresome, but I loved Coco.  I can’t do 3-D because it gives me a headache, but I think this one might be worth it for the rich layers of color and texture in the Land of the Dead.  

Did Miguel retain his ability to see the dead after his visit?  At the end, it seemed like he was interacting with them, but maybe I was imagining it.  

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Liked it a lot.  I cried at the end when Miguel was singing with Coco.  Not that you couldn't see that that was how it was going to end up but it still got me.  I'm not even typically a crier but this was Toy Story 2 level crying which is pretty severe for me.  And the animation was just awesome.  The theater by me was also having Spanish language screenings.  (Not that that would have done me any good.  My Spanish isn't terrible but I am by no means fluent.  Still, thought that was pretty cool though.)  Anyone else think Dante was like a reincarnation of Ed from Lion King?  It was the crazy eyes.  Every time they showed him I thought "WHAT Ed!?"

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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote

The “short” was a bit long and tiresome, but I loved Coco.  

I agree.  By the time that I sat through the commercials and the previews, the last thing that I wanted to see was a 15 minute Frozen short.  And I even like Frozen.  I just found it tedious.  However, Coco was wonderful.  The animation of elderly Coco was amazing.  I just wanted to give her a hug and I loved the part at the end.  I didn't see it in 3D, but may do so when I see it again.  It is worth seeing again, for sure.  Every part of the screen was alive.  I even enjoyed the songs--in most recent Disney movies I've found them to be quite forgettable.

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I absolutely loved Coco! Pixar did it again in delivering a wonderful story that was entertaining and heartwarming. I thought the plot twists were unexpected and the animation itself was beautiful. 

The scene towards the end between Miguel and Coco was so touching and reminded me of my own loved ones who have already passed on. 

I hope this movie wins best animated film at the Oscars!

Edited by Steph619
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I saw it in 3d and it was definitely worth the extra $4 (the regular version of the movie was $14 and the 3D version was $18)! I am a lazy person so I rarely see movies in the theater anymore because they are available online so quickly afterward, but I decided to haul my ass to the theater for the 3D version in the hope that the bright colors and animation would look even better in 3D. I'm glad I did because it was really beautiful to watch, even without the plot and the songs. Visually, this movie is a lot to take in, but in a good way. I didn't feel it was to the point that it was overwhelming.

I was fine until Miguel and Coco sang "Remember Me" together and then the waterworks started.

It seems that more and more non-Latinx people are "celebrating" Día de Muertos in recent years aka painting their faces because they think it's pretty and not understanding the cultural significance, so I'm glad that this movie has been so successful. Hopefully now people will understand the meaning behind it. This is a very short (3 minute) animated film that I like to post every year. It illustrates the significance and traditions of Día de Muertos without a word. Lovely animation too!

 

On 11/26/2017 at 4:50 PM, kiddo82 said:

Anyone else think Dante was like a reincarnation of Ed from Lion King?  It was the crazy eyes.  Every time they showed him I thought "WHAT Ed!?"

Dante definitely had the crazy eyes!

On 11/23/2017 at 7:38 PM, SeanC said:

the protagonist doesn't really have the sort of internal character conflict/growth of previous protagonists.  He has what is basically a false character arc about "learning" that he needs to give in to his family's wholly inappropriate demands of him, which is mainly just so that the supporting characters can learn that they shouldn't ask him that.  There are moments where it seems like the movie is trying to do a straight "kid learns the importance of family" story, but I never got any sense that Miguel didn't understand that; he was angry at them only because they were being dicks, particularly his bullying grandmother (the fact that his parents didn't stand up for him after she smashed his guitar was total abdication of responsibility on their parts, incidentally).

Miguel's entire family was being unreasonable. They'd all been brainwashed into this "music is bad, mmmkay?" attitude and all without knowing the reason why. Five generations of the entire family forbidden to listen to any music and Coco's mother, Imelda, was the only one who knew why.

Sure, some people want to become world famous musicians like Ernesto, but Miguel seemed like he just wanted to be able to like music without having to hide it from his family and be shamed about it, which isn't a huge thing to ask. He wasn't actively hating on any specific family members or Día de Muertos until his abuela smashed his guitar, which was a total dick move. He never once said that family wasn't important, that he wanted to leave his family to pursue a musical career, etc. He seemed to love his family and respect Día de Muertos. He only said he didn't want to participate after his abuela essentially had an old person version of a temper tantrum.

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I loved this movie. Plenty of adults in the theatre were moved to tears and I think it was because of the message to remember and cherish those you have lost. For a story about a boy, I found it wonderful that it was propelled by the love between father and daughter.

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On 12/5/2017 at 5:42 AM, Yokosmom said:

I agree.  By the time that I sat through the commercials and the previews, the last thing that I wanted to see was a 15 minute Frozen short.  And I even like Frozen.  I just found it tedious. 

Mr. EB and I were going to see Coco the weekend that it opened but he suggested waiting until this weekend after he saw that there was a Frozen short before the movie. I'm neutral on Frozen. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it, so I wasn't actively looking forward to the short or trying to avoid it, but since he had no interest in seeing it, I was okay with waiting, especially since our plan was to go to the last showing to avoid seeing in a packed theater full of little kids. I wasn't sure if it would be a 5 minute short or a 30 minute short, and when you go to the 11pm showing, that extra half hour (after 20 minutes of previews) can make a big difference!

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I really enjoyed this movie.  Difficult to determine where it fits in my Pixar rankings, but definitely one of my favourite movies of the year so far.

 

 

As I am from South Africa I know very little about Mexican traditions, Day of the Dead, etc, and found all of that really interesting.  But it was the love of music and the themes of family, forgiveness and acceptance that truly resonated.

 

 

My only objection, and this is simply due to currently living with somebody who is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease, I did not appreciate the depiction of Coco's dementia/memory loss.  I wish it was clear what exactly it entailed.  At some moments it seemed like she could not remember anything, could not speak, could almost not move - very much like later stages of Alzheimer's.  But then when Miguel sings Remember Me, she can suddenly speak clearly and remembers everything as if it just happened?  She knows who everyone is?  Was remembering her dad all she needed to "snap" out of the dementia?  Can I please get that magic song for my mom?

 

Like I said, this is a small nit to pick, and I'm sure it only bothered me due to the current situation with my mom,  but for me, it kept this really good movie from being great...

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4 hours ago, Snipsa said:

I really enjoyed this movie.  Difficult to determine where it fits in my Pixar rankings, but definitely one of my favourite movies of the year so far.

 

 

As I am from South Africa I know very little about Mexican traditions, Day of the Dead, etc, and found all of that really interesting.  But it was the love of music and the themes of family, forgiveness and acceptance that truly resonated.

 

 

My only objection, and this is simply due to currently living with somebody who is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease, I did not appreciate the depiction of Coco's dementia/memory loss.  I wish it was clear what exactly it entailed.  At some moments it seemed like she could not remember anything, could not speak, could almost not move - very much like later stages of Alzheimer's.  But then when Miguel sings Remember Me, she can suddenly speak clearly and remembers everything as if it just happened?  She knows who everyone is?  Was remembering her dad all she needed to "snap" out of the dementia?  Can I please get that magic song for my mom?

 

Like I said, this is a small nit to pick, and I'm sure it only bothered me due to the current situation with my mom,  but for me, it kept this really good movie from being great...

I have a feeling it's based on the therapy discussed in this clip:

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  • 3 weeks later...

My mom has ftd, and is in the later stages. Sometimes she will say things clear as day, but most of the time she doesn’t talk at all. She also knows my dad very well, but doesn’t know anyone else. Most of the time she is unresponsive or glazed over in expression, but when we play music, she taps her feet to the beat. I thought the movie did well in gently explaining dementia to a child. I am sorry to hear about your mom. I know how painful it is to slowly lose a family member like this. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/11/2017 at 5:03 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Miguel's entire family was being unreasonable. They'd all been brainwashed into this "music is bad, mmmkay?" attitude and all without knowing the reason why. Five generations of the entire family forbidden to listen to any music and Coco's mother, Imelda, was the only one who knew why.

Sure, some people want to become world famous musicians like Ernesto, but Miguel seemed like he just wanted to be able to like music without having to hide it from his family and be shamed about it, which isn't a huge thing to ask. He wasn't actively hating on any specific family members or Día de Muertos until his abuela smashed his guitar, which was a total dick move. He never once said that family wasn't important, that he wanted to leave his family to pursue a musical career, etc. He seemed to love his family and respect Día de Muertos. He only said he didn't want to participate after his abuela essentially had an old person version of a temper tantrum.

All this.  And honestly, I feel like Imelda was being unreasonable in banning the entire future generations from music.  Even if Hector had left their family for music (more on that in a minute), that didn't mean Miguel or any of his other family members were going to do it.  It IS possible to follow your dreams and put your family first.

And I get that Imelda was angry and hurt at Hector, but it was hard to still sympathize with her once she found out the truth -- that Hector being murdered was the reason why he didn't come back.  The whole "I'll can't forgive you but I'll help you" part seemed kind of bitchy.  Obviously, she eventually softened once she realized how much she missed having music in her life, and for all her tough talk, she did wind up forgiving Hector since the end showed them being together.

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  • 1 month later...
On 18/01/2018 at 12:27 PM, Spartan Girl said:

And I get that Imelda was angry and hurt at Hector, but it was hard to still sympathize with her once she found out the truth -- that Hector being murdered was the reason why he didn't come back.  The whole "I'll can't forgive you but I'll help you" part seemed kind of bitchy.  

Keep in mind that this was probably around a 100 year old grudge against the love of her life that she carried into the afterlife. It was such a hardcore grudge that even in the afterlife she never bothered to find Hector to ask for an explanation. I thought they did that pretty well since of course logically she should let it go but after hating for that long there would be a lot of confusion. The writing and the voice actress played that pretty well I thought, since I don't think anyone could let that big of a grudge go instantly.

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2 minutes ago, bijoux said:

I have no idea what the other nominees are, but it sure deserves one for best animated feature IMO.

In the Best Animated Featured Film category, it's up against Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Ferdinand the Bull, and Loving Vincent.

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5 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

Keep in mind that this was probably around a 100 year old grudge against the love of her life that she carried into the afterlife. It was such a hardcore grudge that even in the afterlife she never bothered to find Hector to ask for an explanation. I thought they did that pretty well since of course logically she should let it go but after hating for that long there would be a lot of confusion. The writing and the voice actress played that pretty well I thought, since I don't think anyone could let that big of a grudge go instantly.

Point taken. I get that it wouldn't be realistic for her to let go of the grudge immediately even when she found out that she'd been hating him for something that wasnt actually his fault. And you could tell she was feeling guilty about it, she just didn't know how to deal with it. I just felt bad for Hector because as I said before he didn't deserve any of it.

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3 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

Point taken. I get that it wouldn't be realistic for her to let go of the grudge immediately even when she found out that she'd been hating him for something that wasnt actually his fault. And you could tell she was feeling guilty about it, she just didn't know how to deal with it. I just felt bad for Hector because as I said before he didn't deserve any of it.

Agreed, they did a good job of showing how much confusion she was feeling since on top of this huge reveal she was also dealing with her great great grandson being in the land of the dead. What made it extra sad was based on the story at the beginning,  I had assumed that they had some big fight and he actually told her he was leaving for good to become a musician. But that never happened, he left to go on tour everyone expecting him to come back. But that never happened.

I also thought it was an interesting take on the afterlife, where decent people and murders go to the same place.

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Yay, I’m so excited that Coco won both Oscars it was nominated for!

13 hours ago, bijoux said:

Thanks. I saw Boss Baby, which I hated, and Ferdinand, which I thought was good, but nowhere near Coco.

I haven’t seen any of the other movies in this category so I didn’t feel qualified to say whether Coco was the best of the five. I do think that it was one of the best animated movies I’ve seen in the past few years though!

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22 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

In the Best Animated Featured Film category, it's up against Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Ferdinand the Bull, and Loving Vincent.

I've seen Boss Baby (which is not great, nowhere near Coco) and none of the others (Loving Vincent is one of those rotoscoping "animated" movies, which is frankly cheating IMO).

But Coco won both categories! I was rooting for This is Me from The Greatest Showman but thinking about it I realize Coco deserved it more, Remember Me was the driving force of the movie.

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On March 5, 2018 at 4:28 PM, Silver Raven said:

I'm more than a little annoyed that Anthony Gonzalez wasn't there.

Yeah, and I wish the little girl that played Coco sang it with Gael Garcia Bernal in the beginning of the performance too.

On March 4, 2018 at 3:14 PM, Kel Varnsen said:

Agreed, they did a good job of showing how much confusion she was feeling since on top of this huge reveal she was also dealing with her great great grandson being in the land of the dead. What made it extra sad was based on the story at the beginning,  I had assumed that they had some big fight and he actually told her he was leaving for good to become a musician. But that never happened, he left to go on tour everyone expecting him to come back. But that never happened.

I also thought it was an interesting take on the afterlife, where decent people and murders go to the same place.

 I get why she assumed the worst, and no doubt that rat Ernesto might have told her some lie to cover up his "disappareance". And if so, it makes me love the part where she clocked him in the face with her boot now more than ever.

Poor Miguel. It always sucks to find out your idol is a bastard. But hey, at least they weren't related.

And after watching the film in its entirety, I have to admit that I warmed up to Miguel's grandma. I disliked her in the beginning, but the way she looked after Mama Coco reminded me of how my mom takes care of my grandma. I loved the quiet moment she and Miguel shared putting up her photo at the end after she finally got over her psycho music ban.

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