The best type of children’s movie works on many levels. A Disney or any other animated film doesn’t have to solely rely on bodily function jokes to appeal. As the ‘Toy Story’ series show, a movie aimed at younger viewers can have substance which ‘Coco’ has in spades. An enchanting exploration of culture, family, life and death, ‘Coco’ is a winner that similar works should emulate.

Living in a Mexican village, young Miguel dreams of becoming a musician. Not understanding his family’s fierce opposition to music, Miguel’s life takes a strange turn when a series of events finds him in the Land of the Dead. He meets Hector, one of its inhabitants, with a mysterious connection to Miguel. Wanting to return to the Land of the Living, the odd couple go on a mystical journey where old truths are revealed and new futures are forged.

‘Coco’ offers dazzling viewing without heavy-handed sermonising. Whilst it imparts a few messages, it remembers to have fun as well. Miguel’s dreams can mirror much of ‘Coco’s audience with his general life ambitions to which we can all relate. Although the word ‘journey’ is vastly overused elsewhere, it’s easy following Miguel’s growing maturity as he ironically learns what it’s like to feel truly alive in a place of the dead.

Lee Unkrich directs ‘Coco’ with assurance and is aided by stunning animation. Disney/Pixar are old hands at these type of movies with ‘Coco’ bursting free in colourful life. The visions are all part of the continental flavour ‘Coco’ conveys with the voice cast successfully expressing their character’s myriad of emotions.

‘Coco’ is a high quality work with a strong script and superb visuals. The interesting themes it imparts gives it a broad focus all ages can enjoy. Fun, thought-provoking and touching, ‘Coco’ effectively stands out from the plethora of animated marvels.

Rating out of 10: 8


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