Expectedly Spectacular: Our Review of ‘Coco’ on Blu-Ray

Posted in Blu-Ray/DVD, Movies by - February 26, 2018
Expectedly Spectacular: Our Review of ‘Coco’ on Blu-Ray

It always feels a little awkward to pre crown something as a classic…

Given the home run after home run that the team at Disney/Pixar seems to hit every year it’s easy to take it for granted, not only from a filmmaker side of the equation but from the audience as well.  While there is no unequivocal doubt that Coco is a delightful animated adventure for all ages that is visually stunning and earnestly heartfelt, you can’t help but feel that it just misses the ridiculously high bar that the companies previous output has set for itself.

Coco is the vibrant tale of fun, family and adventure as an aspiring young musician named Miguel embarks on an extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors.  There a charming trickster named Hector becomes an unexpected friend who helps Miguel uncover the mysteries behind his family’s stories and traditions.

It feels more than a little awkward to be calling something great, but not necessarily not great enough; as Coco, at least from this critic’s standpoint was missing one of those truly poignant or truly funny moments (aside from maybe the very conclusion) that transcend the experience of watching the film that we have gotten in so many other efforts from the Disney/Pixar team.

Director Lee Unkrich and his team are obviously adept at craft some lush storytelling and this world of ‘Day of the Dead’ truly has the detailed look and feel of something that has never been done before.  The universe is unique, beautiful and paying reverence to a very culturally significant and important holiday as the tireless research that they put in to make sure that this never played like a characture of a culture comes across on the screen.  However on the flipside of that you can’t help but feel like characters suffered.  Being so exacting in making this animated Mexico to really feel like Mexico was authentic from a visual level but it seemed to slightly take away from the characters that we need to get emotionally invested in.  Not to say anything is bad per say, but there aren’t any characters in this film that will transcend time and be truly memorable Disney characters.  This a visually stylistic and visually substantive film which is why it is so deservedly loved, but it doesn’t have that take away moment or take away character that will stay with audiences.

Sure the dynamic between young Anthony Gonzalez and Gael Garcia Bernal is fun and highly entertaining but the movie is so visually overwhelming at times that any kind of genuine character work or attempt to make something work on emotional level gets put to the back burner for a spectacular set piece.  It’s hard to be sure if it was the writing or the performances but it is missing that one element of unexpected emotion that has happened in past Disney/Pixar effort that have floored us emotionally to keep from being an iconic piece of cinema.

This multi disc set has a myriad of special features including original animatics, deleted scenes, behind the scenes featurettes looking at all aspects of the making of the film.

Rarely do films like this that explore bigger issues like family and death in such a kid friendly context have such an overwhelming sense of detail and pride to them, which is really why Coco works so well but had it managed to give us a moment a little more unpredictable to generate more than the expected emotion, it could have been a truly iconic piece of cinema.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
Comments are closed.