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Family fun film to skip

“Coco” delivers an almost great film stifled by an unoriginal story.  |  Photo Courtesy of


Since its conception, Pixar has revolutionized the film industry with their amazing animation and their powerfully emotional storytelling. “Toy Story” remains the first computer animated feature film ever as Pixar sought to combine perfect animation and a compelling story. More recently, “Inside Out” pushed limits and discovered new frontiers with their storytelling as they delved deep into how the human mind and heart process emotions. These two films show Pixar's commitment to excellent filmmaking, which sets the bar for all its subsequent films.


Coco,” however, does not reach this seemingly standard level of greatness, but it remains enjoyable in its own right and provides suitable entertainment for the entire family. Directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina bring stunning animation and a proud effort to celebrate Mexican culture in this film, but it fails to raise the film from good to great.

“Coco” proves an absolutely beautiful film. The meticulous attention to detail brings the animation to life and keeps the viewer captivated and immersed in the film. The vibrant colors elicit a feeling of euphoria and darker colors to elicit a more somber tone. Artistically, the colors captured the essence of Mexican celebrations and traditions, which helps elevate the film as it allows the viewers to experience a wide variety of tones. The music impresses as each song entertains and helps to enhance the story. Everything technical about this film proves brilliant. The film looks and sounds great, which allows for a more comprehensive experience.


Although the technical experience impresses, the story lacks originality and borrows too many themes from 20th Century Fox’sThe Book of Life.” Anthony Gonzalez voices the protagonist Miguel, a young musician constrained by his family’s strict music ban. On Dia de los Muertos, Miguel magically becomes trapped in the “Land of the Dead” where he enlists the help of Hector, voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal, and develops a plan to escape the “Land of the Dead” and make use of his musical talents. This movie suffers from a plot line all too similar to recent films making it predictable and unoriginal, which prevents it from rising to the level of excellence expected from Pixar. That being said, “Coco” skillfully executes this story type and allows for a magnificent tribute to Mexican culture.

“Coco” delivers an enjoyable film, but it falls short of the expectations laid out by previous Pixar films and does not rank among other exceptional Pixar films. Rather, it features stunning visuals and characters that anyone can enjoy. Ultimately, this movie better suits a night in on Netflix rather than a trip to the theater.

Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Haha wow

    HAHAHAHAHA at this review saying it has an underwhelming story when the film has 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. November 29, 2017

  2. Anonymous

    Whether a plot was predictable or not, wouldn't it be better to enjoy how this film was culturally accurate and features Hispanic culture, which is not often portrayed in film? P.S. Coco was in development before "Book of Life" (Coco - 2010, Book of Life - 2012): November 30, 2017

  3. Caleb I

    "HAHAHAHAHA at this review saying it has an underwhelming story when the film has 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes."

    Rotten tomatoes is an aggregate website that collects the reviews from select film critics and gives a percentage of how many critics gave it positive review. 97% means that 97% of critics thought it was good. This review clearly says that this is a good movie. November 30, 2017

  4. False.

    I couldn’t disagree with this review more. Coco was released in Mexico two weeks before being released in America, and within the first week it was ranked as the number 1 movie in Mexico, replacing the previous reign of Avengers. This speaks of how well the film captures the culture and traditions of Dia de los Muertos while entertaining audiences of all cultures. I personally saw Coco in a theater full of Hispanic men and women who were roaring with laughter and crying tears of joy as they saw a powerful story unfolding before them that better related to them than Book of Life or any other Hollywood attempt at incorporating Hispanic culture into blockbusters films. December 2, 2017

  5. Tiffany

    Sorry to the writer, I know you're trying to grow your skills in journalism, but you need honest feedback. This is downright offensive. You need to realize that yes, Biola students form a predominantly monocultural, white majority, but to a lot of Mexican students on campus (many of which are my dear friends who have opened my eyes to so many cultural differences I was blind to) "Coco" represents the first time a major American film giant like Pixar has undertaken to represent some aspects of their culture's beauty, uniqueness, and value without sweeping it under the rug. I haven't seen it, but if it has a "mediocre" plot to a white viewer, I would ask that white viewer to go deeper and realize that not EVERYTHING that comes out has to focus on the realities of white Americans. Sometimes, it is important for us to look past our majority culture comforts and realize that there are people around us who have felt unseen, unvalued, and unrespected for SO long, that ONE Pixar movie with their culture as the focus can afford to not be blown off by us white Americans. If we want to show the love of Christ and respect our brothers and sisters, who we know all come from different cultural backgrounds and different experiences, can't we afford to put in a little more effort and try to be sensitive to the things that might be important to them? December 2, 2017

  6. Adam

    Tiffany, how is the review offensive? How is the belief that the movie was unoriginal have to do with race or white Americans? He explicitly said, "That being said, 'Coco' skillfully executes this story type and allows for a magnificent tribute to Mexican culture." In what way is that offensive? He never brought up race, not once. He just said the plot seems similar to that of another film, which made it not as amazing as he hoped it would be. Yes, it probably is a good movie, as it does have a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the author is entitled to his own opinion. December 2, 2017

  7. Don't matter

    "Coco" is a major milestone for representation in the Latino community. Which may I add, hardly receives recognition, especially amongst a WHITE campus that refuses to open their eyes to the reality of racism and just says "it's part of God's plan" or "i'm color blind". This movie is a masterpiece and whoever says otherwise is blind. January 17, 2018

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