Director: Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina
Nominated for: Best Original Song; Best Animated Feature
Coco was wonderfully bright, colourful and vibrant – and became even more so once we travelled to the Land of the Dead. They did the land of the dead really well actually as let’s face it skeletons can be pretty scary, especially if you’re kid but that’s not a problem here. And they have managed to make every skeleton a very definite character. I do feel like I missed a number of the cultural easter eggs that Pixar are bound to have included, but then I’m not that target audience really.
I thought I was all prepared for what has become known in our house as the Pixar punch in the gut – you know that moment when you’re happily travelling along in the film and all of a sudden they pull on your heart-strings and something really emotional happens. There’s a moment like this is most Pixar movies – the beginning of Up (Pete Docter & Bob Peterson, 2009) which is still one of the saddest montages I’ve ever seen, the defining moment in Big Hero Six (Don Hall & Chris Williams, 2014), the incinerator scene from Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010) – but they usually happen towards the beginning of the film so it’s over and done with and then you can enjoy the rest of the film without being reduced to a blubbering mess. Turns out I wasn’t and was quite spectacularly reduced to a blubbering mess in a cinema full of young children all coping really well with the film.
Family is obviously the big driver for Coco and I love meeting all the different characters that make up Miguel’s family. The Day of the Dead is actually a really lovely sentiment – for one night of the year your family, your ancestors get the chance to visit and check up on you. You may not be able to see them but they are with you and can share in your love and joy. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older that I find this a wonderful idea.
My favourite part of Coco without a shadow of a doubt is Dante, the animal sidekick. He is hilarious – this mangy street dog that dutifully follows Miguel around even into the Land of the Dead. I like to think that Dante would totally be my spirit animal – he’s certainly as clumsy as I am!
The song just isn’t in the same league as “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman (Michael Gracey) – it’s not that memorable. I’d pretty much forgotten it by the time I’d left the cinema. The same cannot be said of “This Is Me” which I have not stopped listening to since seeing the film at the beginning of January. However in some ways this doesn’t surprise me as Pixar don’t seem to do songs in the same way that Disney do. So it’s not got my vote for Best Original Song.