Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Pixar’s splendid Coco

“Is there sufficient reason for the tears that will inevitably run down my face by the end?”

Coco: Why do you want to be famous?
Coco: Why do you want to be famous?

Smash the American Idol. Still The Voice. America’s Got Talent, but let it stay at home and delight the household and its gods (or at least its ancestors).

But what if the household is not delighted? What if there is a familial ban on music because, four generations back, a man left his wife and child behind to share his music with the world and then never came home? What young man in such a home, feeling the rhythm thrum in his heart, would not be tempted to look elsewhere for guidance? To look, as lost and struggling people tend to do, to the stars?

Movie

Coco ***

thumbnail

Pixar has dealt in the themes of memory and/or family for so long that it’s a wonder it took them this long to hit upon The Day of the Dead as a setting. A whole holiday dedicated to honoring and remembering your ancestors, complete with the visual splendor of <em>ofrendas</em> covered in flaming orange marigold petals and skeletal <em>Calaveras</em> just waiting to be animated. For narrative drive, they’ve taken a page out of <em>Ratatouille</em> and given us a frustrated artist whose family just doesn’t understand: 12-year-old Miguel, who longs to play guitar like his hero (and also his hometown’s favorite son), Ernesto De La Cruz. Trouble is, he comes from the only family in Mexico that doesn’t like music, due to a rascal four generations back who set out to play for the world and never came home. (Thanks for nothing, ancestors.) When Miguel sets out to follow his hero’s lead and seize his moment, he winds up further from home than he could have imagined: the realm of the dead. And getting back will mean growing up. Not entirely original, but almost entirely delightful, from the fantastical glowing afterlife to the street-dog sidekick to the surprisingly sharp critique of celebrity culture. Lee Unkrich directs.

Find showtimes

This is the plight of Miguel Rivera, the 12-year-old Mexican boy at the heart of Pixar’s splendid Coco — though it’s telling that the film is named not for him, but for his great-grandmother, the little girl who got left behind by her beloved singing Papa. Miguel’s family loves him, but not his musical dreams. So he turns to his town’s famous favorite son, who also happens to be “the greatest musician in Mexican history,” Ernesto De La Cruz. He learns his songs, watches his movies, even builds a secret shrine that is not unlike the ofrenda his family sets up on Día de los Muertos, the day for remembering and honoring the dead.

The holiday becomes the breaking point. “Seize your moment” is De La Cruz’s motto, and Miguel decides that the town’s holiday music competition is his. But his family notes that family is the whole point of the holiday, and insists he stay at home. When he rejects his family and sets out to disobey their decision, he winds up further from home than he could have imagined: in the realm of the dead.

Of every animated film, ask, “Is there any compelling narrative reason why this should be animated?” The expressive skulls of Miguel’s skeletal ancestors and the gently glowing world they inhabit make for a resounding “yes.”

Of every Pixar film that deals with family, memory, and loss (Up, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Toy Story, etc.), ask, “Is there sufficient reason for the tears that will inevitably run down my face by the end?” Again, the answer is yes, thanks in no small part to the ingenious, repeated use of De La Cruz’s most famous hit, “Remember Me.”

And of every animated animal sidekick, ask, “All silliness aside, is this really necessary?” Yes, yes, yes. Dante the street dog — hey didn’t someone by that name take a trip to the afterlife once before? — is a slapsticky cockeyed clown on a serious mission.

Director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) has managed a neat trick here: a lavish Hollywood film that serves as a sharp (but hugely entertaining) critique of celebrity culture.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Orchid zealots, brave beekeepers, pit bulls not so bad, vicious seagulls, San Diego birds surveyed, a cactus will take a bullet

San Diego's extreme plants and animals
Next Article

Finding a different world inside Samarkand Uzbek Café

Don’t miss this overachieving tent restaurant tucked away in a City Heights parking lot
Coco: Why do you want to be famous?
Coco: Why do you want to be famous?

Smash the American Idol. Still The Voice. America’s Got Talent, but let it stay at home and delight the household and its gods (or at least its ancestors).

But what if the household is not delighted? What if there is a familial ban on music because, four generations back, a man left his wife and child behind to share his music with the world and then never came home? What young man in such a home, feeling the rhythm thrum in his heart, would not be tempted to look elsewhere for guidance? To look, as lost and struggling people tend to do, to the stars?

Movie

Coco ***

thumbnail

Pixar has dealt in the themes of memory and/or family for so long that it’s a wonder it took them this long to hit upon The Day of the Dead as a setting. A whole holiday dedicated to honoring and remembering your ancestors, complete with the visual splendor of <em>ofrendas</em> covered in flaming orange marigold petals and skeletal <em>Calaveras</em> just waiting to be animated. For narrative drive, they’ve taken a page out of <em>Ratatouille</em> and given us a frustrated artist whose family just doesn’t understand: 12-year-old Miguel, who longs to play guitar like his hero (and also his hometown’s favorite son), Ernesto De La Cruz. Trouble is, he comes from the only family in Mexico that doesn’t like music, due to a rascal four generations back who set out to play for the world and never came home. (Thanks for nothing, ancestors.) When Miguel sets out to follow his hero’s lead and seize his moment, he winds up further from home than he could have imagined: the realm of the dead. And getting back will mean growing up. Not entirely original, but almost entirely delightful, from the fantastical glowing afterlife to the street-dog sidekick to the surprisingly sharp critique of celebrity culture. Lee Unkrich directs.

Find showtimes

This is the plight of Miguel Rivera, the 12-year-old Mexican boy at the heart of Pixar’s splendid Coco — though it’s telling that the film is named not for him, but for his great-grandmother, the little girl who got left behind by her beloved singing Papa. Miguel’s family loves him, but not his musical dreams. So he turns to his town’s famous favorite son, who also happens to be “the greatest musician in Mexican history,” Ernesto De La Cruz. He learns his songs, watches his movies, even builds a secret shrine that is not unlike the ofrenda his family sets up on Día de los Muertos, the day for remembering and honoring the dead.

The holiday becomes the breaking point. “Seize your moment” is De La Cruz’s motto, and Miguel decides that the town’s holiday music competition is his. But his family notes that family is the whole point of the holiday, and insists he stay at home. When he rejects his family and sets out to disobey their decision, he winds up further from home than he could have imagined: in the realm of the dead.

Of every animated film, ask, “Is there any compelling narrative reason why this should be animated?” The expressive skulls of Miguel’s skeletal ancestors and the gently glowing world they inhabit make for a resounding “yes.”

Of every Pixar film that deals with family, memory, and loss (Up, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Toy Story, etc.), ask, “Is there sufficient reason for the tears that will inevitably run down my face by the end?” Again, the answer is yes, thanks in no small part to the ingenious, repeated use of De La Cruz’s most famous hit, “Remember Me.”

And of every animated animal sidekick, ask, “All silliness aside, is this really necessary?” Yes, yes, yes. Dante the street dog — hey didn’t someone by that name take a trip to the afterlife once before? — is a slapsticky cockeyed clown on a serious mission.

Director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) has managed a neat trick here: a lavish Hollywood film that serves as a sharp (but hugely entertaining) critique of celebrity culture.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Jackslacks releases Billy Bacon tribute EP When Pigs Fly

Bacon passed away in August 2019
Next Article

Claudia Gomez‘s sound showers with Trio Gadjo and Besos de Coco

“Playing again has lifted everyone’s spirits.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close