Coco - Film Review

Hey Guys,

Directed by Lee Unkrich and produced by Darla K Anderson (you know the team behind Toy Story 3), Coco is the 19th animated feature length film from Disney's Pixar, and it finally opens in the UK this week!

I was lucky enough to be able to get a ticket to the advance screening at Southbank's BFI on Saturday January 13th, so not only did I get to watch the film already, after the film there was a live Q&A with Lee and Darla. This was such an incredible opportunity and I feel so lucky that I was able to be a part of it. As a huge Pixar fan, being able to see the creators speak so passionately about their work, work that I've been following and admiring for years, was extremely special and probably only made me admire them more.

At D23 Lee introduced the film by saying "Coco is a film that explores the universal themes of family bonds, as well as celebrating our past." he went on to say "Coco is going to be packed with lots and lots of music, it's filled with traditional Mexican music and songs, as well as original songs that we've created just for the film", and I don't think I could introduce it any better myself.

The story follows Miguel, a young boy with a big, but forbidden dream, as he decides to seize his moment and learn a whole lot on the way about his ancestors and the importance of family.

What struck me most right from the start of the film, is how much research must have gone into it. Coco is Based around the Mexican holiday of Dia De Los Muertos - the Day of the Dead, a holiday that celebrates and honours deceased loved ones. During the Q&A after the screening of the film Lee and Darla were keen to stress, if they were going to do this, it had to be done right, in fact they told us much of the original plot was changed as the film did not feel authentically Mexican at it's heart.

You can tell how much thought and love has gone into the film. Miguel's home town is modelled on a real town in Mexico that the team visited, the setting feels authentic, from the layout of the town to the animation. In contrast, the land of the dead was almost the opposite, of the research the team did and all the people they spoke to about their traditions and beliefs, no one seemed to have any fixed ideas about what the land of the dead looked like. This gave the team a blank canvas and a lot of space and opportunity to be creative, and this created such a wonderful, bright and imaginative world to play home to the story.

Music makes up a huge part of Coco, and I can honestly say that this is probably one of my favourite Pixar soundtracks so far, further more I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of it! My favourite song is probably "Un Poco Loco", but I really enjoyed all of the different versions of "Remember me" and in particular the way they used the same basic song and changed things like the tempo and pitch to convey different emotions at various points of the film. For me this really showed how powerful the sound track is. Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote Let it go from Frozen, as well as songs for the Winnie the Pooh 2011 soundtrack, wrote Remember me for Coco and have already won an Annie award and a Golden globe for their contribution.

Personally my favourite characters in the film were Miguel and Hector, the both provide something different from each other. In the case of Hector, he provides a lot of the comedic moments within the film, of which there are plenty! Miguel however has more of the heartfelt and softer moments, and I cannot praise Anthony Gonzalez enough for his portrayal of the role, he truly feels like the perfect choice to bring Miguel to life, and is able to provide not only the voice acting, but the brilliant vocals for all of the songs Miguel sings throughout the film, a real talent to watch out for I'm sure!

Overall I cannot sing Coco's praises enough, the story line felt fresh and it didn't feel like we were walking a beaten track, the film kept me guessing right up until the end, it didn't feel stale or predictable, something I know others have commented on too. The animation was truly stunning, in particular the wide range of colours from the spirit animals, known as Alebrijes, to the Marigolds the Rivera family leave out to guide their ancestors home. What I liked so much about this film compared to others in the Pixar family that have come before, was it almost felt educational. It showed me so much I didn't know about Mexican culture and you could really feel how well it had been researched and how much time had gone into making sure this was done authentically and respectfully. It has given me a better understanding about the Day of the Dead, what it truly means to those who celebrate it, and as always it contains a strong moral message about the importance of family and about embracing where you come from.

I would highly recommend going to see Coco, it was a pleasure to watch from start to finish, and although I would advise taking a packet of tissues I can also promise plenty of laughs, it is truly a beautiful film with a heartwarming message and I cannot wait to see it again when it officially opens on Friday.

I'd like to thank Lee, Darla and everyone at Pixar for allowing the BFI to host an advance screening, and Lee and Darla in particular for taking the time to meet so many of us after and for signing Duffy's Coco Tee we had made for the occasion.

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Finally, I'll leave you with the words of Co-Director Adrian Molina, which I think sum up the heart of Coco perfectly.

"We are who we are because of the people who came before us, and we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors."

Hoodsie xx


  1. Oh, I loved reading this! How exciting for you to get to go to the Q&A, how amazing that must have been. The main thing I love about Disney and Pixar is their insane attention to detail, especially when representing true stories or faiths and cultures. Coco was fantastic but I expected nothing less. I knew it would become one of my all-time favourites because of its theme and my long interest in death/DOTD etc.
    That last quote there got me! ha Beautiful.


  2. Thanks for reading Danielle! It’s such a beautiful film I love how colourful it is ❤️ I’m glad you enjoyed it too I really hope it does as well in the UK as it has in America ! Xx

  3. Great review! I can't wait to see Coco - it sounds like a fab film and I love the Day of the Dead element to it too.

  4. Thank you ! =D honestly it’s such a beautiful film!

  5. Me too wasn’t it wonderful! What was your favourite song?

  6. Remember me was my favourite. 😢. What was yours ?

  7. Ooh yeh umm I think un poco loco was mine. It was so cute <3