Guys: you need to see COCO this Thanksgiving. Football and second helpings can wait! Bring a stack of tissues with you and go on Thanksgiving to see this movie. Here is my Disney Pixar’s COCO parent movie review. Short version: GO SEE THIS MOVIE!
A time to get together with family, eat a load of great food, chow down on leftovers a few hours later, and watch football all day.
And I do mean, ALLLLL day.
At least this is how my Thanksgiving’s generally go. It’s a time-honored tradition to cheer on the Cowboys over our 2nd round of pumpkin pie.
But this year I’m going to call an audible, if you will, and take the family to see Disney Pixar’s COCO on opening day. We’ll start a new tradition learning about an age-old one from Mexico.
The ‘Boys can wait (well, we can DVR, so same-same).
Disney Pixar’s COCO Parent Movie Review
COCO first came to my attention at the D23 Expo in 2015.
But I’ll admit I wasn’t super excited to see it. I mean, it looked beautiful and sounded like it would be a fun musical experience, but I didn’t know a lot about Dia de los Muertos.
Since this was going to be specifically written with a Mexican audience in mind, I foolishly tempered my enthusiasm. I wasn’t sure if I would connect with the story or if it would impact me like previous Pixar films.
Silly, silly woman. When will I learn? Never doubt the power of Pixar storytelling!
You know Pixar knows what it’s doing, and, yes, they did it again.
This story is so beautifully written and shared that it will touch everyone who watches it.
I am not exaggerating when I suggest you bring a stack of tissues AND stay through the closing credits. That’s really where #allthefeels roll in.
COCO is written about a lovely Mexican-based tradition steeped in Latin culture, but the message and story transcend heritage.
Here’s why seeing Disney Pixar’s COCO on Thanksgiving should come before watching another football game.
The Story of Disney Pixar’s COCO
This movie is all about family and what family history means to us. I have a feeling people will be checking out Ancestry.com and looking into their past after watching this one.
Ancestry- you’re going to owe Pixar big time, just sayin’!
COCO introduces us to Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a young musician growing up in a family of shoemakers. While all his relations are happily making shoes, it’s pretty much the last thing in the world that Miguel wants to do when he grows up.
His heart is made for music and he dreams of becoming as famous as his idol, the greatest singer of all time, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt).
But his family follows a strict “no music EVER” code due to a great, great grandfather who left his family to pursue his musical dreams.
In a desperate attempt to prove to his family that music is where his future lies, Miguel accidentally finds himself in the Land of the Dead at the start of the Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Here he meets his deceased family members and a trickster named Hector who help get him back to the land of the living.
Book of Life Comparison
I know there’s been a lot of talk about how COCO is basically a Book of Life reboot.
Since I haven’t seen Book of Life, I can’t give my first-hand impression, but I can give a second-hand account for what it’s worth.
I attended a press screening of the movie and as the credits rolled, I heard snippets of conversation around me.
The couple sitting right behind me loudly proclaimed, “This is NOT Book of Life part 2!” and were insistent that be the main point covered in their review.
Does that help? I don’t know, but I found it interesting enough to include it here for those that wondered.
If I find their review, I’ll be sure to share it here!
The Talent in Disney Pixar’s COCO
I was simply blown away by the actors in this movie.
There was not a weak performance amongst them; I had all the emotions that a family drama should bring out.
From laughing hysterically at Abuelita chasing mariachis wielding her shoe to crying as a character passes on from the Land of the Dead, my face never stopped changing shape!
Standing out for me was newcomer Gonzalez as Miguel and the incredibly talented Bratt as de la Cruz.
Both actors have ample opportunity to show off their pipes! I loved Gonzalez’s sweet voice and cannot wait to watch his career take off from here.
The Music of Disney Pixar’s COCO
Speaking of the singing: oh my gosh, y’all, the music in this film will have you dancing in your seats!
You might have heard the signature song already, “Remember Me” since it’s showed up in a few of the promotions already.
There’s so much more where that came from!
I couldn’t stop smiling or singing along with Hector (Gael García Bernal) and Gonzalez as they steal the show with “Un Poco Loco.”
My apologies for those around me that had to hear that, but it couldn’t be helped!
Disney Pixar COCO Activity Sheets & Hot Chocolate Recipe
Once you’ve seen the movie, your family will want to spend more time with Miguel and his family.
Great news: you can download these Activity Sheets for a quiet afternoon activity with the kids.
And I can’t think of a better way to complete these activity sheets than with a new recipe & a cup of hot chocolate.
You know I’m all about “easy” recipes, and this one is just that!
Download this Pan de Muerto (and hot chocolate!) recipe and enjoy with your family.
Everything is sweeter with hot chocolate, amirite?
Click on the picture to download the PDF with the recipe!
Parent Movie Review of Disney Pixar’s COCO
Be sure to come back for more Parent Movie Reviews– they’re included in every movie review I write!
With a Pixar movie, it should be a no-brainer that this is appropriate for all ages. I mean, it’s PIXAR, amirite?
However, for those unsure about the Land of the Dead and the skeleton characters, you might have concerns.
My response: don’t worry about it!
The skeletons and the Land of the Dead scenes are beautifully handled. There is nothing that stood out as shocking or scary about the skeletons; they are simply Miguel’s family.
While there are some heavy moments that could cause some stress in highly sensitive children, I think the lesson and the payoff of the movie’s theme are worth it for most kids. If in doubt about your child, go ahead and screen it first. You won’t mind watching it a second time, I promise!
I’d take any child that can sit through an hour plus long movie without hesitation.
Like COCO on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarCoco
Follow COCO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pixarcoco
Follow COCO on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixarcoco/
Visit the official COCO website here: http://movies.disney.com/coco
COCO opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd!
Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.