I’m a grown man who hasn’t seen most of the Pixar movies that people are obsessed with, but I was challenged to check ’em all out and share my thoughts. Join me as I watch ’em all one by one – see if I buy into the hype.
Movie No. 19: Coco (2017)
The couple from Up didn’t do it. Nemo and his dad didn’t do it. Dory and her parents couldn’t do it.
BUT LAWD MAMA COCO!!!
When you have to start squinting like you’re reading an eye chart to keep the eyeball liquid from running out of your skull you know it’s a rough night. Nothing twists your emotions like these so-called kids movies.
Like Monsters, Inc, I went into Coco completely blind. I didn’t know a thing about the plot – I thought the little boy Miguel was the one named Coco, in fact. And I certainly didn’t expect this to be Pixar Sixth Sense. But just like Monsters, Inc, Coco has been one of the most pleasant surprises so far.
After dealing with mopey dinosaurs, rambling fish and cocky race cars, Miguel proved to be one of the more likable heroes in a long time. Yeah, he could be a little bratty at times but he’s 12 and half dead so I’ll cut him some slack. Y’all could have kept Dante the watercolor dog though, he’s the pet you think is housebroken until you slip n’ slide in some pee in the middle of the night.
I also enjoyed the grounded cast – well, if you consider hanging around your Grim Fandango-looking family members and their flying tiger grounded. It made me smile to see that a shoe is not only the weapon of choice for Black matriarchs but Latina grandmas put in work with them too. My mother-in-law swears that she could throw her shoe like a boomerang around a corner. My brother-in-law said she made that up but I’m really not trying to put the theory to the test.
It’s those type of crazy family connections that make this one so endearing. I loved that when Hector tells his wife Imelda “I was murdered,” she immediately was like “WHO CARES I had to raise that baby alone!” Family will hold on to grudges into the afterlife, I swear. Speaking of Hector, who looks like the zombie version of the guy from One Piece, he made a complete 180 from annoying Frida Kahlo impersonator to the heart and soul of the show. His arc from goofball sidekick to family patriarch was so well done.
PAY ATTENTION, MATER.
I can’t say the same for that trash bag Ernesto, who has to be one of the most evil villains in the franchise. Poisoning his friend, stealing his songs, attempting to murder children, Skeleton Suge Knight was the worst.
And lord, Mama Coco. The last 20 or so minutes of this film were agonizing, in all the best ways.
Don’t tell me that representation in movies doesn’t matter. Films like Coco are needed cultural celebrations that also bring greater understanding to unfamiliar audiences. While adults yell at strangers on the Internet, it’s the kids watching Disney+ who are being taught tolerance, how to cope with loss and the importance family, courtesy of Toon Talking Dead. I have more faith in them than most of y’all.
The only issue I have with Coco is its slightly slow start. I feel like the first 20 minutes of the movie is just Miguel running all over the place. If the pacing was a little better early on it would easily be a top 3 Pixar release for me.
Family. Culture. Death. Remember Me.
These allergies are really messing with my eyes today.
4 stars out of 5
Toy Story 3
A Bug’s Life
Toy Story 2
The Good Dinosaur
Incredibles 2 is up next. I’ve seen it before but the only thing I remember is you weirdos trying to slide in ElastiGirl’s DMs. She’s married, have some respect.
Also she’s a cartoon, you creeps.