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Loco for Coco! (movie review)

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Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Two-time Academy Award winning movie Coco had me in a pool of tears by the last scene. From its stunning picture quality to its unbelievably catchy songs, Coco is a movie you definitely need to see.

With a nearly 200 million dollar budget, Pixar did not disappoint. Coco is a colorful, bright, and beautifully animated movie. Every single scene pays very close attention to detail with its innovative imagery and vibrant colors. From the extravagant creatures to the incredibly detailed buildings, Coco is undoubtedly an exceptional work.

The title of the movie is the name of the main character’s great grandmother, the only person in the family who seems to want to remember her father. The rest of the family despises him, for he never returned after leaving his family to pursue a career in music.

I found myself obsessed with the songs in the movie – especially “Proud Corazon.” Coco’s soundtrack is on a repeat playlist on my phone and I listen to it everywhere, whether it be in the car or the shower. While a major component of the film is music, I was pleased to discover that the actors who voice the characters also sing their characters’ songs.

The film revolves around 12 year old Miguel Rivera as he struggles with the conflict between his music-loathing family and his love for music. Having kept his secret for so long, Miguel finally decides to reveal to his family that he dreams of being a musician.

When his family rejects his idea and breaks his guitar, an angered and disappointed Miguel is accidentally transported to the “Land of the Dead,” where he needs the blessing of one of his family members to return him home. When his great-great grandmother gives him her blessing with the condition that he is to “never play music again,” Miguel instead decided to seek the blessing of his great-great grandfather, who he believes to be the famous actor and singer Ernesto de la Cruz.

So, Miguel embarks on a massive journey to find his great-great grandfather. He teams up with Hector, a skeleton who needs Miguel to help him visit his daughter before she forgets him and he disappears completely. Together they find Ernesto and discover that he poisoned Hector many years before. Ernesto refuses to give Miguel his blessing and throws him and Hector in a pit.

Then comes the biggest plot twist in the movie: Hector is Miguel’s great-great-grandfather! Miguel realizes that his great grandma Coco is Hector’s daughter, the only living person who still remembers him. The movie flashes back to Hector singing “Remember Me” to Coco, and it was one of the most adorable scenes I’ve ever seen – but I managed to hold my tears in.

A series of events occur, but Miguel makes it back to the land of the living. Upon his arrival, he immediately seeks Coco, determined to sing “Remember Me” to her in hopes that she will remember her father. This is where I absolutely lost it. Coco begins to sing with Miguel as the rest of their family shed tears of joy.

The ending of the movie was absolutely perfect. While grandma Coco passes a year later, she is reunited with her mother and father in the Land of the Dead as they cross the bridge to the land of the living. The last scene features Miguel singing and playing for his dead and living family, including Coco and Hector. 

Ultimately, Coco is about the importance of family and the power of unconditional love. Whether you want to sing, cry, or just enjoy a movie, Coco is unquestionably a masterpiece you need to experience.

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About the Writer
Jessica Lee, Junior Contributor

Stanford is known as the Harvard of the west, and getting accepted is a strenuous process. Some Canfield students might think that Stanford is in Jessica Lee’s future, but she does not have the same aspirations as her brother, and that is okay.

When asked if she feels burdened by the standards of living up to her brother’s accomplishments, Lee replied, “Do I have to reach expectations based off of my brother? No, not really.”

While both brother and sister are extremely determined, the two are not competitive with one another.

“Max is better at some things than me, and I am better at some things than him,” Lee commented.

In plenty of families, there is a presumed “favorite child.” And from the outside, Max might look to be the favorite, but that is commonly misunderstood.

“I have figured out why my parents might hold Max to a higher standard. Max wants to do a job in public policy or politics and in order to achieve that career, being a politician or doctor, it would be more beneficial if he went to Stanford,” Lee said.

Because Jessica has different ambitions for her future, the Lee parents push her differently than Max, based off of what they need in order to have the future they want.

When asked if they motivate each other, Jessica replied, “I would say that he motivates me, for sure.”

Even as Max is across the country, Max can motivate Jessica because he wants what is best for her, and she wants what is best for him. After all, Max and Jessica are siblings, not opponents.

– Gabby Sammarone

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Loco for Coco! (movie review)