Just imagine if your family beat down your dream at every turn. And I mean your extended family. Parents, grandparents, cousins, the whole enchilada.
That’s the plight of poor Miguel, the centerpiece of Coco, the latest in the line of Pixar animation.
This kid is in love with music. Unfortunately, there’s a link to the past with making such sounds that has turned it to something forbidden. Fortunately, this kid has pluck. So he hides a found guitar, searches that family history and what he finds …
Makes for a pretty scary trip to the Land of the Dead.
Yes, this tale directed by Lee Unkrich and co-directed by Adrian Molina from a screenplay by Molina and Matthew Aldrich can be pretty dark for young kids, if you’re thinking of a family sit-around the flat screen to take in the big-time animation. Even with the huge splashes of color and grand production values expected by Disney’s animation offshoot, skeletons come-to-action dealing with a human boy who’s crossed the bridge, well, that can be daunting.
Yet the beating heart of the story wins out as Miguel, aided by his spirit pet and friends he finds up there, discovers truths that may indeed set his soul free and much more when he gets back to that big group waiting back down at home.
Anthony Rodriguez does a great job voicing the kid. In fact, all of the voices are quite good as Pixar ventures into the Latin culture with flourish. The list of Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Jaime Camil, Alfonso Arau, Sofía Espinosa, Selene Luna, Ana Ofelia Murguia, Renee Victor, Luis Valdez, Herbert Siguenza, Carla Medina and Edward James Olmos likely has only a couple of names immediately recognizable in the mainstream – at least to me, Bratt and Olmos jump right out for their long line of work – but all sound fantastic, together and individually.
Central New Yorkers can view Coco for free at 1 p.m. Monday, April 23, in the Liverpool Public Library’s Carman Community Room.