We’d planned to go to the preview, were invited to the Press Screening and each time I’ve been too poorly to go – and so last weekend, as the bigger two decided to grab their last chance to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the cinema, I very shakily went with Hero to see Pixar’s newest release, Coco, or Pixar Coco as the boys were calling it, after seeing the hashtag everywhere.
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I wasn’t sure what to expect at all in terms of storyline, as not much has been given away in the adverts – and I avoided reading spoilers – and so all I knew was there were skeletons, a dog, and the family of a little boy with a guitar.
As I sat next to Hero, I was ready for what I’ve come to love about Disney and Pixar films – there’s a familiarity to them that I adore and which makes me sure that I’ll come away emotional wrung out but happy. I am never disappointed when I’ve got a ticket to see a Disney or Pixar feature. So, as I settled back with the popcorn that Hero insisted he needed but then told me he’d absolutely never asked for, I thought I knew what I was in for.
I expected a huge emotional punch to my stomach at the beginning of the story….and it never came. Instead of the loss of a parent, or some tragedy, we were immersed in Pixar’s creation of a the life of a beautiful Mexican family and their preparations for Dia De Muertos [Day of the Dead].
Directed by the man being Toy Story 3, the film is all about family, and the first original project for Pixar since the Good Dinosaur. Coco’s official synopsis from 2016 read:
“Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.”
I’m sure it sounds naive, but I had no idea of the goings-on in Mexico for this occasion and didn’t realise just how beautiful it really is – not just in terms of colour and celebration, but in sentiment also. As a little girl I took flowers to my Granny and Grandad’s grave and would always wait until no one could hear me to talk to my Grandparents out of embarrassment that someone might hear me and think I was a little unhinged. In Mexico it would seem that family is family, whether on earth or not. They fully embrace the idea that they can still connect with family who have passed over and expect them to visit on Dia De Muertos to celebrate with them.
Hero loved watching it with his “minty bubbles” [Aero chocolate sweeties] and “clean lemonade” [the fizzy stuff] because for a three-year-old, Coco is wonderful. There are skeletons and dogs with huge comedy tongues, sweet songs – Hero is still singing “Remember Me” – and a little boy to identify with. As a grown up with a fairytale heart, the parts that struck me most were the ‘forever death’ – something that really made me think about my own life, and the ending, where I sobbed silently as Coco walked with her parents, hand in hand.
If you haven’t seen Coco yet, you really should. It’s a true family film that speaks volumes without breaking your heart to do it.
We’ve been sent the cutest products from the new Disney range, featuring Hector, Miguel and friends – except we have to keep them a secret from the boys a little while longer as the other two are off to see it this coming weekend. Hero and I have mentioned that we’ll see it again – you know, just to keep them company 😉 Here’s what we have – they’re gorgeous and will no doubt be in our Insta Stories really soon!
No prizes for guessing the theme of this year’s birthday party for the boys!