Monday, 5 March 2018

COCO Blu-ray Review

PG; 105 minutes; Walmart
Now available on Blu-ray Combo Pack from Disney Home Entertainment is Pixar's latest animated blockbuster COCO, which recently won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Animated and an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Directed by Lee Unkrich, the film features the talented voice-cast of
Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía, and Edward James Olmos.
The set in Mexico, the film centers around a young boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a great musician, just like the famous entertainer Ernesto de la Cruz. However, his family won't let him become a musician; well, to more specific, none of his family are allowed to have anything to do with music. His great-great-grandmother, Imelda Rivera, was married to a musician who later abandoned her and their three-year-old daughter, Coco (Miguel's great-grandmother). Imelda banned music from their lives and later became a shoemaker. After her death, Coco and her family continued the shoemaker business. And of course Miguel is supposed to join the family's business one day.

Miguel plans on entering the Day of the Dead talent show, but he's quickly caught by his grandmother Elena, who breaks his guitar. Despite his family's rejection, Miguel sneaks out his home with the intention of entering the talent contest. There's only one little problem - he needs to find a new guitar. After accidentally knocking over a family photo of Imelda and Coco, Miguel begins to believe that his great-great-grandfather is the late Ernesto de la Cruz. Then he gets the idea of breaking into Ernesto's crypt to borrow his great-great-grandfather's famous guitar that's displayed there. 

However, things don't as Miguel had planned. The moment he stole the guitar, a curse was put upon him, making him become invisible to the living, but he can be seen by the dead and interact with them. The only way to return to the living is for him to get a blessing from his dead great-great-grandmother. She is more than happy to give him a blessing, but she refuses to give him permission to become a musician. That's when Miguel gets another idea. He goes on a search for his great-great-grandfather Ernesto in the Land of the Dead with the intention of getting his blessing.

Blu-ray Special Features include:

  • Deleted Scenes with Introductions - Director Lee Unkrich and co-director Adrian Molina talk about the deleted scenes and the part they played in the development of “Coco.” 
    • Día de los Muertos - In this musical extravaganza, the colors and excitement of Día de los Muertos come to life as we meet superstar Ernesto de la Cruz. 
    • The Way of the Riveras - A musical number in which Abuelita and Miguel prepare their Día de los Muertos celebration while she teaches him Rivera family history and traditions. 
    • Celebrity Tour - Héctor, a Land of the Dead tour bus guide, agrees to help Miguel, revealed to be a living boy, on his quest to find de la Cruz. 
    • The Family Fix - After de la Cruz reveals his true colors, the Rivera family puts their dismay aside and comes together to repair the smashed guitar needed to send Miguel home. 
    • To the Bridge - As the Land of the Dead counts down to the end of Día de los Muertos, Miguel and de la Cruz come head-to-head on the marigold bridge.
  • Filmmaker CommentaryPresented by Lee Unkrich (director), Adrian Molina (co-director) and Darla K. Anderson (producer).
  • The Music of “Coco” - Collaborating with musicians of Mexico and some unique instrumentation, this documentary explores the beautiful fusion of music essential to the story of “Coco.”
  • Paths to Pixar: “Coco” - Explore how the film crew’s personal stories resonate with the themes of the movie itself.
  • Welcome to the Fiesta - A musical exploration of the skeletons that make the Land of the Dead in “Coco” so wondrous and intriguing.
  • How to Draw a Skeleton - Pixar artist Daniel Arriaga gives a lesson on the quick and easy way to draw skeletons using simple shapes.
  • A Thousand Pictures a Day - Join the “Coco” crew on an immersive travelogue through Mexico, visiting families, artisans, cemeteries, and small villages during the Día de los Muertos holiday.
  • Mi Familia - Developing the Riveras was a labor of love that took the cast and crew on a deep dive into the meaning of family.
  • Land of Our Ancestors Watch Pixar artists lovingly construct layer upon layer of architecture from many eras of Mexican history, bringing the Land of the Dead to life.
  • Fashion Through the Ages The cast of characters in “Coco” are from many different eras, making for some magnificent costuming opportunities.
  • The Real Guitar The majestic guitar that spurs Miguel on his journey through the Land of the Dead is a unique creation. Watch as it is initially designed by a Pixar artist and ultimately realized as a real instrument by a master luthier in this poetic ode to craftsmanship.
  • Dante - How the crew fell in love with the uniquely Mexican breed of Xoloitzcuintli (or “Xolo”) dogs that inspired Dante.
  • How to Make Papel Picado - Join Pixar artist Ana Ramírez González as we learn how papel picado is made traditionally, and then try your own approach to this beautiful art form.
  • Un Poco “Coco” - A montage of original animated pieces used to promote “Coco.”
  • “Coco Trailers” - Trailers include “Feeling,” “Dante’s Lunch,” “Destiny,” “Journey” and “Belong.”

Final Thoughts

I wasn't very interesting in seeing COCO when it was released to theaters last year, mostly because the trailers and advertisements never appealed to me. That being said, COCO is still a Disney / PIXAR film and I normally like their movies, so I wanted to give the film a try when it arrived on Blu-ray.

The good new is that I was pleasantly surprised by the film. At first glance I thought it was going to be a bit silly, but the movie actually has a well-written, heartwarming story. The entire voice-cast is excellent and the computer-animation is topnotch.

Overall, I loved watching COCO on Blu-ray. It's a beautifully filmed computer-animated film and I can easily see why it won two Oscars last night.

*Note -  I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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