Remember Footloose and how Kevin Bacon felt when he realized the town had outlawed dancing. Well, that is how Miguel the lead (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) feels living in his small Mexican village where his family has banned music for life.
Imagine no singing. No playing instruments. No listening to your favorite songs. But Miguel isn’t like his family.
His love of music comes from his soul.
#1. When a Movie Let’s a Hero Cross Over To the Land of the Dead
Miguel is in love with music, but his family has banned it because his great-great-grandfather chose music over the ones he loved most. Miguel is torn between loving his family and chasing after his dream, to be exactly like one of Mexico’s most famous singers Ernesto de la Cruz. Something special happens and Miguel finds himself during the Celebration of Dead in the Land of the Dead where his ancestors who have passed on live. His goal is to find Ernesto because he feels he is the only one who can understand his love of music.
#2. Dante is not Just an Ordinary Dog
Miguel’s best pal is Dante, a special kind of dog called Xolo which is a kind of healer that will follow his master into the afterlife.
I discovered the Xolo dog is the national dog of Mexico. It’s unique and hairless and kind of reminds me of a wiener dog.
Dante is very loyal to Miguel unless food is involved. He follows him into the land of the dead to help Miguel in his quest to find his great-great-grandfather because Miguel feels only he will understand (unlike his family) why music is so important to him and why he must play. Dante is there with Miguel every step of the way.
I won’t spoil things for you, but Miguel’s friend has a few surprises of his own while on this grand adventure.
#3. Hector Teaches Miguel to Never Give Up
The land of the dead has rules just like the living world. On his journey to the land of the dead, Miguel meets Hector. He’s a skeleton who is being forgotten by his living family.
At first, Hector is perceived as selfish and only cares about himself and nobody else but we learn that he has a good heart, and although he and Miguel don’t quite like one another, they try to make their partnership work for both of them.
I thought it was a bit creepy on Pixar’s part giving the dead eyes, but it actually breathes life into their characters. They seem more human and not dead and more relatable when watching the story unfold.
Hector might not be living anymore, but he teaches Miguel to never give up. He teaches him more about the importance of living than Miguel realizes.
#4. Let’s Talk Music
Coco goes all out when it comes to the musical score for this movie. It was amazing to watch and listen to in the theater. The songs are authentic and original.
You can hear so many sounds and I love that they use music as one of the key elements to telling this story because music is in Miguel’s heart and soul, and it’s what makes him different from the rest of his family.
The main theme song “Remember Me” is so beautiful.
#5. Family Means Everything in Coco
This movie is one of the best because family means everything. Coco shows the best and the worst of how family can be.
Miguel is expected to be like the rest of his family, but his heart lies with music. He learns later on that what is in his heart is important but not more important than the ones he loves.
Miguel learns that the past, and where we came from helps shape where we are going.
If you haven’t seen it yet. Head to the theater and check out Coco. It’s truly amazing and you will definitely want to own it on DVD when it comes out. The music. The story. Miguel and all the characters you will fall in love with and really relate to each of them in some way.