By now it is pretty much a worn out cliché to say that 'Pixar has done it again,” but with their latest, Coco, they have done it again. This computer-animated feature is the feel-good spiritual journey we can use just about now.
The story, set in Mexico, opens with what appears to be a variation on Footloose (1984), as young Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) wants nothing more than to be a musician, but his family won't allow it. The family shuns musicians because Miguel's great, great grandfather left his wife and young daughter, Coco, behind to find fame as a singer...or that is what appears to have happened.
Being denied his dream, Miguel runs away during the Day of the Dead celebration, which is when the living pay tribute to their loved ones who have passed on. So, somehow Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead. Helping him get back to the living world is Héctor (Gael García Bernal), a broken spirit who has been forgotten by his living family. Before leaving the spirit world, however, Miguel plans to meet his great, great grandfather, who may actually be legendary mariachi singer Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt).
The plot gets much more involving and that is one of Pixar's strengths. They are not afraid to construct a complicated, yet easy to follow, story as well as hit on deep themes such as spirituality, loneliness, and a person's place in the world. And of course, it is delivered with spectacular animation that is bursting with color. Coco looks and feels marvelous.