A Few Random Non-spoiler Thoughts on Coco

My kids took me to go see Coco this weekend and I was absolutely floored by this movie and just thought I’d ramble a bit about the movie if you don’t mind. Oh wait, this is my blog… I can talk about anything I want to. That’s right! hahaha.

But I have really just lit into Hollywood because they are so fixated on retread ideas, sequels, and safe bets. Super hero retreads over and over again. And I just realized that that just isn’t really fair. Sure, whole swaths of Hollywood are fixated on turning Hollywood into a stock market play with name recognition and sequels on top of sequels.

The writing though for Coco is where this movie begins and ends. And I promised you no spoilers, but as the movie was unfolding, I realized that the writers had written themselves into this incredibly tight corner that there was no way they were getting out of. And yet, voila! They did. I mean, are these the coolest writers on the planet or what? They were keeping their cool like Kevin Hart and Usain Bolt no less. It was amazing to watch, I’d actually pay to go to a clinic by Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich that created the screenplay… and I’m not a screenplay writer. But yeah, reminds me of the conversation I just recently had with Steeve Leonard talking about his screenplay work on Radius. It’s just fascinating to see how writers solve problems and plot issues so creatively as they did in the movie Coco.

Heck, the screenplay wasn’t the only thing going for Coco. They also had some of the most amazing art direction I’ve ever seen. The character design, the sets, environments and backgrounds. The lights and the over all look? Really a fantastic movie from an animation and art design standpoint.

I happened to have the fortune of spending Dia de los Muertos in Lima Peru a couple years ago, and I was just in Haiti a couple days after their day of the dead celebrations. And the parades and the colors? It was pretty phenomenal. It is obvious that this particular day is a special one in the South American, Latin American and Caribbean communities. And it is also interesting to note just how important the dead are to these people, and how that played out in the story while telling a good moral overall.

And so to see a movie that captures the colors, the pageantry, the art of this particular South/Central American holiday was pretty spectacular. No wonder Coco is blowing it up in Latin America right now. During the movie’s second weekend it took in a total of $69 million in 33 international territories – making it a total take in of $171.3 million internationally since it opened. Which, includes $55.6 million from Mexico alone, which released back in October/November to coordinate with the Dia de los Muertos celebrations.

Coco did well because it had amazing writing, fantastic editing, glorious artwork and design, and the animation was beyond exceptional. It’s no wonder that Pixar is the greatest animation studios in the world (heck, movie studios in the world) and its because of just phenomenal writing. I highly recommend that you check this one out on the big screen. It was definitely worth it.

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4 Responses

  1. Dan T

    How come kids movies were never this good when *I* was a kid???

    Of my list of the top ten movies I’ve seen this year… FIVE of them are so-called “children’s” movies! Of course, Coco is among them.

    Reply
  2. Dan T

    Well, the year isn’t quite over yet… so things could change a little… but probably not a lot. These are all movies I have *seen* this year… and not necessarily movies that came *out* this year…
    1. Strange Magic (tragically unappreciated fairy story produced by George Lucas)
    2. Toni Erdmann (German comedy-drama about an eccentric old man reconnecting with his daughter…. ripe for an inferior US remake that will win some lucky old American actor an Oscar)
    3. Personal Shopper (the movie that brought me to this blogsite)
    4. Coco (see above)
    5. The Lego Batman Movie (the people behind the Lego movies *really* understand their source material… compare any of the Lego Justice League direct-to-DVD movies to the wide-release blockbusters and reel in amazement)
    6. Only Yesterday (an early Studio Ghibli effort that has its big payoff during and after the closing credits)
    7. Clouds of Sils Maria ( I know, right? TWO Kristin Stewart movies???)
    8. Megamind (overshadowed by the ultra-successful Despicable Me franchise but just as [or maybe even more] entertaining)
    9. Get Out (see your review)
    10. Nos Amis (documentary about the terrorist attack in the music club in Paris last year… really makes you feel for the band… and the patrons… and makes me almost question my dislike of Bono)

    Reply
    • Taylor

      Dude,
      You are a gentleman and a scholar. Thanks for the tips. Your two Stewart movies means we align perfectly and you instantly get street cred with me. And Get Out takes the cake. Coco and LEGO Movie, sure. (Aside? The LEGO movie heralds creativity and avoiding the instructions and the rules. No? And yet, go ahead and just try buying a pound bag of red bricks. Nigh on impossible. That’s not how the company works. They make way more money selling kits for specific one time use buildings as opposed to just genericizing the breaks to be able to build whatever. But maybe that’s just me.)

      So thanks for the several other movies I knew nothing about!!

      Reply

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