Coco follows the young Miguel (voiced by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) as he struggles to work out how he fits into his family.
His great-great-grandmother married a gifted musician, who then abandoned his family and was never heard from again. From that moment on, Mama Imelda (Alanna Ubach) put a ban on music in the family, which has been adhered to down through generations. Instead, they all work together to make shoes.
Miguel, inspired by videos and performances he has seen of the late great musician Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), yearns for nothing more than to become an admired musician. He breaks into the cemetery to steal de la Cruz’s guitar to perform at the local talent show on Dia De Los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – and is mystically swept into the Land of the Dead. There he meets the spirits of his long gone family, and must earn their trust – and their blessing – to return to the living world. But should he also seize the opportunity to meet his music idol while he can?
Coco is one of the most beautifully animated films in recent memory, even by Pixar’s lofty standards. Both Miguel’s world of the living and the Land of the Dead are vibrant, colourful landscapes full of depth and life. Comparable to the very best live-action productions, the dazzling visuals create an artistic scope that simply wouldn’t be as effective if rendered with VFX.
Boasting a wonderful Mexican flavour, a beautiful score, and an emphasis on family and culture, Miguel’s spiritual journey is one you must take this holiday season, and it’s also a genuine tear-jerker.
In cinemas: December 26, 2017
Starring: The voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
Directed by: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina