Film, Animation
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(10user reviews)

Being dead has never looked as fun as it does in Pixar’s latest adventure, bursting with skeletons, magical spells and Mexico’s annual Day of the Dead.

After a few iffy efforts – at least by its own lofty standards – Pixar follows the marvelously mind-bending 'Inside Out' with a Mexico-set adventure that bubbles with wit and daring. Effortlessly gliding between kid-friendly spectacle and heart-tugging emotion by way of surrealist touches and a hilariously specific recurring joke about Frida Kahlo’s unibrow, 'Coco' is a goofy joy from start to finish.

Committing full bore to its setting – Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival – 'Coco' introduces its hero, 12-year-old Miguel (voiced by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez), as a frustrated musician growing up in a family where music is banned. On the eve of the festivities, he pays a visit to an ofrenda, his clan’s ancestral altar, where an encounter with a magical guitar sends him spinning into the afterlife on a quest to find his great-great-grandfather, a puffed-up matinee idol, and win his blessing to become a musician.

Cue songs, color and a shady prankster called Héctor (voiced by Gael García Bernal) with a speciality in physical comedy. There’s a scrappy canine sidekick, skeletons galore and beautifully imagined barrios crammed into this undead fantasia. It’s a glorious tribute to Mexican tradition that tips a sombrero to the animated work of Ray Harryhausen and Hayao Miyazaki, too.

The story occasionally seems a little too deferential to its folkloric inspirations. Giant spirit animals swoop in and out of the action, shifting characters from A to B a touch too conveniently. They feel like they belong in a different movie, possibly one where they team up with the eagles in 'The Hobbit' and set up a new form of Uber.

These are smallish grumbles, though. In the spirit of writer-director Lee Unkrich’s last movie, 'Toy Story 3', genuinely tough themes are tackled (illegal immigration and dementia) without the mood ever souring. If it’s a tier below the studio’s very best, its freshness still bodes well for Pixar’s future. As sweet as sugared churros and as vibrant as a fiesta, 'Coco' is a charm.

By: Phil de Semlyen


Release details

Release date:
Friday January 19 2018
109 mins

Cast and crew

Lee Unkrich
Adrian Molina, Matthew Aldrich

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Coco has a lovely message behind it celebrating the importance of family and respecting your ancestors and the joy of music. An imaginative animation commemorating The Day of the Dead with an unexpected twist and a beautiful moment towards the end that would bring a tear to anyone’s eye. 


Coco is such a beautiful movie! This one is situated in Mexico on the Day of the Dead (Dia de los muertos). Miguel, a very sweet kid grew up loving music but music was not allowed in the family because of a sad incident in family history. He ends up having a beautiful adventure discovering himself and his family's past! And it has got a plot twist that you won't see it coming! I did cry in the end. I cried a lot! But don't get me wrong, they were mostly tears of joy and the movie is also full of funny moments, amazing music and graphics! One thing is for sure Pixar knows how to make animations that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults!!

Wow, the animation in this is phenomenal (as you expect from a Pixar production) The vistas of the city of the dead are spectacular. This is a beautiful film & is a fantastic spotlight on the Day of the Dead celebration & the Mexican traditions & culture. I learnt a lot & would now love to visit Mexico during this festive period. Great characters & good plot. My only gripe was it all felt a bit twee & not enough sly jokes for the adults that their other films excel in.


Coco combines the best aspects of Disney Pixar: humour, originality and an emotional punch. 

Coco feels like a genuine and culturally sensitive representation of Mexican Day of the Dead festivities, and effectively weaves a universal message of family and remembrance into an afterlife caper. There are some laughs, but more tears. 

This isn't a film to watch when you want light-hearted fluff, but it will leave you with a sense of gratitude and awareness of your family and the world around you. Which, for a film that is supposedly "for kids", is an impressive feat. 


It's not quite in the upper echelons of the Pixar canon but is very good nonetheless. It places strong emphasis on the bonds of family and will tug on the heart strings by the end. It's visually stunning as you would expect and shines a light on a culture that doesn't often get covered in mainstream movies.


i keep saying this but boy oh boy animations just keep on getting better!

Coco was endearing with music you find yourself singing days later. The storyline itself is all based around the Mexican tradition of "dios de los muertos" day of the dead.... I really enjoyed it and even the twist at the end I never saw coming.

Very enjoyable indeed


Coco is a joy to watch, no matter how old you are. I have to admit, when I saw the advert for Coco I wasn't really fussed by it, but how wrong was I? It had me laughing and crying tears of joy and tears of sadness. I don't know how they managed to portray subjects such as death, alzheimers, and family in such a way. Coco definitely tugs on the heart strings!


What a sweet film! The storyline focuses on a young boy, Miguel, whose family have not allowed any mention of music for many years, since a great grandmother was left by a musician. The story then focuses on Miguel's love for music, and how he overcomes his family's ban! Just gorgeous, and I cried at the end...


Coco really is a very endearing film. Set in South America, it is el dia del muerte, the festival which celebrates the life of family members no longer with us. Skeletons feature largely. Although a young boy is deprived of contact with all music for reasons which become clear very early on in the film, he feels compelled to make his musical talents heard and make music part of his life.No-one makes this easy for him. He has all sorts of adventures along the way and Pixar create a wonderful world, both living and dead!


Coco is a lovely film. Great animation effects as you’d expect from Pixar and a great story - and culturally very respectful. My daughters are half South American and they felt it warmly reflected their roots. Plenty of laughter but some bittersweet tears too. The theme of remembrance is so important and you would be a very hard person if it doesn’t cause some reflection. Firmly recommended.