Coco (4K Blu-ray) (2017)
|Year Of Production||2017|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (3)
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Gael García Bernal
Ana Ofelia Murguía
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
English Alternate Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
English Alternate Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
French Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Pixar's most colourful and culturally defined motion picture to date, Coco finds the studio back at the top of their game for the umpteenth time. Co-directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and Adrian Molina, Coco yet again demonstrates Pixar's knack for producing entertaining animated features that appeal to children but also possess sufficient emotional heft and sophistication to satisfy older viewers. This is a resonant story about family and legacy, set against the backdrop of the Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead): a long-standing Mexican festival rich in culture and mythos, making it an ideal candidate for the Pixar treatment. Coco is beautiful and almost unbearably poignant, reinforcing Pixar's transcendent abilities and sense of imagination when they step away from commercially-driven sequels. This is the studio's most idiosyncratic movie since Inside Out in 2015, and, for what it's worth, it is their best since 2010's Toy Story 3.
Young Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of following his passion and becoming a musician, but faces staunch opposition from his shoe-making family. Music is strictly banned in Miguel's family because his great-great-grandmother, Mama Imelda (Alanna Ubach), was abandoned by her guitar-playing husband, who left to pursue a musical career and never returned. Believing that his absentee great-great-grandfather is the celebrated, long-dead musician Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), Miguel attempts to borrow his idol's guitar to perform in the Día de los Muertos Talent Show. However, strumming de la Cruz's guitar suddenly transports him to the Land of the Dead; an afterlife realm populated by skeletons, including Miguel's deceased relatives. If Miguel doesn't return to the Land of the Living before sunrise, he will permanently join the dead. Mama Imelda offers to give Miguel a blessing to return him to the Land of the Living, but only on the condition that he never plays music again. Unable to agree to such terms, Miguel seeks to obtain a blessing from Ernesto de la Cruz, pairing up with troublemaker Hector (Gael García Bernal) to traverse the Land of the Dead and find the famous singer before sunrise.
An animated movie about the Día de los Muertos Festival is not entirely novel, as Guillermo del Toro's The Book of Life did it first in 2014, but Coco is a different film altogether. Whereas The Book of Life explores supernatural mythology and stories, Coco is more of an intimate familial drama, using the afterlife as a plot device to tell an emotional story about growth and memories. Admittedly, the narrative is predicated on a proverbial premise that could be resolved if the characters took a moment to sit down and talk, and the climax is not exactly unsurprising, but the satisfying payoff compensates for any degree of screenplay familiarity. Pixar has made us cry since 1995, and this is one of their most emotional endeavours to date, arguably the most emotional. It is not hyperbolic to state that Coco will make you cry as it nears its touching conclusion, which is reflective of Pixar's careful filmmaking process. Indeed, not only is it easy to get invested in these characters and their plight, but the ending is highly evocative, as well. Those with relatives who have dementia, or those who have experienced the loss of a family member, will bawl their eyes out. Stock up on tissues.
Written by relative newcomers Matthew Aldrich and co-director Adrian Molina, one of Coco's biggest assets is the immaculate depiction of Mexico, which gives the production a refreshing sense of identity to overcome any screenwriting clichés. This is not another case of Hollywood appropriation, as the Pixar team conducted extensive research (by actually visiting Mexico) during the long development phase, and the finished product exemplifies this careful attention to detail. The vibrant Mexican culture rings true in every frame, from the family structures and traditions, to smaller details that will go unnoticed by many. The movie even reinforces that sandals are a deadly weapon in the hands of an angry Mexican grandmother. Furthermore, this material is not just window dressing: Coco amounts to a fascinating walking tour of Mexican art, music, movies, sports and popular culture, and it all feels organic to the narrative. Also organic is the movie's sharp sense of humour, with Unkrich and Molina never opting for cheap laughs. Additionally, the directors maintain impeccable pacing throughout, briskly working through the narrative without sacrificing dramatic or emotional development. Another key strength is the music, from the magnificent original songs (one of which earned an Academy Award) to the flavoursome original score by Pixar regular Michael Giacchino (Up, Inside Out).
Coco is mesmerising from a visual perspective - the Mexican locales look authentic, while the Land of the Dead showcases creative, effervescent environments at every turn. In addition, the Land of the Dead's skeletal inhabitants are distinctive enough for viewers to tell them apart, thanks to the expressive personalities and colourful designs which generate a sense of individuality for each character. A few recognisable actors lend their vocal talents to the movie (such as Bernal and Bratt), but none of the performers were cast purely for commercial purposes. It's not that selecting big stars is an inherently bad thing, but Pixar's casting here reflects the importance of choosing the right actors in such a culturally important production. And my word, the cast is excellent across the board, with Gonzalez showing a level of maturity and dramatic range that is scarcely glimpsed in child actors. But it's Bernal who steals the show, delivering a measured performance which enhances the movie's impact. His sense of underlying charisma, as well as his heart-wrenching vulnerability, turns Hector into a genuinely three-dimensional character. It's superb work from the award-winning actor.
Coco is one of the only Western animated movies in recent memory which does not feel like it was designed for maximum merchandising opportunities. Merchandise exists, sure, but Pixar did not concentrate on creating eccentric, Minion-like caricatures purely for toy sales - instead, story and character were their primary concern. It is also refreshing that this is an original film as opposed to a remake or sequel, which is all the more encouraging given that Coco followed a few months after the release of Pixar's Cars 3. The production's maturity and substance seems almost effortless, showing precisely what is missing from the likes of Turbo, Home, Trolls, The Angry Birds Movie, The Secret Life of Pets, and the Despicable Me sequels (not to mention Minions). Flawlessly mixing heart and laughs to supplement the sumptuous visuals, Coco is an instant classic and one of Pixar's highest achievements, ticking every box with utmost confidence.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
4K discs worldwide are identical. Buy local.
|DVD||Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG OLED65E6T. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 2160p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Amplification||Samsung Series 7 HT-J7750W|
|Speakers||Samsung Tall Boy speakers, 7.1 set-up|