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'Coco' brings life to Day of the Dead
Whats in with Justin
'Coco' is about an aspiring young musician who has some otherworldly experiences. - photo by Studio photo

"Coco" marks another impressive achievement from Disney/Pixar and it staff knock it out of the park with this wholly original, colorful, ambitious feature that will take its rightful place alongside some of their best efforts. What else is new?

The movie is set in a small Hispanic village and centers on a young boy named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) who has aspirations of becoming a world-famous musician, just like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt).

However, Miguel’s family has banned music due to a horrible incident that happened to their family years ago.

That doesn’t stop Miguel from pursuing his dream, even to the point of entering a talent show for the festival for the Day of the Dead. Once he steals his idol’s guitar, he is immediately transported to the Land of the Dead where everyone is skeletal and life is a lot more alive than it is up on the surface.

During his time in the Land of the Dead, Miguel encounters Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal); a musician while alive who still wants to be one and he enlists Miguel’s help because he senses a kindred spirit.

This may be Pixar’s strangest effort to date in terms of look and style, but don’t let that fool you. The story and characters work equally well as the amazing visual design. And it pays a great deal of respect to Mexican culture.

Think of it as a cross between "La La Land" meets "Corpse Bride."

Equal parts dazzling and heartwarming, "Coco" is a magical film that will entertain kids and adults alike. And, who knows, it wouldn’t surprise me if we get a sequel somewhere down the line.

The music and voice work are first rate, but the one thing this movie succeeds at even more is its message about the most precious thing in life — family. In a year of mostly forgettable animated fare, this is an obvious and unique standout.

Grade: A-

Rated PG for thematic elements.

Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.

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