'Coco' review: Movie is holiday gift filled with visual treats

NEW YORK (WABC) -- "Coco" is unlike any other movies from Pixar, because Latinos take center stage in the company's 19th feature film the way persons of color never have before in the animated movies made by the company.

Coco" is a celebration of Mexican culture in the form of a fable for Dias de los Muertos.

The Day of the Dead is for honoring ancestors, and the little boy named Miguel is most enamored of one in particular as he says his, "Great Grandma Coco's father was the greatest musician of all time."

But, Ernesto de la Cruz abandoned the family, and as old as she is, Coco is still hurting from his departure decades ago.

In fact, Miguel's family won't let him pursue his musical dreams and don't want him near a guitar. That's how come the curious boy finds himself gazing on Ernesto's guitar in the maestro's tomb on The Day of the Dead -- when tradition dictates the dead can return to the world of the living to see family and friends.

But their world has been off-limits to living persons until now. Miguel finds himself there, filled with wonder, observing: "this isn't a dream then." He tells the colorful skeletons he finds there, "I thought it might be one of those made-up things that adults tell kids."

Soon enough, the little guy meets up with his musical ancestor who seems to encourage him by saying, "One cannot deny who one is meant to be."

Benjamin Bratt gives life to a character who may be dead but is anything but done. In the end he demonstrates that sometimes people aren't really who you had hoped they would be, but the importance of family remains paramount.

Words cannot properly convey the visual treats of "Coco" -- which is also filled with great tunes from the rich tradition of Mexican music. It's a holiday present from Pixar with the studio's trademark mix of humor and heart. Pixar is owned by Disney, the same parent company as ABC 7.
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