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Coco

Director:  Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  2.5

Mexican-born Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) grows up in a family that has forbidden the playing of or listening to music (because his great-great-grandfather allegedly abandoned his wife and daughter Coco) so naturally he wants to become a musician himself - one night he tries to steal the guitar of the man he thinks is his long-lost relative, legendary mariachi Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Britt), and finds himself whisked off to the Land of the Dead, surrounded by talking (but not spooky) skeletons ... and is in danger of becoming one himself. The first half-hour had me concerned Pixar was heading in Dreamworks territory - Follow Your Dreams! - but then it settles in, as Miguel befriends poor Héctor (Gael García Bernal) and has to scoot around the lively undead (whose bodies can fall apart and reassemble like in a video game ... anyone else remember Grim Fandango?) to resolve his family's great mystery (and, in the process, combine the power of song with familial harmony). It's a mawkish kids picture that all but begs for empathy, although it is pleasing to look at. Speaking of difficult relationships that definitely extended into the great beyond: Frida Kahlo's in here but Diego Rivera isn't? ¡Ay Chihuahua!

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