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Coco Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by on Feb 22, 2018
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews one of the most anticipated home entertainment offerings: Disney•Pixar’s Coco. Is this one chocked full of cool extras? Check out our Blu-ray review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Coco, 12-year-old villager Miguel Riviera (voice of Anthony Gonzales) dreams of being a successful musician like his super-popular idol, the late Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) while he lives with his loving family of hard-working shoemakers. Sadly music is forbidden in his family since Miguel’s great-great grandfather abandoned his wife and child to pursue a musical career. Can Miguel gain the courage to follow his dream despite incredible odds and a trip to the afterlife?

Ernesto brags on his riches in the afterlifeErnesto brags on his riches in the afterlifeCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Secrets and Revelations

Miguel has built his own guitar and practices in secret the songs of his musician idol Ernesto. Only his great-grandmother Coco (Ana Ofelia Murguia) seems to be sympathetic to his longings. When Miguel accidently breaks a photo of great great grandma Imelda (Alanna Ubach)  placed on the family ofrenda (offering altar) on Dia de Los Muertos, he discovers that part of the photo is a man with a guitar that looks just like Ernesto de la Cruz’s custom guitar! Although someone has torn the head off of the figure, Miguel thinks this means de la Cruz is his great, great grandfather!

Miguel loves his great grandma CocoMiguel loves his great grandma CocoCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Talent and Transport

Miguel is caught by family as he tries to sign up for a local talent contest and they destroy his guitar. Heartbroken, Miguel takes his pal Dante, a street dog, with him and runs away.  Miguel breaks into de la Cruz's tomb to borrow his guitar for the contest. As he strums, he becomes a still living ghost who can’t be seen by those still alive. Only Dante can see him. In the cemetery, Miguel meets his deceased relatives who don’t get why Miguel can see them. They take him to the Land of the Dead, an afterlife world where the dead have lined up to cross over to the living world to visit their relatives on this special day.

Street dog Dante is fascinated with a boneStreet dog Dante is fascinated with a boneCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Dead Before Dawn?

Miguel learns that Imelda can’t cross over to her living family because Miguel has taken the photo of her, young Coco and the mystery man with him. It is through photos and family memories that the dead can visit the living once a year. Before sunrise, Miguel will die and take skeleton form. He needs a relative to bless him with an Aztec Marigold petal in order to go home. Imelda will only do this if he gives up all music when he gets home. Miguel can’t agree. If he can find Ernesto, surely his musical great, great, grandfather would give him the blessing without any conditions.

Miquel's dead family tries to get him into Land of the DeadMiquel's dead family tries to get him into Land of the DeadCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Meet Héctor

On his own, Miguel meets a forgotten and lonely thief named Héctor (Gael Garcia Bernal) who says he knows Ernesto and can take Miguel to him if he will take a photo of Héctor back to the Land of the Living with him so that Héctor can be remembered there and perhaps see his daughter again. Miguel agrees and Héctor takes him to the land of the forgotten where they get a guitar for Miguel from sad Chicharron (Edward James Olmos) who then sadly disappears because nobody among the living remembers him.

Miguel has a lot in common with HéctorMiguel has a lot in common with HéctorCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Contest and Spirit Animals

Héctor paints Miguel’s face so that he looks like the other skeletal people in the Land of the Dead and talks him into entering a musical contest. The winner can easily get into de la Cruz’s mansion for his big Day of the Dead party that night. Meanwhile Imelda and the rest of the dead family search for Miguel with the help of Imelda’s cool spirit animal (an alebrije) named Pepita, a colorful giant cat. After arguing with Héctor, Miguel leaves him and gets into Ernesto’s party on his own.

If he gives up music, Imelda will send Miguel homeIf he gives up music, Imelda will send Miguel homeCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Another Big Secret

At the big party, Miguel sings, attracts the attention of Ernesto and convinces him that he is his great-great grandson. Ernesto is about to give Miguel the blessing that will send him back home when Héctor arrives and reveals that he, a once well-known songwriter and composer, was Ernesto’s partner in the music business. He had decided to abandon the business and go home to his family but Ernesto wanted all of Héctor's songs so…he poisoned him to death and took credit for all his music! Miguel is shattered. Ernesto takes Héctor’s photo and dumps him and Miguel in a deep water pit (cenote).

Miguel is magically turned into a living ghostMiguel is magically turned into a living ghostCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Final Outcome?

What other secrets is Héctor protecting? Will Imelda and the dead family find Miguel before sunrise when he will be dead forever? Can he get the family blessing he needs to cross back over to the living world without giving up his music? Can Héctor and Miguel get Héctor's photo back? Will Ernesto pay for his crime and will Héctor ever get credit for his songs? 

Miguel is sure that Ernesto (center) will send him homeMiguel is sure that Ernesto (center) will send him homeCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Extra Special Features

As usual for Disney•Pixar films brought to home entertainment, in this Blu-ray/DVD/Digital set there are an abundance of detailed extra features presented on both the Feature film disc and a Bonus disc. Some of the content is redundant but you will probably enjoy it anyway.

On Feature Film Disc:

  • Welcome to the Fiesta – filmmakers comment on an early, fully-animated scene that starts in the cemetery and passes on to the Land of the Dead where we see colorful costumes, dances, etc. This early-animated piece inspired the rest of the film. Cool.
  • In Mi Familia we meet various animators and filmmakers who are asked if their families had any weird customs or rules. Fun answers. The animators visited real families in Mexico for inspiration. Nice and a very relatable extra.
  • Dante centers on the silly-looking street dog in the film. We learn that he is modeled after real hairless Mexican street dogs that are described as “an adorable mess”. Cute.
  • How to Draw A Skeleton gives us step-by-step instruction.. you can draw some for Halloween in no time. Fun!
  • Audio Commentary is with directors, screenwriter and producer as they explore the character and story details and talk changes along the way, special visual effects, voice actors etc. Very complete and a good listen.

Miguel with his still living familyMiguel with his still living familyCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Bonus Disk Extras:

  • A Thousand Pictures A Day is long and offers a more detailed look at the filmmakers’ travels to Mexico to get a better handle on the culture, characters, family life and all the cool details used in the movie.
  • The Music of Coco is especially important to a film centering on love of music. It’s an inside look at putting together Coco’s  very authentic Latino music and how it helps tell the story of the film.
  • Land of Our Ancestors centers on the detailed use of  the Land of the Dead in the movie and how it was inspired by real beliefs etc. Interesting.
  • Fashion Through the Ages explores all the very colorful costumes in both the real world and Land of the Dead. The filmmakers checked out real-life current and ancient Mexican clothing. Also interesting.
  • The Real Guitar checks out the design and craftsmanship going into making real guitars and the one in the movie. Nice to know.
  • Paths to Pixar: Coco is sort of a crew call in which various creative team members talk about their childhood dreams, passions etc. and how these led them to Pixar.
  • How to Make a Papel Picado tells you how to make the Mexican perforated paper decorations that look like lace.. pretty neat.
  • You Got the Part! Shows us young teen Anthony Gonzalez and his journey to getting the lead voice part of Miguel. Charming.
  • Deleted Scenes, presented as unfinished storyboards, are introduced by the directors. There are seven of them and they are worth a watch.

Some of Miguel's Land of the Dead familySome of Miguel's Land of the Dead familyCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Wrapping Up

Coco has to be the most detailed, colorful film so far from Disney•Pixar. It looks and sounds wonderful on Blu-ray and is available on “Movies Anywhere” for computer, smartphone, TV or your tablet. Extras are a lot of fun as well as very interesting and cover literally every aspect of making the film.

Dante is secretly a Spirit GuideDante is secretly a Spirit GuideCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

The story’s music and exploration of Mexican culture surrounds you and the focus on respect for the dead and elderly while a youth explores his dreams is very worthy. Unless you are of Latino descent you might think Day of the Dead is just scary like Halloween. This movie will inform you that it is totally the opposite; a healthy way to remember and pay tribute to loved ones who have passed on.

Héctor is Miguel's Land of the Dead guideHéctor is Miguel's Land of the Dead guideCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Voice talent is excellent and each actor totally fits his or her part. Music is toe-tapping and the story should make you laugh, probably cry and become completely involved. This Blu-ray set is a great way to take home one of the most praised animation films of the year. Since the set contains so many watchable extras as well as an excellent visual and audio experience, we can go five stars.

Coco Blu-ray Rating: 5

Coco Blu-ray and DVD CoverCoco Blu-rayCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

You can buy Coco starting February 27th!


Have Your Say

What did you think about Day of the Dead before seeing the movie? Do you save photos of your relatives who have passed on. Comment below!