Coco (2017) Parent Guide
Despite some ghoulish imagery, this movie offers a heartwarming tale that explores the importance of family relationships.
Parent Movie Review
Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) comes from a cursed family. It all began when his great-great-grandfather decided to pursue a career as a songwriter and abandoned his wife Imelda and their young daughter Coco. To support herself and child, the deserted woman began making shoes – and that has been the Rivera clan’s occupation ever since. She also banned her descendants from having anything to do with music. Even though that was four generations ago, Miguel is still suffering the effects of her edict – because all he wants to do is become a musician.
It doesn’t help that his small village is also the birth and resting place of one of Mexico’s most famous entertainers, Ernesto De La Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Miguel has watched all his old movies and even learned to play his songs on a dilapidated guitar he has stashed away in a hiding place at home.
Then comes Dia de los Muertos - the Day of the Dead. While his parents, Abuelita (grandmother) and great grandmother Coco (voices of Jaime Camil, Sofía Espinosa, Renee Victor and Ana Ofelia Murguía) are preparing for the celebration that honors deceased ancestors, the twelve-year-old attempts to sneak out with the hope of entering a talent contest being held in the town square. But thanks to a meddling stray dog, everyone’s plans are disrupted. An angry confrontation ensues and the stringed instrument is destroyed.
The unfortunate incident does have one fortunate result – it provides a clue to Miguel’s heritage. Armed with this information, the boy breaks into the mausoleum of Ernesto De La Cruz to steal his famous guitar that is on display there. Although his intentions are just to show his closed-minded relatives that they should let him play music, the theft has unexpected and supernatural results.
Suddenly Miguel becomes ghost-like, and he can see the deceased who have come to attend their big party on the only day of the year they are permitted to crossover from the afterlife. He is quickly spotted by his own family members, who take him to the Land of the Dead to figure out how to send him back to the living before the change in his status becomes permanent. The strange circumstances also allow Miguel to confront his great, great grandmother Imelda (voice of Alanna Ubach) and he takes the opportunity to protest her moratorium on musical pursuits. Yet she unrelenting. When he realizes that he needs a blessing to return home, Miguel decides to seek it from a kindred soul that will be more sympathetic to his personal passions. So he turns his back on his relatives and sets off to find his idol Ernesto De La Cruz.
Much of the story takes place in Land of the Dead. While it is depicted as colorful and lively, all the inhabitants are skeletons. This may be frightening for young viewers, especially when much of the comedy comes from literal portrayals of characters losing their heads, dropping their jaws, or having their eyes pop out. They also “arm” themselves during conflicts by pulling off limbs, and their bones scatter and are reassembled after falls.
Along with these somewhat ghoulish images, the plot features a dark villain with murderous intentions. The brief appearance of this bad guy increases the peril faced by the protagonist. Other scary moments include characters fading from memory and becoming dead forever, and large spirit animals that hunt down the runaway child.
Despite this, Coco offers a heartwarming tale that explores relationships in both the roots and branches of a family tree. It shows how the past and present shape a person’s future. Best shared with older children rather than the little tikes, this amazing animation emphasizes the joy that can come from generational ties and reminds viewers of the importance of remembering their ancestors.Directed by Lee Unkrich. Starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Edward James Olmos, Alanna Ubach, Benjamin Bratt . Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release November 22, 2017. Updated November 25, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Coco (2017) rated PG? Coco (2017) is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elementsViolence:
This animation contains some ghoulish and frightening images, along with frequent depictions of silly slapstick antics. Much of the story takes place in the Land of the Dead, so many of the characters are living skeletons. These characters fall apart and then pick up their bones and reassemble themselves: heads are knocked off, arms are pulled off and eyes drop out. These portrayals may frighten young viewers. Characters are verbally and physically threatened, tossed from heights and hunted by mythical creatures. A character has murderous intentions. Deaths by poisoning and being crushed by a large object are depicted. Characters lie, keep secrets, and one breaks into a mausoleum to steals a cherished artifact. Characters are afraid of dying and becoming nothing.
Mild sexual innuendo is heard. Female characters wear some revealing costumes. Characters hug and kiss.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Characters drink at parties and celebrations. Toasts are made. Alcohol is given as an offering to deceased family members.
This movie depicts a religious holiday honoring deceased family members. An afterlife, spirit animals and mythological themes are portrayed.
Page last updated November 25, 2017
More parents' guide for Coco (2017) after the break...
Coco (2017) Parents' Guide
The character Ernesto De La Cruz is an entertainer whose music and movies have caught the attention of all of Mexico. Can fans and admirers be a substitute for family? One of the musician’s famous quotes is: “Seize the moment.” How did this advice apply to his career? What inspiration does Miguel get from that phrase? What kinds of moments are worth seizing? Are there opportunities that might be better let go? How can you tell the difference?
How does Miguel’s family from the past affect his present life? What secrets do the older generations hang on to? What fears do they continue to pass down? What positive things come from their memories and accomplishments? What things, for both good and ill, do you inherit from your family? How can you make conscious choices about the legacy you leave your children?
While Miguel is on his quest, he meets a comical man named Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal) who has a sad backstory. Hector is trying desperately to be remembered on Earth because once a person is forgotten by the living, he/she will disappear forever from the afterlife. How is that similar to what happens to forbearers if they fade from the memory of their descendants? How many of your ancestors are forgotten by you? A desire to find one’s family tree has made genealogical research a very popular pastime. You can start finding your family on a website like Ancestry.com.
Learn more about the Mexican traditional celebration, The Day of the Dead, where family members light their ancestors’ graves with candles, and leave flowers and food offerings.
News About "Coco (2017)"
If the previews for Disney/Pixar's Coco look familiar, you may be remembering a Twentieth Century Fox animation from 2014 called The Book of Life. Both films have taken inspiration from the Mexican traditional celebration, The Day of the Dead.
While similarities may be causing some movie-goers to feel angry, others are praising the 2017 production because it features Latino characters voiced by a Latino cast.
Pixar has been the creative force behind 17 pervious titles, many of which have become well-loved animations and instant classics. Examples are Toy Story , Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. That kind of track record leads to high exceptions for fans.
Coco will be releasing for the 2017 US Thanksgiving weekend. The film has already been seen by a small handful of critics. Fortunately for the company and the anxious public, early reviews have been positive.
From the Studio:
Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.
Written by Disney/Pixar