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Blu-ray Review: Coco

February 27, 2018

By John Corrado

Telling the story of Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a 12-year-old boy in Mexico who journeys to the Land of the Dead on Dia de Muertos to try and break his family’s generations old ban on music, Pixar’s Coco is a wonderful film that is both beautifully animated and extremely moving.

This was one of my top three movies of last year, so at this point I couldn’t recommend it more highly.  The story is compelling and emotionally resonant, the visuals are vibrant, and the film uses music in a really special way.  I saw it twice in theatres, and look forward to many more viewings on Blu-ray.  For more on the film itself, you can read our three views of it right here.

The Blu-ray comes with a solid selection of bonus features, spread over two discs.  The first disc includes a commentary track with director Lee Unkrich, co-director Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson; the short animation test Welcome to the Fiesta, which is impressively done as a single take and is viewable with or without commentary; as well as several featurettes.  Mi Familia features the filmmakers and animators talking about the inspiration they drew from their own families; Dante offers a look at the film’s lovable canine star and the real life xolo dogs that inspired him; and How to Draw a Skeleton is a brief lesson in how to draw the different shapes that make up the skeletons in the film.

The second disc is loaded with stuff, including about half an hour of deleted scenes, and a set of eight featurettes.  A Thousand Pictures a Day is the longest of them at twenty minutes and focuses on the research trips that the animators took to Mexico, The Music of Coco has interviews with the composers and musicians talking about their Latin-influenced compositions for the film; Land of Our Ancestors dives into the eye-popping design of the Land of the Dead; and Fashion Through the Ages focuses on the different culturally authentic clothes that they designed for both the living and the dead.

The Real Guitar shows us the work that went into crafting a real life version of the guitar seen in the film; Paths to Pixar: Coco is a nicely done piece profiling some of the people of Hispanic descent who work at the studio talking about the importance of representation; How to Make Papel Picado teaches us how to make the traditional paper crafts seen at the beginning of the film; and You Got the Part! is a charming video of Anthony Gonzalez, who was initially brought in to only do the test voice for Miguel, being told that he was hired for the role.  There is also a selection of trailers and promos for the film.

With all of Pixar’s home entertainment releases, it’s always fun to get a look behind the curtain so to speak, and Coco is no exception to this rule.  These bonus features offer a compelling glimpse into the amount of work that all of the artists put into the film, allowing us to marvel at the technical mastery behind it, while also showing that it was a true labour of love for all involved.

Coco is a Walt Disney Home Entertainment release.  It’s 105 minutes and rated PG.

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