(2017) (voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal) (PG)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Computer-Animated Fantasy-Comedy-Musical: A musically gifted 12-year-old boy, who's grown up in a family where music has been banned, tries to find his long-dead music idol when he ends up in the land of the dead.
- Miguel Rivera (voice of ANTHONY GONZALEZ) is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a Mexican village with his extended family. He longs to be a singer/songwriter like his long-dead idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of BENJAMIN BRATT) -- the most famous musician of all time in Mexico -- but music has been banned in his family for generations. And that's because long ago, his great-great-grandfather apparently abandoned his great-great-grandmother, Mamá Imelda (voice of ALANNA UBACH), to pursue a fledgling music career, thus leaving Imelda to raise their young daughter by herself.
Now, all of these years later, and with the family having passed down Imelda's shoemaking operation from generation to generation, that former young daughter is now the elderly Mamá Coco (voice of ANA OFELIA MURGUIA) who lives in the same house as Miguel, his parents and other family members including Abuelita (voice of RENÉE VICTOR). Not only does she enforce that no music rule, but she also is preparing for the Day of the Dead festivities where the spirits of deceased family members cross over into the world of the living, as long as photos of them are displayed first.
Miguel, however, has accidentally damaged the photo of Imelda, but in doing so he discovered a folded-back section of that photo that shows a guitarist -- where the face has been ripped out of the shot -- holding a guitar that looks identical to the one Ernesto once used.
Believing this is destiny calling, Miguel desperately needs a guitar for a talent show to prove his talent. With none available, he breaks into Ernesto's mausoleum to borrow the one on display, but suddenly finds himself now a spirit where the living can't see him, but the spirits of his dead relatives can. With them thinking he might be the cause of Imelda being unable to cross over, they take him to the land of the dead. There, he learns he must cross back over before sunrise, but can only do so with a deceased family member's blessing, and Imelda won't do that unless he promises to give up music forever.
He refuses and flees from the scene, eventually bumping into the spirit of Hector (voice of GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL), a man who desperately wants to cross over into the land of the living but has been denied. Overhearing that Hector knows Ernesto -- who's to perform a concert in the land of the dead -- Miguel teams up with him, promising that if he gets to meet his idol -- who he's now sure is his long-lost, great-great-grandfather -- he'll return to the land of the living and put out Hector's photo so that he can cross over. But with time running out before sunrise, it's uncertain if that plan is going to work.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- It's a good bet many will.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
- For thematic elements.
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