Coco is Pixar’s most emotionally affecting movie since 2009’s Up. From its very opening, Pixar sets the tone with a beautifully-orchestrated mariachi version of “When You Wish Upon a Star,” accompanying the familiar vista of the Cinderella castle. Colorful papel picado banners flutter across the frame, and the tissue paper images spell out the story of a family that’s established a generations-long ban on music, as well as the young boy, Miguel, who wants nothing more than to play guitar. Miguel takes a journey through the incandescent Art Deco-saturated Land of the Dead to learn the truth about his family’s past. Coco doesn’t avoid the problems raised by a family divided, but renders a touching portrait of a family genuinely grappling with its differences.

More favorite films from the year:

  • Lady Bird
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • The Big Sick
  • Darkest Hour

This “best of 2017” review originally appeared in the Austin School of Film’s recommendations blog, MIX/VHS. Check out the full post here!

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