It’s Pixar’s 19th film and wow what a delightful journey it’s been so far, from the toy box, superheroes, under the sea and even outta space. It’s impossible to expect anything less than stunning wonderment from the team at Pixar and this looks like their most beautiful film yet.
This time we get lost in the underworld! Yup, the land of the dead, and though that might sound morbid to some, especially for a Disney/Pixar film, it’s actually a brilliant setting for some great imaginative story telling that’s deeply rooted in Mexican history.
We follow Miguel, a 12year old boy who has a secret passion for playing music. I say secret because the majority of his family have banished music from their lives due to a tragic past. During the famed Mexican festival, Día de Muertos (day of the dead) where the remembered dead pay a visit to the honouring living, Miguel somehow crosses over and becomes lost with his only way of returning to the land living is with the blessing of his lost great-great grandfather. And so his adventure begins with his trusted Xolo, Dante (who steals the show some of the time) by his side and with the help of Héctor, a washed-up, nearly forgotten soul who just trying visit his family.
The respect and love for the Mexican heritage and culture is incredible, there’s so much going on that’ll be easily missed by audiences not familiar with the history. Like the several famous Mexican late celebrities that make cameo appearances. The makers had obviously done their homework, plus the cast being entirely of Latino background is a grand, respectful gesture and only adds to the authenticity of the story. In fact, as with all Pixar films, the attention to detail and accuracies are always on point with this not being an exception.
Everything about this film is just stunningly beautiful, from the incredible depth and detail of the animation, the characters and creatures, to even their promotional marketing. It’s just so vibrant and lush, having that enchanting luminosity that keeps you glued to the screen.
Probably the most colourful Pixar film I’ve ever seen.
Michael Giacchino does a good, suitable score again, paying much respect to the heritage and the young and obviously talented Anthony Gonzalez performs his part and the song extremely well, but it’s very much the same song just sung by different people for different versions and I was expecting more. However, I have to remind myself that this very much a Pixar film and not Disney movie in terms of it being a musical, which is something that it not, yet music is one of the core themes of the story and plays an integral part and is a good lesson that duly noted.
It’s the overwhelming sadness that actually puts this film at risk, with some viewers saying it’s too sad, or that maybe the timing of the sadness occurring is a key factor. Though we shouldn’t be surprised when we find out director Unkrich is the same chap who directed Toy Story 3 so this might be indication on how emotionally powerful this film is going to be.
Overall it’s Pixar’s latest and most colourful masterpiece, though I don’t feel it deserves the Oscar for best animated feature when compared to the incredible achievement of Loving Vincent. This also goes for the song too, which I believe The Greatest Showman’s “This is Me” should have won.
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 9
The Extra Bonus Point: 0