Coco Review: Teaching Kids to Understand Bereavement

Let me just start by saying that this film is beautiful. Both me and my boyfriend had tears in our eyes at certain parts, and the animation is stunning.

The plot follows Miguel Rivera on a journey to fulfil his life’s passion of becoming a musician. The only problem? His whole family despises music and has banned all music from being played in the home/around them. Why? It’s all thanks to Miguel’s ancestor, who was left with a young child when her musician husband walked out on them.

When Miguel, 12, finds out about a talent show in the town on the night of Día de Muertos he defies his family and decides to play the guitar, something he has been practising in secret for years. However, it all goes wrong when Miguel steals from the dead and ends up on a quest to find his long-lost relative in the Land of the Dead.

From here, the narrative takes a crazy turn, and the audience is taken on a wonderful journey through Mexican culture. I loved the Frida Kahlo appearance, and how detailed the Land of The Dead is in this film, but I also love how the film has a deeper meaning.

It’s really a story of bereavement. All different kinds, from loss, remorse, sadness and forgetting. I feel as though all aspects of mourning came into this film, and it really is a great way to introduce kids to this concept. It’s done in a way that’s sad, but also really clever, which I appreciate a lot.

This film is also about reconciliation and the importance of family values. At first, Miguel’s family refuses to accept his passion for music, however, this all seems to change when they start to appreciate him and put old grudges behind them.

My favourite character in this film is, of course, the animal sidekick Dante. He’s such a doofus dog and I love his character development throughout the narrative as well, he goes from lovable dork to actual plot device, and it’s such a nice thing to see.

I really rate this film, and recommend it to everyone who just wants to sit down with a good film and some popcorn, which is why I give it…


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