A Spectacular View of Another Culture

Review of the Pixar Movie Coco

coco

Pixar has wowed us once again! Their newest film Coco is an exquisite look at the Mexican observance of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), an annual holiday that honors deceased loved ones. As usual, Pixar has created not only a visual masterpiece but also a story that appeals to kids and adults.

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his hero, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

I happen to be married to a guitar player, and he and my son are going to see the movie tonight for my son’s birthday. I just know my husband is going to be thrilled with the film’s attention to musical detail.

Jody and I had the opportunity to go see the film before it hit theaters, and as we left, we talked about how much we loved it, but how we are also pretty sure there’s a whole section of the Christian community who will avoid it because of it’s spiritual depictions. Here’s our take on it. If a family feels a particular conviction about avoiding any subject matter that portrays different religious views, then we would say it’s best to sit this one out.

As for us, we are comfortable giving our kids a glimpse of other cultures and then having discussions about how their beliefs differ from ours. We’ve always found these conversations to be great faith builders for our kids, and we have felt that it is important for our children to understand different cultures. So, if you’re unsure, just pray. God will show you what’s best for your family.

The one caution we would offer is that it might be best to keep very young ones home. There are parts of the film that may be scary for little children.

On the whole, we give this film a big thumbs up for its gorgeous animation, engaging story (it’s The Book of Life meets Kubo and The Two Strings) and fascinating look at the Mexican culture.

Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opened in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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