"Coco" (out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and On-Demand) is easily Disney's best Pixar movie this decade and one of the best the studio has ever made. It's already won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature and it's a lock to win the Oscar as well.
"Coco" wraps a story about the importance of families honoring and remembering their ancestors in a movie that celebrates the Mexican cultural customs connected to the country's Day of the Dead celebrations. It's not a story easy grasped by very young kids but its complexities make a film that can resonate with adults. This is definitely one you can watch as a family and watch more than once.
Death understood as an everyday occurrence and normal part of life isn't exactly part of the American civilian cultural landscape (even if it's front-of-mind in lots of military families), so "Coco" offers a useful and interesting way into the topic.
Even if you don't have kids, "Coco" is indispensable for anyone who aspires to a career in the movies (either animated or live-action). Both the Blu-ray and Digital HD versions of the movie come with a wealth of bonus features, clips of such insight and detail that they could be the basis on a film school class that encompasses scriptwriting, music scoring, casting, character design, set design and cinematography. The movie's great and the bonus clips are every bit as good.
Here's a example:
The great thing about the deleted scenes is that they're partially-animated pencil sketches, so viewers get even more insight into the process of how films like this are made.
If you've got kids who live in one of those school districts that have abandoned music education, the music features just might inspire them to pick up an instrument themselves.
Here's a complete list of those bonus features:
- Deleted Scenes with Introductions - Director Lee Unkrich and co-director Adrian Molina talk about the deleted scenes and the part they played in the development of “Coco.”
- Día de los Muertos - In this musical extravaganza, the colors and excitement of Día de los Muertos come to life as we meet superstar Ernesto de la Cruz.
- The Way of the Riveras - A musical number in which Abuelita and Miguel prepare their Día de los Muertos celebration while she teaches him Rivera family history and traditions.
- Celebrity Tour - Héctor, a Land of the Dead tour bus guide, agrees to help Miguel, revealed to be a living boy, on his quest to find de la Cruz.
- The Bus Escape - The Rivera family catches up to Miguel and Héctor and attempts to halt their mission to find de la Cruz.
- Alebrije Attack - Miguel and Héctor are interrupted on their journey to find de la Cruz by a fierce alebrije.
- The Family Fix - After de la Cruz reveals his true colors, the Rivera family puts their dismay aside and comes together to repair the smashed guitar needed to send Miguel home.
- To the Bridge - As the Land of the Dead counts down to the end of Día de los Muertos, Miguel and de la Cruz come head-to-head on the marigold bridge.
- Filmmaker Commentary – Presented by Lee Unkrich (director), Adrian Molina (co-director) and Darla K. Anderson (producer).
- The Music of “Coco” - Collaborating with musicians of Mexico and some unique instrumentation, this documentary explores the beautiful fusion of music essential to the story of “Coco.”
- Paths to Pixar: “Coco” - Explore how the film crew’s personal stories resonate with the themes of the movie itself.
- Welcome to the Fiesta - A musical exploration of the skeletons that make the Land of the Dead in “Coco” so wondrous and intriguing.
- How to Draw a Skeleton - Pixar artist Daniel Arriaga gives a lesson on the quick and easy way to draw skeletons using simple shapes.
- A Thousand Pictures a Day - Join the “Coco” crew on an immersive travelogue through Mexico, visiting families, artisans, cemeteries, and small villages during the Día de los Muertos holiday.
- Mi Familia - Developing the Riveras was a labor of love that took the cast and crew on a deep dive into the meaning of family.
- Land of Our Ancestors – Watch Pixar artists lovingly construct layer upon layer of architecture from many eras of Mexican history, bringing the Land of the Dead to life.
- Fashion Through the Ages – The cast of characters in “Coco” are from many different eras, making for some magnificent costuming opportunities.
- The Real Guitar – The majestic guitar that spurs Miguel on his journey through the Land of the Dead is a unique creation. Watch as it is initially designed by a Pixar artist and ultimately realized as a real instrument by a master luthier in this poetic ode to craftsmanship.
- Dante - How the crew fell in love with the uniquely Mexican breed of Xoloitzcuintli (or “Xolo”) dogs that inspired Dante.
- How to Make Papel Picado - Join Pixar artist Ana Ramírez González as we learn how papel picado is made traditionally, and then try your own approach to this beautiful art form.
- Un Poco “Coco” - A montage of original animated pieces used to promote “Coco.”
- “Coco Trailers” - Trailers include “Feeling,” “Dante’s Lunch,” “Destiny,” “Journey” and “Belong.”