After Imelda’s (Alanna Ubach) husband walked out on her and their daughter to pursue his music career, Imelda banned all music from their house. The ban on anything musical carried down from generation to generation. No one is allowed to play or listen to any music. Instead, Imelda has learned the art of making shoes and has passed this down to her family.

Imelda’s great-great grandson, Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) has grown up in the family that has shunned music. However, he is enamored with his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Ernesto is considered to be the best musician in the world, until his untimely death. Miguel has secretly taught himself to play guitar and sing. He sneaks off to Mariachi Square to enjoy the music while he is shining shoes. Miguel learns there is going to be a music contest in the square on Día de Muertos and decides to enter the contest.

As Miguel’s family is preparing to honor their family members who have died, his grandma Abuelita (Renée Victor) discovers Miguel’s guitar and destroys it. Upset, Miguel runs to the square, desperately searching for a guitar to borrow for the competition. When he can’t find one, he decides to steal de la Cruz’s guitar from his shrine. This act sends Miguel to the Land of the Dead. He has until sunrise to get his family’s blessing and be sent back to the Land of the Living before he is permanently trapped among the dead. In his search for de la Cruz, he learns that family is what is important.

Disney/Pixar’s Coco takes you on a journey from the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead in beautiful style with a story that will pull at your heartstrings.

The visuals in both worlds is exactly what you expect from a Disney Pixar film. The colors are vibrant and explode off the screen. The Land of the Living feels authentic, while the Land of the Dead is amazing and fantastical. The characters are lovable and charming. Miguel, our hero, is searching for a way to pursue his passion. He learns that his heroes may not be all he imagined, and those who may seem least important turn out to be the real heroes. It is a lesson in family and appreciating those around you that is well told, in typical Disney fashion.

While I question a Día de Muertos movie opening on Thanksgiving, Coco is a great film for the whole family. It is visually entertaining and its many musical numbers won’t get stuck in your head like typical Disney films. If you are headed out to the movies with the family for the holiday weekend, I would definitely recommend Coco.

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