Monday, December 4, 2017

Show me what you got, muchacho.

It's hard to talk to your kids about how much life sucks.

Try explaining to a little kid that loves his toys, that someday, he's going to have to put them in a box and grow the Hell up. Try telling your little girl about that moment when she'll start the transition to adulthood, and her brain will basically implode to the point where no one will want to be around her. For almost a decade.

Or, better yet, see them through a happy childhood, and then drop on them the idea that their dreams of having a family of their own...might not ever come true. Tell them that maybe the best thing they have to look forward to, is obliviously drifting through the cosmos, slurping chum through a straw as machines live their lives for them.

Go ahead. Gather the most precious thing in the world to you...and break its adorable little heart. 

Or, better yet?

Have PIXAR do it for you.

This time around, with their latest film Coco, the fine folks that gave us Buzz and Woody (before ripping them out of our hands), have gladly put the toys away and set the table for a party. A party, you say? Yes. A party. For everyone in your family that's dead. Including that one guy that was violently murdered. 

Wait, what?

Set during the Mexican holiday, Dia de Muertos, Coco focuses on a fine young dude named Miguel. Born to a family of shoe makers, Miguel's got more soul than sole, as he dreams of playing and making music like his undercover hero, classic movie star Ernesto de la Cruz. But, as the legend goes, it was sweet, sweet music that almost destroyed Miguel's family, and on this day to honor his now deceased ancestors, nobody wants to hear anything resembling a melody. In fact, it would probably kill his grandmother to hear Miguel's angelic voice and/or the strum of his acoustic guitar in the upcoming talent show. Maybe he could enter it...secretly?

No. No chance, amigo. By jamming on a magical guitar he never intended to play, Miguel ends up crossing over to the land of the dead, and well, everyone's gonna find out about 

Which might just be his curse.

Some of those skeleton ladies gave me quite the, something.
(I tried so desperately hard keep this a family review)
Saying a PIXAR film is delightful and touching (and beautifully animated) is about as revelatory as saying I've spent too much on Christmas presents this year, but amazingly, yet again, this is where we find ourselves. I wouldn't say that I enjoyed Coco any more or less than any PIXAR film that has come out in the last decade (outside of all the Cars movies, which deserved to be quietly strangled in a gas-station bathroom), but with their track record, that may be the highest of compliments. 

See, Miguel is the nicest kid ever, and the movie is beyond sweet and life-affirming. Even if you don't have your own brood to drag to the cinema (you lucky duck), I'd recommend seeing this one on the big screen regardless. It's wondrously crafted, and makes you feel better about being a part of this planet. Or, you know, the direct opposite of any comments section ever.

In her day, my mom was lethal with a shoe. But this lady?
She's pretty much Dr. Doom with a Dr. Scholl.
Speaking of things that we should all avoid, here are the Yays and Boos. We haven't been watching all that many movies lately, so forgive us if it feels a little rusty around here. And by rusty, really I mean extra terrible. We'll be back to regular terrible soon enough, trust me.

He may not look like much (neither does my dog)...
...but it doesn't get much better than Dante.

  • The mariachi version of the Disney theme might just be my favorite thing ever.
  • The animation is, surprise, stunning. Coco, the old lady? She's breathtaking. 
  • Oh, and speaking of...the Land of the Dead needs to be seen on the big screen. One of the few times I really, really wished I was seeing something in 3D (and I could finally use my Wonder Woman-themed spectacles...for the, um, spectacle).
  • The Flower Bridge! I haven't seen something so lovely and so floral since...well, just about everything in Hawai'i, but still.
  • Miguel's spirit guide is pretty cool (though I liked the original version better), but Imelda's giant cat-dragon-panther thing? I could probably stare at thing for the rest of my life. Or until it ate my face off.
  • Miguel's performance in the Upside Down was so sweet. Though, to be honest, there were a few other entries that owned, too (was there a goth dude in there?).
  • Even though they looked a bit like Pitbull, I have to say, I was a big fan of those security skeleton dudes.
  • Was it my imagination, or did a stadium full of people totally cheer for the fiery death of a once beloved individual? (my son and I still are still laughing about this)
  • And finally, while the whole film is charming top-to-bottom, the final few minutes are beyond feel-good. I'm telling you, Miguel is possibly the best kid ever, and what he does at the end totally solidifies it. 

I'm not sure what I'm more upset about...
the fact that the skeletons have eyes...or hair.

  • I've heard that starting Friday, audiences seeing Coco won't be treated to the twenty-one minute long short, Olaf's Frozen Adventure. The Boo? They didn't start not showing it sooner.
  • Miguel's family makes shoes. Like, all of them. Forever. The Boo? My insane jealousy. 
  • Abuelita is kind of funny in a, wow, that lady's totally psychotic sort of way, right? But what she does to my boy's guitar? Not funny. Very psychotic.
  • Frida Kahlo shows up for a few sweet scenes and all I can think of is...I never saw Frida. More to the point, I never saw Salma Hayek in Frida.
  • The Final Death is pretty brutal...unless you've seen Back to the Future. Then it's kind of cool. Okay,'s still pretty much the worst, but remember Back to the Future? It's like, the best.
  • SPOILER ALERT. Um, basically, every women in Miguel's family is super hardcore with their grudges and stuff. But, if I remember correctly, Imelda can't forgive her husband. Still. To this day. For getting murdered.
  • And finally, my sister and I often debate the best/worst Disney villain of all-time. Okay, fine, not exactly often (maybe twice?), whatever. The reason I bring this up? The bad, uh, person in Coco is the absolute worst of the worst. This person's evil is relentless. 

If the internet can be trusted (and clearly it can't), The Incredibles 2 is PIXAR's next film. I have no idea what the story is about, but I can already tell you, it has a lesson that will ultimately crush the spirits of both my children. How do I know this?

When the credits roll, I'm going to have to explain to my little ones, that while every other PIXAR film has expressed absolute certainties from life, The Incredibles 2 has bucked that trend. How, Dad? Well, turns out...

Not all dads are big, strong guys who save the world again and again. 

Some are just normal dudes that do nothing but hate their jobs and write blogs full of nonsense.

Thanks again, PIXAR. Appreciate it!


  1. I'm jealous of everyone who gets to see this movie without that ridiculous Frozen short. Ugh WHYYYYY?!?!?!?!?!

    Yeah, the villain in this was hardcore. I really liked this though, even though it really started to remind me of Up at times.

    1. Honestly. That Frozen 'short' was pretty bad. There's only so much singing-and-dancing Olaf one can take.

      He's way hardcore. Dude was totally okay with murdering....uh...just about everybody who crossed him. Nuts.

  2. Have you seen the trailer for Batman Ninja?

    1. Oddly enough...I HAVE.

      Very, very interested in it.

  3. This sounds worth watching, especially if Frida Kahlo makes an appearance.

    1. Yes! Looks like I need to learn some more about her, asap.

  4. So u r saying a dog is there? In a pixar movie? Pass.
    Psychotic in a funny way? So u r saying *I* am in this one too?

    Pixar is not for my "bitter yet oddly way too empathetic to watch without crying" ass. But do watch Frida.

    Lord the not a superhero whining. You are writing this website for ur kids. That is probably the sweetest thing ever.

    Quietly strangled in a bathrooom. Boy, isn't Frank Castle the greatest.

    1. Wait. What's wrong with a dog in a PIXAR movie? They all make it...don't they??

      Um, I'm not sure you're as hardcore as Abuelita, but I guess anything's possible. Have you ever hit someone with a shoe?

      Totally on Frida. You know, if I watch any more movies ever again (I'm struggling this year to watch much).

      I think the intent of this site might have been a 'sweet' idea at first, but has veered into 'terrible'. I'm pretty sure my of-age kids will shudder at some of the revelations in here. And I don't blame them.

      Bathroom strangling? I have not made it that far in The Punisher. I think


      Bruh, first episode.

  5. I feel like I should watch it but then again, I'm not sure. I like al the yays, and could agree with the boos, but man, I'm just not in a mood for animation these days. Must be all grown up (not true) and (or just) very bitter (probably true). Anyway, nice review, I hope I get to see it some day when I'm feeling the animation genre again! PS: It's nice that it's getting love. I had feared that it might bomb but all good, yay!

    1. You know, in all honesty, I wasn't exactly looking forward to seeing Coco. Like, I knew it was going to be good...but, I'm almost at the point where that's not enough (which is really, really stupid, I realize) for me to give a damn.

      However, it's really sweet and quickly makes you feel that little bit of magic that a good story always has. Miguel's a great kid, and the themes here are totally sweet. If you've got the time...give it a shot. I think you'll dig it.