Coco (2017)

I thought I disliked Olaf the snowman because he falls apart all the time, but I didn’t dislike Miguel’s skeleton ancestors in Coco when they fell apart (over and over again) in the oddly godless land of the dead, so it must be something else about Olaf that rubs me the wrong way. Sadly, the creators of Frozen made him the central character in the animated short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, which played before Coco.

Coco was totally worth the wait, however. The storytelling was crystal clear, emotional, and well-structured, with appropriate foreshadowing, lots of call-backs, and some stunning visuals. I couldn’t believe that a couple of adults next to me in the theater found it hard to stay awake; I found it hard not to cry.

Coco is the story of Miguel, the youngest in a long line of Mexican shoemakers. Coco is Miguel’s ancient great-grandmother. Coco and her mother were abandoned by an aspiring music man, so no one in the family is allowed to sing or play an instrument. They’re all fine with that… except Miguel. He wants nothing more than to be allowed to develop his musical talent. Eager to prove himself, he tries to steal the guitar from the tomb of a famous local musician so he can enter a competition being held as part of the town’s Day of the Dead celebrations. The theft doesn’t go as planned, and Miguel finds himself on a quest that teaches him about the dangers of ambition and the value of family.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/coco-2017/id1307301491

See below for a plot summary with SPOILERS in the form of a beat sheet in the style described in Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat.

Continue reading Coco (2017)

Cars 3 (2017)

I was wondering what the core idea would be for this movie. Cars 2 took the racers around the world. Where would Lightning McQueen go next? What was bigger and better?

The moviemakers obviously had a very different idea. They didn’t go bigger and better, they went deeper. The second sequel to Cars is about the passage of time and the passing of the torch; it’s about generations past and future, and the changing roles we play in our lives.

The settings include a gorgeous montage of roadside scenery across the US, plus nostalgic vignettes of a fictional sleepy town thought to be located somewhere in the Carolina mountains.

It was sad, it was happy, it was very American… and it was good.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/cars-3/id1242569993