Cross stitch pattern of the iconic guitar from Pixar’s Coco. Check out my review of the movie below. Download the PDF here: Coco Pattern
Grid Size: 35W x 99H
Design Area: 2.36″ x 6.93″ (33 x 97 stitches)
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I didn’t expect much from Coco going in. I hadn’t seen the trailers or read any reviews. My friends just wanted me to see it so I did, and boy was I glad I hadn’t passed on it. The film is exactly what people mean when they say tropes aren’t inherently bad. And when you really look at it, Coco is full of tropes, the liar revealed, broken pedestal, concert climax, but they’re all used in a way that’s well explained and justified. The plot point of going against your family’s wishes is so common that it made it into the Emoji Movie. The thing is that there is so much done perfectly that I don’t really mind having a few predictable plot points.
Do you want to know what the best thing about Coco is? There are no subtitles, at all, none of them, and it makes the movie so much better because of it. I have a passing understanding of Spanish since I live in the US, but I never found myself wondering what was being said because the way the voice actors speak tells me more about how they feel than their words. I wish more movies would do this. When you see a band of orcs all yelling at each other and looking around, you don’t need to subtitle their conversation because everyone knows they’re looking for the hero. When Imelda starts singing behind a gate desperately trying to stop her grandson from running away, you don’t have to be told the lyrics to understand the emotions.
The animation is absolutely stunning. I love Dante’s squishy body contrasted with Hector’s marionette movements. And there’s a bit where Frida Kahlo has her dancers rehearse an act and the way they move is so unsettling. There are a lot of small movements too in the more quiet scenes that make every character feel alive… even though half of them are dead.
And then there’s the story. You’ve probably heard by now that feels will be had here, but I never felt like the drama was somehow forced or insincere. The audience is allowed to get to know characters before they start pulling out tragic moments. Even when an unknown character dies, he is given so much depth in that one scene that we really do feel for his passing, even if the scene mostly serves to ground narrative stakes for a more important character later on. The pacing is fantastic and each scene serves a purpose. I never once looked at my phone because I was bored. I did get confused by the part where Hector and Miguel get thrown into a sinkhole for unexplained reasons, but a Mexican friend of mine explained that it’s actually an historically accurate punishment and not strange given the circumstances, so you learn something new everyday.
Even great movies have their flaws. Considering that Miguel is shining shoes and watching VHS tapes on a black and white TV, I have no idea what time period this movie is supposed to take place in. Those VHS’s look worn and no one has a cell phone. Coco is the first color photo on the ofrenda, but De La Cruz uses huge high quality live projectors for his event. The family members are still making shoes by hand when it’s been four generations since De La Cruz stared in only films with spoken dialogue. I suppose marrying young is pretty common, but Mama and Papa seem well into their thirties at least. The events of the movie very well could have occurred anywhere from 1980 to 2000 and that may not seem that long, but it makes a difference to me.
You may also be wondering about the Frozen “short” that ran in front of the movie. It wasn’t that bad but I really think it should have started out with Olaf looking for Christmas traditions and then there would be a twist at the end where it’s revealed that Anna and Elsa don’t have any. Instead we get a slow build up to a lack luster climax. It’s not awful, but they could have done a lot more with the concept. I wish Anna and Elsa’s parents weren’t just the worst people. Yeah, I get why they had to be separated as kids, but why get rid of Christmas? You’re the king and queen. Just have a celebration for each kid! It would be more interesting to see how their parents treated them differently and how different traditions evolved from them. We could have seen Anna and Elsa trying to fit both ideas of Christmas together, but instead they have nothing. The king and queen are the true villains of this story.