Reviewed by: Carrie Pflug—first time reviewer
The importance of forgiveness
Music in the Bible
Dia de Muertos—The Mexican day of the dead
The practice of lighting candles for the dead for more than simple remembrance or honor
What is DEATH? and why does it exist? Answer in the Bible
What does the Bible say really happens to people after they die?
What are FAMILIAR SPIRITS? Does the Bible support the existence of GHOSTS—dead souls lingering on Earth? Answer
What is a NECROMANCER? Answer
After we supposed to WORSHIP THE DEAD? Absolutely not. Honoring one’s family is fine, but the pagan practices of bring gifts to the dead and praying to them or attempting to consult with them is definitely wrong.
What is the OCCULT? Answer
Anthony Gonzalez … Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old aspiring musician (voice)
Gael García Bernal … Héctor, a charming trickster in the Land of the Dead and Miguel’s great-great grandfather (voice)
Alanna Ubach … Mamá Imelda Rivera, Miguel’s late great-great-grandmother, Héctor's wife, Coco’s mother and the matriarch of the Rivera family (voice)
Benjamin Bratt … Ernesto de la Cruz, famous Mexican musician and Miguel’s idol (voice)
Edward James Olmos … Chicharrón, friend of Hector in the Land of the Dead (voice)
John Ratzenberger … Juan Ortodoncia, skeleton in the Land of the Dead (voice)
Cheech Marin … Corrections Officer (voice)
Renée Victor (Renee Victor) … Abuelita Elena Rivera, Miguel’s grandmother who enforces music ban (voice)
Ana Ofelia Murguía … Mamá Coco Rivera, Miguel’s great-grandmother and the daughter of Héctor and Imelda (voice)
Alfonso Arau … Papá Julio Rivera, Miguel’s late great-grandfather and Coco’s husband (voice)
Jaime Camil … Papá Enrique Rivera, Miguel’s father (voice)
Sofía Espinosa … Mamá Luisa Rivera, Miguel’s mother (voice)
Herbert Siguenza … Tío Oscar / Tío Felipe (voice)
Gabriel Iglesias … Clerk (voice)
See all »
|Director:||Lee Unkrich—“Toy Story 3,” “Finding Nemo” (2003)|
|Producer:||Pixar Animation Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
Darla K. Anderson
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
A message of forgiveness and family love mixed with erroneous pagan messages about the afterlife
Pixar has come out with some of the most genuinely clever, funny and touching features in the history of animated film. They have always been based on creative, accessible and family-friendly subjects, such as toys, bugs, fish and cars. “Coco,” however, though funny and touching at times, in my opinion, has crossed over to a different sort of subject. It introduces a look into a so-called “Land of the Dead” and spirit guides.
The dead (walking bones with lots of personality, talent and life stories) must be remembered by their families yearly in order to survive in their world of the dead. To me, this is reminiscent of the unbiblical practice of praying for (or “remembering”) souls in “purgatory” to atone for their sins in life, so that they may be allowed to go on to Heaven.
From a Biblical standpoint, this is not accurate; there is no place of purgatory or second chances after death. Regenerate saved souls go directly to be with God (eternal life), and the wicked who have rejected God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation go to await The Final Judgment where they will justly sentenced to eternal death. The Bible states in Hebrews 9:27,
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes the judgment.”
“…absent from the body, and…present with the Lord.” —2 Corinthians 5:8
Also, disturbing are the cute, terrible and colorful spirit guides who help the dead through various trials. Deuteronomy 18:11 states,
These to me are the most objectionable aspects of “Coco.” The whole movie takes us to this strange world—a dark place—but seemingly harmless, as it appears animated—colorful, musical and seemingly normal and happy. This is a very misleading depiction of what follows physical death, and it presents a bizarre afterlife without the reality of Heaven, Hell or the need for the Gospel.
In God’s sight, it is totally unacceptable for a Christian to refuse to forgive others.
Remember the parable of the master who forgave a guilty man who owed him an amount so enormous that he could never hope to pay it back? The master completely forgave him. But, afterward, that forgiven man roughly grabbed another who owed him a very small amount, and allowed him no time to repay—showed him no mercy—and threw him into prison. When the master heard of this, he was FURIOUS and his punishment was swift.
In that parable, the Master represents God. And the forgiven man represents you, IF you have similarly FAILED to forgive another, when Christ’s blood has paid your unpayable debt to God, and He has forgiven you for everything you have ever done wrong—and for your continuing failures to do everything that is truly right and good.
The story is of Miguel growing up in a family that has harbored unforgiveness for generations toward a great-great grandfather. This has crippled him from following his talent for playing guitar and singing. He disobeys his family’s demands of never playing music and that triggers a chain of events that causes him to enter the world of the dead.
He comes close to joining the dead, as well, unless he can get the blessing of these dead relatives. He ultimately finds his real great-great grandfather and uncovers the reason why he disappeared from the world of the living and caused his family’s unforgiveness. The source of this disappearance involves a murder (and some may find that point offensive).
Ultimately, there is forgiveness in Manuel’s family, which is the most touching part of the story. Forgiveness always releases people from many problems and allows love to heal.
“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” —Psalm 32:1
This to me was the best part of the film, because it does bring out the major importance of forgiveness for all people.
However, all in all, I cannot recommend this Pixar feature for family viewing due to its departure into a dark and misleading world, failing to portray any truth about death and the afterlife—instead celebrating cultural practices that are displeasing to God. As a family film, I would like to have seen Mexican culture presented in a whole different set of circumstances.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.