Song of the Day #4,485: ‘Un Poco Loco’ – Anthony Gonzalez & Gael García Bernal

Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…

#3. Coco (2017)
(up seven spots from previous ranking)

Coco was the film that made the biggest jump from my original Pixar ranking to this one. While I enjoyed it the first time, for some reason it didn’t click with me the way it did now.

It took Pixar 19 years to have a non-white protagonist (granted, toys, cars, monsters and fish aren’t white, but the actors portraying them all were). They made up for it beautifully in Coco, not just casting an entirely Hispanic cast, but diving into Mexican culture in ways both big and small. It reminds me of the care and respect the creators of Moana showed in depicting that film’s Polynesian culture.

The film is set on el Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead during which the living share a feast and celebration with their departed loved ones. Here, the connection between the world of the living and the Land of the Dead is envisioned as a marigold bridge that opens once a year. But, like any border, it is subject to rules, including that the deceased relative must be remembered by the living and honored on an ofrenda.

Young Miguel, a talented musician in a family that wants him to get rid of his guitar and make shoes, ends up trapped in the Land of the Dead and must find his way home.

I just love the focus on family and tradition, the way emotions and beliefs echo through generations. Coco is the warmest film Pixar has ever made.

That warmth is mirrored in the gorgeous animation, the finest in any Pixar film. From the glowing candles in the world of the living to the neon explosion of the Land of the Dead, every shot in this movie is frame-worthy.

I also love Coco‘s use of music. The film was initially planned as a full-on musical, but those plans were scrapped early in production. Remnants of that vision remain in the delightful performances littering the film.

The most poignant of those comes at the end, when Miguel serenades his great-grandma Coco with her father’s song, ‘Remember Me.’ Her wrinkled face comes alive with a flood of memories — of people Miguel now knows through his journey — and the two share a moment of recognition.

Pixar has patented the late-movie, tear-inducing shot to the heart. This movie has one of their finest.

[Verse 1: Miguel]
What color is the sky? Ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
You tell me that it’s red, ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
Where should I put my shoes? Ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
You say, “Put them on your head!” Ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
You make me un poco loco, un poquititito loco
The way you keep me guessing, I’m nodding and I’m yes-ing
I’ll count it as a blessing that I’m only un poco loco

[Verse 2: Hector & Miguel, Both]
The loco that you make me, it is just un poco crazy
The sense that you’re not making
The liberties you’re taking
Leaves my cabeza shaking
You’re just un poco loco

[Bridge: Ensemble]
He’s just un poco crazy, leaves my cabeza shaking
He’s just un poco crazy, leaves my cabeza shaking
He’s just un poco crazy, leaves my cabeza shaking
He’s just un poco crazy, leaves my cabeza shaking

[Outro: Miguel & Hector]
Un poquititititititititi-titititito loco!

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,485: ‘Un Poco Loco’ – Anthony Gonzalez & Gael García Bernal

  1. Amy says:

    This is a sumptuous film, filled with whimsy and pathos, and one I need to see again. For me, the later Pixar films have the disadvantage of not becoming staples in a house where children are home and viewing. By the time Coco was released on dvd, my “baby” was alternating between Social Network and Inception for his home viewing pleasure. Still, my memory of this film in the theater is that it warrants placement in the top tier for all the reasons you mention.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    As Amy said, the more recent Pixar offerings did not have the benefit of repeat viewing when our kids were younger, but I too recall being enchanted by this beautiful and touching film. No argument from me with a top tier ranking.

  3. Peg says:

    I need to see this one for sure!

  4. Maddie says:

    Absolutely love Coco and own way too many shirts with Coco designs 😂 I have returned to it, though not as often as some of my early favorites. I could see it continuing to climb on my own list with repeat viewings. Gael Garcia Bernal’s voice performance is perfection!!

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