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What Makes ‘COCO’ the Perfect Family Film

Why is Pixar’s animated movie COCO the perfect family film? For me, there’s one simple reason which I think you’ll appreciate too.

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“I loved it!” each of my girls excitedly proclaimed after seeing Pixar’s newest film, CoCo, at our local Studio Movie Grill in Marietta, Georgia.

What Makes COCO the Perfect Family Film

There we enjoyed delicious appetizers in the lobby bar before the film. Our absolute favorite pre-show food were the boneless chicken bites.

What Makes COCO the Perfect Family Film

Once the movie started, we experienced friendly service as we munched on buffalo chicken pizza, stacked nachos, and loaded potato skins while sitting in extra comfy reclining seats. All of these elements only made watching CoCo even more enjoyable.

Why CoCo Is the Perfect Family Film

CoCo is the story of a young boy named Miguel who unexpectedly finds himself visiting the Land of the Dead on Día de los Muertos.

I have to admit, I was nervous at first about a film that included extended scenes of skeletons. I wondered if my girls who are more prone to fear would find the dead unnerving and creepy. Not only that, but I was concerned I’d grow bored. After all, how much personality can skeletons have?

It didn’t take long for both of these reservations to be quieted.

The storytelling in CoCo is superb. There isn’t a boring moment in it. Its plots twists are a bit reminiscent of Pixar’s 2009 film, Up, but not in a way that feels copy-catish.

Plus, this film is visually stunning. The use of light and color is masterful and enchanting. And the animators managed to make each skeleton unique and personality-filled. My girls and I soon forgot we were watching walking bones, and instead became enamored with each character’s distinct artistic design and temperament.

Yet, in my opinion, what marks CoCo as the perfect family film is its conversation-worthy takeaways.

4 Conversation-Worthy Takeaways from CoCo

CoCo offers us as parents – or aunts, uncles, grandparents, and teachers – a lot of important topics to talk about afterward with the kids in our lives. Here are four.

1. Family Matters

One of the main themes in CoCo is that family matters.

We watch as Miguel wrestles with what it means to be part of a family. He struggles to reconcile the dreams and desires of his heart with the obligations and responsibilities of being a son and grandson.

His journey of discovery creates a fantastic opportunity for us to talk about how God has put us in families and what that means for us. How does He expect us to love and respect each other? And what does sacrifice and “give and take” look like within this context?

2. Legacy Lasts

CoCo illustrates how the decisions we make today impact our future and the future of the ones we love.

The entire storyline is based on the decision of Miguel’s great-great-grandfather to leave his family in order to pursue music. We’re shown how this one action affects their entire family for generations.

This film presents the perfect opportunity for us to chat about how our individual decisions can have a ripple effect. It provokes us to ask ourselves whether we’re making God-honoring choices.

3. Remembrance Heals

In my book Braving Sorrow Together, I talk about the importance of long-term remembrance.

CoCo reminds us of the beauty of remembering those who have died. It explores the richness and healing that comes from reflecting on their lives and what they’ve personally meant to us.

Conversations with our kids about CoCo provide the opportunity to joyfully honor family and friends who are no longer here. Additionally, this film is a great conversation starter on eternity and what that looks like from a biblical perspective.

4. Forgiveness Unites

CoCo is the story of wrongs committed, the bitterness that results, and the power of unity forgiveness can bring.

This film inspires us to talk deeply with our kids about forgiving those we don’t feel deserve it. It inspires us to discuss what it means to let go of hurt.

A Movie We Could Watch Again and Again

My girls and I can’t wait to watch Coco a second time.

Its enchanting animation, beautiful music, and well-crafted storytelling have captivated our hearts.

I hope it will do the same for you.

[Disclosure: Tickets were provided for review, but all opinions are my own.]

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Ashleigh Slater is the author of the books Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard and Team Us: The Unifying Power of Grace, Commitment, and Cooperation in Marriage. With over twenty years of writing experience and a master’s degree in communication, she loves to combine the power of a good story with practical application to encourage and inspire readers. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband, Ted, and four daughters.

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What Makes ‘COCO’ the Perfect Family Film

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 3 min