Starring the voices of Anthony Gonzales, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
Directed by Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina
Animation titan Pixar has hit another home run, this time with a ghost story! The studio’s 19th movie — co-directed by Toy Story 3’s Lee Unkrich — is set around Dia de los Muertos, aka Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday honouring the dearly departed.
On that day, aspiring guitarist Miguel (newcomer Anthony Gonzales) magically crosses over to the Land of the Dead, a bustling afterlife metropolis where everyone is a skeleton. There, he meets his music-hating ancestors, a musical idol (Benjamin Bratt) who may or may not be a long-lost kin, and a chatty trickster-cum-guide named Hector (Gael García Bernal).
Revisiting familiar Pixar themes of family, tradition, loss and reconciliation, this great-beyond adventure is emotional, exhilarating and visually sumptuous — picture a Latino take on Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away by way of Monster Inc. and Inside Out.
Long after the credits have ended, two things will continue to haunt you: the melancholy lullaby ‘Remember Me’ by ‘Let It Go’ scribes Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and the question, can a spirit live forever? Have fun explaining it to the kids. (****)