Yes, Pixar Animation Studios has done it again -- their latest release, Coco (2017), is not only a return to form, but also manages to be their best feature yet. From 1995 all the way up until 2010, Pixar knocked it out of the park with every release, save for Cars (2006) and maybe A Bug's Life (1998). However, after Cars 2 (2011), it seems every release of theirs has been bad or mediocre, except of course for 2015's extraordinary Inside Out (2015). Luckily, Coco (2017) manages to be the second great Pixar movie since Toy Story 3 (2010), and hopefully a return to form for good this time. All I will divulge about the plot is that it follows a boy named Miguel and his dog traveling into the Land of the Dead. From there, the story takes you to startling visual, entertainment, and emotional heights that no Pixar movie, no kids' movie, and very few "adult" movies have ever taken you. Yes, this is even more emotional than Up (2009) and Inside Out (2015) -- both of those films moved me to tears, but never hit me as hard as this one did. It touched something deep within my soul, and unlike most emotional films where my eyes will water a bit, in this one I began to openly weep. It was an emotional catharsis like I've never experienced before. Aside from the poignant elements, the film also manages to be enormously entertaining, with exhilarating sequences that reaches levels of fun Pixar hasn't reached since Monsters, Inc (2001) and The Incredibles (2004). They use the visually gorgeous Land of the Dead they have created to their full advantage, to provide a rollicking adventure that combines imagination and entertainment brilliantly. The other thing I should mention is the score, which is, by far, the best Pixar score I have ever had the pleasure of listening to -- yes, even better than Finding Nemo's (2003), Up's (2009), and Inside Out's (2015). I suppose that shouldn't come as a surprise, considering this is the most musical movie Pixar has ever created, but nevertheless was one of the many, many memorable aspects. In Conclusion, my favorite Pixar movies up until this point have been Toy Story (1995), Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), WALL-E (2008), and Up (2009), with Monsters, Inc. (2001), Ratatouille (2007), Toy Story 3 (2010), and Inside Out (2015) not far behind. I have been disappointed by their seemingly endless sequels this decade, and by the fact that even their originals (Brave (2012) and The Good Dinosaur (2015)) have been okay at best. Even Inside Out (2015), though I love it, is still better at delivering an important message to children than it is being its own story. But with Coco (2017), Pixar has nailed it. It brought me back to childhood nostalgia of watching Pixar classics like Finding Nemo (2003) and Toy Story (1995); the fun, the adventure, the laughs, and the tears. This is what a Pixar movie should be, this is what a kids' movie should me, this is what any movie should be, and it is truly one of my favorite movies of all time.
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