Thank you to Studio Movie Grill Marietta for hosting appetizers and my viewing of #PIXARCoco. No other compensation was received. Affiliate links may be used.
Ever since my summer trip to the 2017 D23 Expo, where I spent several hours entranced by the news at the Animation Panel, I have been ready to see Coco! The Animation Panel ended with a flourish of music, tens of traditional Mexican dancers and a live performance of “Remember Me,” which left me humming the song for hours afterward. Since the new Studio Movie Grill was opening in Marietta, GA, it seemed like the perfect occasion to take the new film in style. I have some insider details about what you will see in the new film and made sure to REMEMBER some FAMILY friendly points.
Studio Movie Grill Experience
The Studio Movie Grill is brand-spanking new (Thanksgiving 2017)and boasts large RECLINER seating, full swivel tables as well as the ability to order food before and during the film. This is notably absent from some downtown competitors. You can even step into the full restaurant to eat and meet friends without a reservation. The atmosphere is modern and classy, yet attire remains casual like a regular movie theatre.
I will gladly visit this northern dine-in movie location since it’s out of the city, and with moderate prices and quick service, I can go often!
1. Coco Deals with Death in a Helpful Way
The last few years of teaching family structure to Red (and now Scarlett) has been a bit difficult. With the loss of two grandparents on my side as well as my husband’s grandfather, loss is now apparent to Red. He didn’t quite understand what death was before, or how to remember someone after they were gone. Coco goes the extra step to underline death as a natural part of life, while also reflecting that it is not the end of the relative. Memories, tradition, and honor keep your family with you for as long as you remember them. It is only at that point (when no one remembers them) that they die the “final death” and leave the Land of the Dead.
2. Try to Find 2 Easter Eggs as soon as the Movie Starts
As soon as the movie started, Chase and I spotted two very fun and prominent PIXAR easter eggs. The company’s movies are famous for hiding little gems of past (and future) films, and Coco is no different. You’ll hear (and barely see) an ice cream truck pass by at the film’s start… but do you know what kind of vehicle it is? THE PIZZA PLANET TRUCK! Shortly after that, the camera frame pans down a street, laden with Dia de Los Muertos decorations and festivities. Look towards the right… and you’ll notice several pinatas bunched together. BUZZ AND WOODY AND MIKE! 🙂 I’m nearly certain I could feel Jack Skellington’s face hidden somewhere (it would be easy to do) but I don’t know that I saw him! What other Coco Easter Eggs did you find?
3. Look for Foreshadowing
… there’s a LOT of it…
While Coco certainly does pack a wallop with it’s ending (think the first five minutes of UP-type feels), it has a bit too heavy of a hand with foreshadowing. During various parts of the film, I saw plot points coming a mile away, and the intended suspense fell a bit flat when I knew (instinct, I suppose?) exactly what was coming next. Cliches notwithstanding, Coco has a lot of touching moments and places heavy impact on your family (no matter what the shape or size) and honored traditions (sans religious hints). The artwork pictured above was created as inspirational art for the film, but the resulting aesthetic of the piece is heavily reflected in the film. Take note of the “golden hour” light and warmth from the sunset in the art, and remember it. It’s how most of the film looks and feels!
4. Cultural Awesomeness
One of my first thoughts when hearing about Coco was, “I’d love to see how this is different from The Book of Life!” I noted a living person crossing to the Land of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos influence, guitar music and bright colors as initial similarities. Coco visits themes of individuality during the coming of age and has deep roots in family themes while The Book of Life is more romance-based and deals with bravery, but both movies have their personal reflection of culture.
And speaking of culture, Coco is brimming with it. You’ll hear lots of new vocabulary (if you aren’t already familiar with it) like Tamales (meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables in a dough and cooked in a corn husk), Offrenda (an offering alter construction on the Day of the Dead to remember and honor past relatives) and my personal favorite, Alebrije (a fantastical colored animal with various attributes that is viewed in Coco as a spirit guide). You’ll also get a taste of Mexican mariachis, traditions, and family structure. After all, the movie is named after Miguel’s eldest Grandmother!
5. I Want More Dante!
I fell in love with Dante, the Xolo hairless street dog that loves to follow Miguel. With his clumsiness, charm and honest love, Dante is always a pleasure and never a bother on screen. What I WON’T tell you is how Dante’s role makes him a bit more than your average sidekick… But it made me love him even more.
BONUS: Look for Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Featurette (Not a Short) before the film
If you can’t get enough of our favorite little Snowman, you’ll want to see Coco early on in its movie theatre days. Before Coco rolls, you can catch the featurette of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure with 4 all new songs and the cast from the original hit film: Idina Menzel as Elsa, Jonathan Groff as the voice of Kristoff as well as Josh Gad who returns as Olaf.