Musical Score Composed By: Michael Giacchino
Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed By: Walt Disney Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In Coco, the latest 3D computer-animated film from Disney•Pixar, twelve-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Unfortunately, his family has insisted on keeping a generations-old ban on music, begun when Coco’s great-great-grandfather left his family to follow his musical dreams, never to return. Following a mysterious chain of events, Miguel accidentally finds himself visiting the Land of the Dead. It is here that he meets Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) and they set off on an adventure to unlock the secrets of Miguel’s family history. But they have to hurry…or else Miguel may never be able to return to the land of the living.
The Coco Soundtrack features songs performed by Miguel and Natalia Lafourcade, Anthony Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt and Gael Garcia Bernal, and musical score by Michael Giacchino. By the age of ten, Michael Giacchino showed an interest in creating music for film, combining images with music for stop-motion films he made at home. After receiving a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts, Giacchino took music classes at Juilliard and instruction in instrumentation and orchestration at UCLA. Afterwards, he worked for Disney, creating scores for video games. Eventually Michael Giacchino expanded his composing career, creating musical score for television and film projects like Alias, Lost, The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, Star Trek: Into the Darkness, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes.
The big song for Coco, repeated a number of times in various formats on this album is Remember Me. The lyrics describe Miguel’s great-great-grandfather’s feelings as he left his family to pursue his dream: “Remember me / Though I have to travel far / Remember me / Each time you hear a sad guitar / Know that I'm with you the only way that I can be / Until you're in my arms again / Remember me.” The song is sweet and slightly different as performed by each different artist. The music created for Coco by Michael Giacchino has a traditional Mexican feel, mixing an 83-piece orchestra with traditional instruments like the guitarron, folkoric harp, a quijada, charchetas, jaranas, requintos, marimba, trumpets and violins. As the adventure unfolds around Miguel and Hector, the music reflects the revelations about Miguel’s family and ultimately takes on a fast pace as Miguel realizes that the longer he stays in the Land of the Dead, the closer he comes to never being able to leave.
The Coco Soundtrack was a lot of fun to listen to, with enjoyable songs – in addition to the various versions of Remember Me, I also liked Un Poco Loco, The World Es Mi Familia, La Llorona and Jalale – and a great musical score. The Coco Soundtrack will definitely make any fan of the film - and quite a few folks who haven’t even seen it yet - very happy.