It’s an annual Few culture writers could be thankful for a fall tradition. Every November, representatives from your favorite websites—including, yes, WIRED—gather to discuss Thanksgiving-week content. (Or “gobblecon,” as it’s called in the biz.) Without fail, someone in the room eventually asks that most doomed of questions: “What about a roundup of great Thanksgiving movies everyone can watch together?”
And then… silence. There’s no satisifying answer. Whacking Day is almost as popular as Thanksgiving when it comes to family holiday movies. You could program 12 straight days’ worth of Christmas movies, from It’s a Wonderful Life To Santa Claus conquers the Martians To Elf. Independence Day is, as well. Independence Day. The beautiful, but scary tale about the bunny could be used to celebrate Easter. Watership Down, providing you hate your children.
The options are limited when it comes down to entertaining Thanksgiving guests. The obvious choices are the Steve Martin/John Candy holidayogue. Trains, planes, and automobiles or Jodie Foster’s For the holidays, home Comedy-drama in 1995 that centers on a turbulent get-together. They’re both fine entries, but neither is exactly made for family viewing: Home Planes features more squabbling that gobbling while Planes has been rated as R due to a few Fs.
And if you’re looking for decent Thanksgiving-specific kids’ movies, you’re pretty much out of luck. There’s not even an animated musical called Sasquash, which is a shame because that seems like the kind of film that could net a savvy studio exec billions of dollars, and the songs are already written (please direct script queries to Gourd4WhatAilsU@hotmail.co.uk).
Clearly, it’s time for a new Thanksgiving movie tradition—a unanimously agreed-upon film that earnestly celebrates the holiday’s values of family, food, and a general sense of shared history. The perfect candidate was found last year. Coco.
Keep this in mind Coco? You do. It was fall 2017’s major Pixar release, making close to a billion dollars worldwide and eventually winning multiple Oscars. In case you haven’t seen it, the film is set in Mexico and follows Miguel, 12, who accidentally finds himself in the Land of the Dead because of his love of music. There, he reconnects with family members long gone. Coco ends with a serenade of the lovely “Remember Me,” one of Disney’s finest earworms, though you’ll likely be too sniffly to fully notice it at the time, for reasons I won’t spoil here.
The following information was available at the time it was published: Coco It was seen as yet another Pixar sweetheart. Granted, it wasn’t as zippy as Amazing ThingsNot as narratively as ambitious. Inside out. And it certainly didn’t traffic in the grown-up existential torment of Toy Story 3The movie “The Movie” is a film that makes every childhood horror seem like a rogue skill-crane engine. CocoHowever, he was charmed and catchy, making the movie appear deceptively easy.
But a recent rewatch of the film on the small screen—it is, of course, on Disney+—was a reminder of just how deeply affecting Coco You can. For starters, it’s one of the best-looking movies of the past several years. The Land of the Dead’s colorful dwellings, as well as the high-soaring scenes can be seen even on an old TV. alebrijes The colors are vivid and vibrant. And the movie’s tone feels especially singular in the world of modern family filmmaking. It’s playful without being winky or pop-culture-packed, heartbreaking without ever becoming too mawkish. At times, Coco feels like Steven Spielberg covering Tim Burton, or vice-versa—a little-boy-lost tale featuring sardonic skeletons whose eyeballs literally fall out of their heads.