“Coco” and “Spirited Away”

Anyone else see the trailer yet for the new Pixar animated film “Coco”?

Everyone is comparing the movie to “The Book of Life”, and hey, okay.

But I’m amazed that nobody has mentioned that the sequence where the protagonist first enters the spirit world was pretty much taken wholesale from the opening scene of “Spirited Away”.

Yes, “Stuck in fairy land” stories are nothing new. I get that. But watch closely. Individual moments and lines of dialogue from “Spirited Away” are practically just duplicated outright. At one point, our newly transparent protagonist looks at himself and freaks out…just like what happened in “Spirited Away”. Then he yells “I must be dreaming!”…also almost word for word a line in “Spirited Away”.

What’s funny is that I saw this trailer while at the theater to see an airing of “The Castle of Cagliostro”. The movie started with an interview with John Lasseter, apparently a huge fan of “Cagliostro” and a friend of Miyazaki. And after seeing Lasseter gush with the enthusiasm of a ten year old about his love for Miyazaki’s work, I find it hard to believe they didn’t know what they were doing.

I don’t really have anything bad to say here. I just find it interesting. Even the geniuses at Pixar will occasionally decide that copying somebody outright is the way to go, so don’t be afraid to do it yourself as long as you keep things in reasonable limits and attempt to tell your own story.