Caliann, interesting, isn’t it, that the script at 131 pages is only 105 minutes (actually probably 99 if you take out end credits). Story chock full of action. Here’s my breakdown of the Major Plotline Points:
1–6: Opening which establishes Miguel, his family history, his current family, and… “NO MUSIC!”
10–13: The Hook (Call to Adventure) is the Talent Show notice (“seize your moment”)
28–29: The Lock — Miguel plays de la Cruz guitar and whoosh, he’s in the Land of the Dead.
47–52: Deconstruction Test — Miguel intersects with Hector and they make a deal to help each other, Miguel needing to get a family member’s blessing to remove the curse (note: ticking clock)
72–77: Transition is the musical performance by Miguel and Hector
89: Reconstruction Test — Miguel embraced by de la Cruz as his great-great grandson.
102: All Is Lost — de la Cruz tosses Miguel into the sinkhole and he ends up stranded there with Hector
114–121: On the Offensive — The sunrise concert / Miguel vs. de la Cruz with Miguel back to the land of the living and de la Cruz crushed
122–126: Final Struggle is Miguel singing “Remember Me” to Mama Coco who revives / photo / resolution
127–131: Denouement — One Year Later
As noted in the previous post comments, classic Hero’s Journey:
Separation from the Land of the Living into the Land of the Dead
Initiation in the ways of the Land of the Dead
Return back to the Land of the Living, Miguel a transformed individual with music now at the center of his life.
Coco is yet another example in which traditional story structure can be used to tell an inventive tale.