Halloween is a typical holiday where things tend to be a bit on the scary side. Then there’s the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday similar to Halloween, but with a more remembrance and focus on those who are gone from the world. And Hollywood is known for releasing films that are focused on Halloween; not so much on the Day of the Dead. Enter “The Book of Life”, a great animated film that is perfect for the season. We need more films like this, and hopefully, in the wake (no pun intended) of this movie’s release, we will see more soon. “The Book of Life” is an extraordinary animated film that will hopefully gain younger audiences to learn more about the holiday known as the Day of the Dead.
The plot involves a love triangle between three people. We have Manolo (Diego Luna), a bullfighter who wants to be a musician, and Joaquin (Channing Tatum), an egotistical soldier. Together, they are in love with Maria (Zoe Saldana), and try to win her heart. This is all part of a wager between two spirits, to see who will marry Maria first. Even if that means Manolo will travel to The Land of the Remembered to win Maria’s heart.
“The Book of Life” is a fantastic animated film that needs to be seen. The story is simple, yet there are a lot of hints and connections to Mexican and Spanish fantasy stories. The acting is great, as there really isn’t the traditional stereotype of Mexican culture. Yes, there are some English actors included in the cast, but they do a great job with the roles thew are given. It’s also great to see Guillermo del Toro producing the film, as he is does have the connection for this type of story to be told. The editing provides itself with some nice pacing and a good running time of an hour and a half. The music is absolutely fantastic in its score; while the pop songs do get somewhat annoying, it’s not unlike other animated features in recent years. However, there is one thing that makes the movie stand out above everything else.
That is the animation. The studio Reel FX Creative Studios has created some of the most brilliant looking animation in years. The backgrounds are bright and colorful, and really stand out, making the movie a feast for the eyes. The characters are brilliantly designed; having a strong connection to the design of wooden puppets or dolls, the characters look outstanding. This is one of the best looking animated films that definitely shows off the capabilities of what animation can do. It’s brilliant, it’s creative, and overall, it’s just a blast to look at.
If there are complaints for this movie, it would have to be that there are some unexplained story elements. This is because there are some plot holes that don’t make sense, and the story can get a little cliched at times. But other than that, this is a perfect animated movie to fully enjoy.
In conclusion, “The Book of Life” is a fantastic animated film that represents the Day of the Dead very well, and that audiences will definitely get some enjoyment out of watching it.