The Book of Life – A perfect animated treat for the family
Written by: Jorge R. Gutierrez
Manolo (Luna) and Joaquin (Tatum) are childhood best friends. A dynamic duo. A team. The only thing that can come between the two of them is the thing they have most in common… Their love of Maria (Saldana). They both vie for Maria’s affections using their respective talents. Manolo uses the more sensitive approach of serenading Maria with his guitar and singing voice, while Joaquin takes the more macho road and becomes a town hero for fending off would be robbers and thugs. One day, while watching the two duke it out for Maria’s attention, two dieties Xibalba (Perlman) and La Muerte (Castillo) decide to place a bet on the outcome and each bestow certain gifts upon the boys. Afterwards they sit back and wait as Manolo and Joaquin battle for their true love.
I will start by saying that this movie looks AMAZING! The animation is top notch, and probably more layered than anything I have ever seen. It is truly a visual feast for they eyes. The feel of the movie is also magical. Many critics have knocked “The Book of Life” for being stale and trying to pack to much into the 90 minute long story. I just have one question. What else is new? Do we now judge children’s animated films the same way we judge an Oscar contending drama? What do kids want in a movie? A hero (or two), a villain (or two), a love story, adventure, and some laugh out loud moments. “The Book of Life” has all of those things in spades. I watched it with my 14 year old daughter, and even at that age she was giggling the entire time. Yes the story is formulaic but what kids movie isn’t? Just relax and enjoy the amazing sight on screen that Gutierrez and team have created.
I really don’t get how this movie isn’t getting rave reviews across the board. I for one loved it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun movie for the family to watch. Or for any adults that are still in touch with their inner child.