The Book of Life Movie Review *Plus Giveaway!*
Ah, The Book of Life… How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
If you can’t tell… I really enjoyed this movie. I knew I was going to like it, but I didn’t expect to absolutely ADORE it. Imagine a glorious hybrid between Tim Burton’s the Corpse Bride and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and then set it in Mexico. THAT’S WHAT THE BOOK OF LIFE IS LIKE, ONLY BETTER THAN HOW I DESCRIBED IT. From Jorge Gutierrez, the mind that brought you the glory that was Nickelodeon’s El Tigre and Guillermo Del Toro the lord of all that is fantasy himself comes an animated spectacle unlike any other.
*Jorge’s El Tigre and Guillermo’s Pan’s Labyrinth*
Before I get into this too much I’ll give you a quick summary! Three childhood friends Manolo, Maria and Joaquin are reunited after years of separation. The two men quickly start to try and win her affections only for tragedy to strike. The fates of these three will decide the future of both the town they live in and the underworld itself!
First things first. The art and animation were utterly stunning. Jorge’s style translates beautifully into 3D animation. The whole film looks like the love child between Little Big Planet and El Tigre, which is a fantastic combination. I found myself lost in all the little details that graced the silver screen. Seriously just look at main man Manolo’s bull fighter outfit, it’s amazing. Since the characters in The Book of Life mimic puppets, the wood texturing on them is highly detailed and well thought out. The graining helped to even indicate the age on the characters! Genius! I promise you that The Book of Life is eye candy with some serious Mexican flair.
*I mean JUST look at it!!! Click for a larger image! :)*
Aside from visuals the voice acting and soundtrack are phenomenal. Diego Luna is Manolo, the hero of this story with Channing Tatum as his best friend/rival Joaquin. Leading lady Maria is played by none other than Zoe Saldana who I swear is in everything cool. Fans of Guillermo Del Toro should immediately notice who is playing the role of the villain Xibalba (wink wink, nudge nudge). Now I don’t want to spoil anything about the soundtrack since it is so very very cool, but let me just say this one bit. Any animated film that does a cover of Radiohead’s Creep is automatic two thumbs up for me. I have had this soundtrack on repeat since I left the theater and I don’t have any plans to change that.
Another great thing about The Book of Life is how deftly the portrayal of family and other relationships are presented. I especially enjoyed the friendship between Manolo, Joaquin and Maria. They are friends first and foremost and almost nothing seems to change that. While most films portray the main character’s rival in a negative light, The Book of Life does not. Joaquin is a great character and has his own strengths that add to the film. Honestly I would have been fine with Maria loving either of them. Maria herself is a wonderful representation of strong female characters. She’s cool and tough, but that doesn’t stop her from being feminine. SHE WAS JUST SO COOL. While all these characters are awesome, they each had their own flaws and problems to face that most definitely prevented any Mary Sue like behavior.
If you enjoy beautifully animated films with well-rounded characters and a great soundtrack you will enjoy this film. I think that you should definitely give this film a try. Learning about Mexican folk lore and the power of love and friendship in one film?!? Count me in. XD
This week’s giveaway is inspired by The Book of Life! I’ve got a Book of Life La Muerte lanyard, Book of Life skeleton earrings and more candy and comics up for grabs!
Here’s how you win!
Donate any amount to The Geek Lyfe’s Extra Life fundraising page (Either to Darth Mexican or I) and comment what your favorite animated film is! 😀
Winner will be announced next Thursday! Good luck guys!!