Since it is Halloween, I’m throwing back to my review of “The Book of Life,” which was originally posted on Reviews of the Arts SA’s Facebook Page on October 16, 2014. Would love to have your comments below. Happy Halloween!
Rather than focus on Halloween, the origins of which are rooted in paganism, producer, Guillermo del Toro and director, Jorge Gutierrez’ adorable movie,”The Book of Life,” is about the Latino/Christian celebration of Dia de Los Muertos – the Day of the Dead, a holiday that honors deceased loved ones. The Book of Life is an animated fantasy about Manolo, who comes from a long line of legendary bullfighters, and his struggle with living up to his family’s legacy and being true to himself so that he can create his own.
The story is told using vibrant colors, ornate costumes, and beautiful artwork. Many of the characters are calaveras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calavera) that come to life for Manolo when he crosses over to the land of the dead. Manolo visits the land of the remembered souls as well as the forgotten souls. He is given a chance to face his fears, especially his fear of being himself and then he’s given a second chance at life. Though it is not intended, the movie may frighten children under six because of the skeletal-like characters, however those that were in the viewing audience seemed to enjoy the film.
While the story is made for children, all can benefit from the lesson – live your life the way you want to be remembered. It is a lesson as old as time. Even Shakespeare in Julius Caesar said, “. . .the evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Even if your career path does not mirror that of your ancestors, living an honorable life and staying true to yourself will carry on your family’s legacy.
The all-star cast, which includes, Channing Tatum, Ice CubeI, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Zoe Saldana, Cheech Marin, and Hector Elizondo, to name a few, make this movie funny for all ages. Go see “The Book of Life.” Think about living your book and the outline you are creating for future editions.- BMT (Reviews of the Arts SA)