Movie Review: The Book of Life


From producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez comes an animated comedy with a unique visual style. THE BOOK OF LIFE is the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Rich with a fresh take on pop music favorites, THE BOOK OF LIFE encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future.


I guess Day of the Dead theme means a Halloween release, even though it is really much more of a love story. Valentines Day anyone? Seriously though, there is so much depth to this movie that I honestly need to watch it again to truly pick up on all the details, themes, and philosophical comments. To simply categorize it as a Halloween movie doesn’t do it justice.

On a visual level, the animation is breathtakingly unique and bursting with colour and light and detail:

Source: The Huffington Post
Source: The Huffington Post

On the next level it is a tightly paced story within a story. It is about a love triangle and the lengths a person will go for love. It is cute, humorous, informative, action-packed… and the singing is damned good. This is the movie that children would watch.

But just below the surface is a remarkably deep movie. All three leads deal with familial expectations that do not always align with their own wishes. Manolo wants to be a singer, but is instead forced into the family business of bull fighting. And Maria is sent away to boarding school to learn manners and is never taken seriously and is treated like a possession because she is a women. The Book of Life was also very against the mistreatment of animals. Then there’s the heavy topics of life, death, legacy, love, remembrance, free will… the list goes on.

So same as it is not simply a Halloween movie, it is not simply children’s movie either. It is a family movie – one that has something for children and adults alike to connect with and enjoy.

I loved every minute of the movie. Highly recommended.


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