THE BOOK OF LIFE (Theatrical Release USA 2014)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì 

The Book of Life—good animation with vibrant color—drops its audience into its story without adequate preparation or setup. The concept is good, but the journey becomes difficult to follow if one is not familiar with Mexico’s mythological beliefs about the afterlife and its interplay with life in the real world. It is difficult to follow the characters and their relationships with one another because the story moves rapidly and does not allow much time to establish character differentiation or to understand the antagonists versus the protagonists. The film quickly establishes itself as a country-dependent piece of entertainment rather than the more desirable internationally appealing art piece. Do some research on Day of the Dead to enhance appreciation of this film.  

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images


Two suitors vie for the hand of a young maiden. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jorge R. Gutierrez for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Aaron Berger,  Brad Booker, Guillermo del Toro,  and Carina Schulze for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Manolo Sanchez (Voice of Diego Luna),  Young Manolo (Voice of Emil-Bastien), Young Manolo’s Singing Voice (Joe Matthews), Maria Posada (Voice of Zoe Saldana), Young Maria (Voice of Genesis Ochoa), Joaquin Mondragon, Jr. (Voice of Channing Tatum), Young Joaquin (Voice of Elias Garza), Candle Maker (Voice of Ice Cube), Xibalba (Voice of Ron Perlman), La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), Mary Beth (Voice of Christina Applegate), La Muerte as an Old Woman  (Voice of Tonito Castro), Carlos Sanchez (Voice of Hector Elizondo), Carmen Sanchez (Voice of Ana de la Reguera), and Luis Sanchez (Voice of Danny Trejo). 

Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. Mexico’s audiences will understand this film better than international audiences. It does establish itself as a good anthropological ‘fun’ study if one is studying south of the United States border culture. 

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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