Animated Day of the Dead-themed movie is cheesy yet lovable

Staff Writer

“The Book of Life” is supposed to be seen as a Halloween movie, but it’s not like other animated classics like “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” It lightly touches on Halloween, making it a film that can be shown at any time of the year.

Displayed as a children’s movie, “The Book of Life” takes place in Mexico and is centered on the traditional holiday of Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos. Two rulers of different spiritual worlds, Xibalba (Ron Perlman) and La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), make a wager on whether Maria (Zoe Saldana) will marry Manolo (Diego Luna) or Joaquin (Channing Tatum). The movie essentially focuses on being yourself and remembering loved ones.

Sound cheesy? Yes it is, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s original and adorable. It’s funny, with charming characters and hilarious scenes. Even though it is a kid’s movie, the film makes the audience relate to and love the characters. There were even some tear-jerking moments.

The movie also featured amazing animation. In the beginning, the audience finds out that the story is being told through wooden figurines, so that’s what the characters look like. Yet, the movie somehow looks three-dimensional. Every scene has so much detail and creativity involved. It looks like a newer kind of animation, and it’s incredible.

Also, the vibrant colors in the movie are unreal. It almost feels like these colors are jumping out of the screen.

The music in the movie is also wonderful. The soundtrack has its own cute original songs, but it also covers everything from “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie and Cheech Marin to “Creep” by Radiohead. These covers leave older audience members wondering, “Is this what I think it is?” It’s hilarious to hear these songs being covered in a children’s movie.

All in all, the movie was great. Event if you’re the kind of person that hates kid’s movies, I implore you to give this movie a chance. Its wonderful soundtrack, storyline, and animation will amaze you. Even though the movie does not focus on Halloween, it will probably become a Halloween classic for younger generations.

Follow Amanda on Twitter @amarkoepolo