Movie Review: The Book of Life (marked spoiler)

The Book of Life - Twentieth Century Fox, Reel FX Animation Studios, and Chatrone - movie poster - from

Technically the film came two weeks early.

This animated trip through the Mexican Day of the Dead, produced in part by Guillermo del Toro but directed by Jorge Gutierrez, is a movie completely at odds with itself from start to finish. The art style, in which the characters look like highly articulated wooden dolls and are surrounded by endless bursts of color, is incredible and is like nothing I’ve ever seen in a movie. The story is an unfocused mess, pouring father-child issues, animal rights, women’s rights, romance, personal maturity, and self-determination into one film whose central good-versus-evil plot is as multilayered as the setting itself. The story really is a gorgeous and well-meaning celebration of a culture viewers might be unfamiliar with, but ultimately its appeal will depend on how much you expect a movie’s logic to hold up under scrutiny.

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