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October 13, 2014

The Book of Life: Lavish and Vivid Animated Feature About Love, Life, Laughs

— Posted by Kenny Miles



THE BOOK OF LIFE, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village. (c) Fox



In what could be the best animated movie of the year, The Book of Life is an enchanting and captivating feast of Mexican culture (the Day of the Dead celebration) where devotion to loving family, reverence to spirituality (also some Catholicism), and a pride of tradition flourishes alive onscreen. The lavish colors, the vivid scenery, and the wholesome story all merged into a majestic experience for all audiences (especially the Latino community). Super cute with sharp animation, The Book of Life makes Fox’s Reel FX studio a competitive rival on par with Pixar or the How to Train Your Dragon series for high quality animation. It was that eye-catching and soothing yet an animated movie with real substance. Think of The Book of Life as a polar opposite to the American, pop culture consumerism of The Lego Movie (which I really liked, too), yet it is somehow just as hyperactive and laugh-a-minute enjoyable.




The cast of voices may not be all-star but it highlights quality over quantity. Main characters Manolo (Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) fight over a childhood love Maria (as an adult voiced by Zoe Saldana) who has returned after living at a Catholic boarding school. Their competition comes across as childish yet serious. Love does that to men. Maria is hardly a push over. She is a strong female character. My favorite voice in this cast was the Candlemaker (voiced by Ice Cube) who looks over the living as a God like figure. La Muerte (Kate del Castillo of the beloved Under the Same Moon) and her quasi-diabolical husband Xibalba (voiced by Ron Perlman) oversee the dead in a Purgatory like other world and have a conflicted collaboration. The whole cast works well together and enhances the emotional engagement of the story.


The Book of Life is rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images but is okay for most children. This adult who has the heart of a kid was in a euphoric trance afterwards. It was that lovable and feel good.


I rate The Book of Life a 8.5 out of 10!

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who has written 297 posts on The Movie Blog

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.

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    Wow! What a great Article, i like it and i am a beggest fan of Hollywood Movies.

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