It is rare that an animated film can be layered with multiple worlds and keep the attention of both child and adult alike. The Book of Life succeeds at doing just that. It also has some of the most jaw dropping animation I’ve ever seen. I went in expecting a Tim Burton-esque styled story but received something vastly different.
Diego Luna plays Manolo, a conflicted young Bull Fighter who just wants to play music and prove his love to Maria (Zoe Saldana). He has always fought with his childhood friend, Joaquin (Channing Tatum) for her affection. When La Muerte, the Ruler of the Land Of The Remembered, and Xibalba, the Ruler of the Land Of The Forgotten, place a bet on who will win the heart of Maria, the stakes become higher than ever for Manolo and Joaquin. Fearing a loss to La Muerte, Xibalba rigs the game, sending Manolo to the Land Of The Remembered, thus leaving Joaquin to collect his treasure. Manolo has to show how far he is willing to go to return to the only person he’s ever truly loved.
The story drives you along with a fantastic supporting cast including Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Danny Trejo, Ice Cube, and Hector Elizondo. Reno 911 actor Carlos Alazraqui even lends his voice to a few different characters in the movie but I’ll let you figure those out. It’s not just a great story and a talented cast that make this movie so great, though; It’s the animation. The thrilling visuals were done by Reel FX with Guillermo Del Toro producing the film. The production is a glorious treat to behold with it taking over 2 years to create from start to finish and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. In a theatre full of children and almost as many adults, I could tell it was loved all around. I give The Book Of Life 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.