I’ve been looking forward to watching “Book of Life” since I saw the theatrical trailers for it. I thought it would be a cute, colorful little thing. But it was so much more than that! It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray January 27th. I bought the Combo pack (3D Blu-Ray+Blu-Ray+DVD+HD Digital), and I’m very glad I did. I don’t have a 3D blu-ray player or screen, but the combo pack has cover art that the packaging for the others don’t have. I can’t say enough about how much I love the art for this movie! I watched the digital vudu download in HD.
Say hi to Chuy! Isn’t he cute?
Produced by Guillermo Del Toro, directed and animated by Jorge Gutierrez (creator of Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre”), “Book of Life” has a wonderful voice cast – Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, and Kate Del Castillo make up the lead cast. Other cast members include Hector Elizondo, Cheech Marin, and Danny Trejo.
The movie opens with a handful of misfit students going on a school field trip to a museum. They are taken on a tour separate from the rest of the school, in a different part of the museum. The tour guide tells them about the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos, and the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten. Then she tells them a story about life, love, and the value of being yourself.
The premise is simple enough, and one we are familiar with. Two spirits make a wager over which man will get the girl, and the winner will get to rule the loser’s land. One cheats, and wins. When the other finds out, another wager is proposed and won. Balance is restored, and for the pawns in this game between spirits, faith in themselves and each other is restored as well.
The art is gorgeously drawn and rendered, and very colorful. Central American artisans carved wood puppets of the characters and these were later rendered by computer animation. The story is well-written and engaging. The special features include a short called “The Adventures of Chuy,” and some “behind-the-scenes” stuff about the art and the music. I definitely do not regret this purchase.