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The Book of Life [2 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD] [2014]-Front_Standard

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Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 3321 reviews

98%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Breath-takingly Gorgeous with a Dash of Mexican Fl

    Posted
    kenn
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    We can all appreciate the brilliant and gorgeous animated films of Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks, but let's be honest that they all kind of look and feel the same. They're either selling toys or retelling old fairy tales, and while that doesn't diminish how good they are the animated field has been in desperate need of a kick in the pants for a long time. Actually, what it needed was a dash of spice, or in the case of the visually breath-taking The Book of Life, a dash of Mexican flavor. Directed with obvious passion by Jorge Gutierrez, The Book of Life is a smorgasbord for the eyes, bursting with colors and energy like an overstuffed piñata. It's good to see a film that doesn't try to diminish its Latin heritage, but embraces it in a universal story of love and friendship based on the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, the "Day of the Dead". The story begins simply enough, both narratively and visually, with a museum tour guide (Christina Applegate) introducing a group of kids to a very special exhibit. The story she tells involves powerful gods, best friends, magical realms, and lots of music. It follows the friendship of the passionate Manolo (Diego Luna), the spirited Maria (Zoe Saldana), and heroic Joaquin (Channing Tatum), all of whom are burdened by their families' expectations. Manolo has the heart of a musician but comes from a long line of brave bullfighters, while Joaquin was born to protect the town from a scourge of bandits. Once this part of the story gets into gear, the animation switches to something unlike anything we've seen before, with decorative wooden models reflecting the characters' personalities, and worlds that are never less than festive. The boys may be pals but they both desire Maria's love, and that's when two scheming gods see fit to make a gamble on the outcome. The villainous Xibalba (voiced by Ron Perlman, confidante of producer Guillermo Del Toro) bets on the brave Joaquin, while his wife La Muerte (Kate de Castillo) chooses Manolo, with control over the "Land of the Remembered" the prize. Fearing he may lose the wager, Xibalba gives Joaquin a special medal imbuing him with courage and invulnerability, which he uses to become a greater hero than his legendary father. Manolo becomes a bullfighter who refuses to kill the animals he faces, bringing shame to the family. When a grown up Maria returns to town, they begin competing for her heart once again, and the gods can't help themselves from meddling. A fun selection Latin-flavored renditions of Mumford & Sons, Radiohead, and Biz Markie hits give the film a distinct sound, and is a smart way to embrace multiple cultures maximum appeal. You can sense Del Toro's influence in every frame, especially when Manolo is forced to descend into the "Land of the Remembered" and the "Land of the Forgotten"; one a carnivale of colors the other a gloomy wasteland. But the real find here is Gutierrez in his feature debut, and in The Book of Life he's created an animated film with so much passion and soul it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as The Lego Movie, and at least for me it's even better. You can feel the love for his Mexican heritage in every character, from the luchadore-masked priests to the goofy mariachi bands. There's so much to take in that it's impossible to catch it all at once. Fortunately for us, The Book of Life is destined to go the way of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas as an annual holiday classic.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The Book of Life

    Posted
    Tommy
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    We can all appreciate the brilliant and gorgeous animated films of Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks, but let's be honest that they all kind of look and feel the same. They're either selling toys or retelling old fairy tales, and while that doesn't diminish how good they are the animated field has been in desperate need of a kick in the pants for a long time. Actually, what it needed was a dash of spice, or in the case of the visually breath-taking The Book of Life, a dash of Mexican flavor. Directed with obvious passion by Jorge Gutierrez, The Book of Life is a smorgasbord for the eyes, bursting with colors and energy like an overstuffed piñata. It's good to see a film that doesn't try to diminish its Latin heritage, but embraces it in a universal story of love and friendship based on the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, the "Day of the Dead". The story begins simply enough, both narratively and visually, with a museum tour guide (Christina Applegate) introducing a group of kids to a very special exhibit. The story she tells involves powerful gods, best friends, magical realms, and lots of music. It follows the friendship of the passionate Manolo (Diego Luna), the spirited Maria (Zoe Saldana), and heroic Joaquin (Channing Tatum), all of whom are burdened by their families' expectations. Manolo has the heart of a musician but comes from a long line of brave bullfighters, while Joaquin was born to protect the town from a scourge of bandits. Once this part of the story gets into gear, the animation switches to something unlike anything we've seen before, with decorative wooden models reflecting the characters' personalities, and worlds that are never less than festive. The boys may be pals but they both desire Maria's love, and that's when two scheming gods see fit to make a gamble on the outcome. The villainous Xibalba (voiced by Ron Perlman, confidante of producer Guillermo Del Toro) bets on the brave Joaquin, while his wife La Muerte (Kate de Castillo) chooses Manolo, with control over the "Land of the Remembered" the prize. Fearing he may lose the wager, Xibalba gives Joaquin a special medal imbuing him with courage and invulnerability, which he uses to become a greater hero than his legendary father. Manolo becomes a bullfighter who refuses to kill the animals he faces, bringing shame to the family. When a grown up Maria returns to town, they begin competing for her heart once again, and the gods can't help themselves from meddling. A fun selection Latin-flavored renditions of Mumford & Sons, Radiohead, and Biz Markie hits give the film a distinct sound, and is a smart way to embrace multiple cultures maximum appeal. You can sense Del Toro's influence in every frame, especially when Manolo is forced to descend into the "Land of the Remembered" and the "Land of the Forgotten"; one a carnivale of colors the other a gloomy wasteland. But the real find here is Gutierrez in his feature debut, and in The Book of Life he's created an animated film with so much passion and soul it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as The Lego Movie, and at least for me it's even better. You can feel the love for his Mexican heritage in every character, from the luchadore-masked priests to the goofy mariachi bands. There's so much to take in that it's impossible to catch it all at once. Fortunately for us, The Book of Life is destined to go the way of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas as an annual holiday classic.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The 'Dead' have never been more ALIVE

    Posted
    kenn
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    Masterfully utilizing the full-palette of exuberant imagination (espousing the fine-Art of Joy in particular!). This Mexican-flavored animated dream-scape (also captured in sharply-vibrant 3-D) is unexpectedly entertaining & multi-layered (in terms of Story). It was written & envisioned by Mexican animator Jorge Gutiérrez, but most of the actual computer-animation work for "The Book of Life" was done by 'Reel FX Creative Studios' (located in Dallas, Texas). But the main reason I wanted to see this film, was because it had been mentioned that super-creative-auteur Guillermo del Toro (of "Pan's Labyrinth" "The Devil's Backbone" and "Pacific Rim" fame), hand-selected this special animation project to co-produce! I surmised by this, that Gutiérrez's "Book of Life" might therefore share at least some of del Toro's Hyper-imaginative vision (with an intrinsically meaningful modern-day morality-play in the mix, for good measure) ==> and was not disappointed, in the least! It's hard to say too much about this story, without giving away too much (since it has more than a few twists along the way). But suffice to say that it covers all of the following, and more: a) the power of friendship, camaraderie, and even true love, that can last a Life-time, and beyond! b) the unpayable debt, and infinite gratitude we owe to our endlessly long-line of ancestors/antecedents (but for whose grace, none of us would even be here!) c) the gifts of joyful exuberance brought to our American shores by Latin-Mexican culture ==> who else could turn the potentially somber 'Day of the Dead' into a colorful fun-fest befitting the best Mardi-Gras! (seriously, there were moments in this film where I couldn't help but think that the 'Dead' characters appeared to be having a lot more fun than the 'Living' and were also a lot more charismatic/photogenic?! Anyway, highly recommended ==> setting a very different (upbeat/uplifting) mood for Halloween!! (these 'Dead' could really cheer our downtrodden-World up, more than a bit!) note: of course I also very much appreciated the many Musical references masterfully applied throughout this Film (and the proverbial power of 'Guitar vanquishing Sword' during one of the key segments!)

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Ok but not Pixar.

    Posted
    Commando
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    I like animation and I like animated movies in 3D. The reason I bought this movie was it was on sale and even though 3D movies are becoming very rare to find these days, I wanted to at least have this one in my collection before it's no longer available. I gave it a watch and to be honest It's not the best type movie for my liking. Unlike PIXAR and Dreamworks which seemed to find the ballance of Adult Humor and Family / Children presentation... This Movie seemed really more so for the younger audience. I thought the animation was done really well and the 3D at best was delightful. Most animated movies are easy to convert to 3D bluray, more so than a live action movie. The 3D in this offering was focused on depth presentation and not so much on the gimmick in your face pop outs. The movie had some nice moments but unless you have young ones in the house, I doubt this will achieve the level of repeat watching as something offered by Pixar. Is it a bad movie? No. It's just ok.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    visually stunning,beautiful back drops.

    Posted
    bluraylover23
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    At first the marionette style characters take a little getting use to,but after awhile you wont even notice them.The costumes are bright and colorful, and very detailed.And when the curtain is finally pulled back to reveal the underworld it is some of the most beautiful backdrops i have ever seen animated or otherwise.The story follows the lives of 3 friends from childhood to adulthood,and how their lives get affected buy two spirits who guard the underworld.It deals with several issues from out growing the shadow of your parents and finding your own identity, love,and even death.For the most part the characters are very enjoyable with the exception of one or two.overall the film has a fresh new look to it.And although it may not instantly become one of your must watch Blu-rays,i definitely feel it has a place in your collection.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Eye catching visuals - good story

    Posted
    DQ716
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    This movie has good pacing. Unlike some others, this movie does not lose focus by telling the story of too many different characters. 90-95% focuses on the hero protagonist. The cultural backdrop of the movie is a nice departure from the run of the mill kid flicks. Hispanic culture and the celebration of the day of the dead is front and center in the movie. It is done tastefully and in a very kid friendly way. These aspects makes for some beautifully colorful backgrounds and intricate character costumes. The plot itself has some pretty simple good vs bad aspects, but it also packs some twists to make this love story story feel fresh. The movie explores the themes of courage, family, love, and forgiveness in a way that will appeal to both kids and parents. I recommend giving this movie to families with kids 5 and up.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A Great Animated Film

    Posted
    SDue
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    There's a lot of great choices for feature animation these days, but The Book of Life stands out for a few reasons. The first is the character designs. Although CGI, the characters are crafted to look like wooden puppets, and the animators succeed completely in making their movements fluid while still maintaining that unique wooden texture and structure. The other reason is the story. The Book of Life is about, well... death. What it means when loved ones die, where they go, and how we carry on honoring their memories while living our own lives. It's a beautiful message that is enacted extremely well. And while the emphasis on death can be maudlin at times, the movie as a whole is very hopeful and upbeat. If you've missed seeing this movie before, don't wait any longer.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    "Moulin Rouge" For Kids!

    Posted
    Bobby
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    I was quite skeptical about this movie before seeing it, so it was not watched in theaters. Upon hitting home video, and hearing from some friends that it was good, I rented it. Well, I was quite wrong! The basic story is quite standard, but specifics are original, so it feels fresh. The animation is stupendous, and every frame is a work of art. The voice acting is just as excellent, with all the actors/ actresses bringing their A game, and being not only convincing, but singing beautifully as well. The "Moulin Rouge" reference in the title is there for a reason- I can't think of another movie that "Book Of Life" resembles more. Both are crazy energetic, over-the-top, love stories incorporating modern songs, with a dash of surrealism/ magic to give it an extra flourish. 100% amazing!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Breathtaking and tearjerking

    Posted
    Jessi
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    Although I loved coco IMMENSELY (both movies being similar) these movies are amazingly beautiful in their own right. Meaning one made me cry and the other made me drown in my own tears. I knew I had to see this before coco was released. I am very proud of filmmakers today trying to redeem themselves and try to make movies that are just as good as ones we remember from when we were kids. And even more culturally diverse. 10/10 especially for the apology song Loved every second

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Appearances can be deceiving

    Posted
    altonb1
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    I take my kids to see a LOT of movies at our local 2nd-run movie theater. In other words, the flick is at the "cheap" theater where tickets are only $2.50 and the screens are smaller than the big multiplex that show the movies on release day. (And with popcorn/sodas/tickets combined, 5 people can see a movie for under $30) This was one of those "Nothing else is playing, so I guess we'll just go see this" films. How surprised I was to find Book of Life to be an extremely entertaining and well-done film. I went in figuring it was just a way to kill a few hours on a weekend afternoon but left thoroughly entertained. I highly recommend the film for families that want an enjoyable movie to watch together.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Finnally something fresh

    Posted
    Rick
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    By far this is one of the best animated movies since the Toy Story franchise, it takes the concept of life and death and turns into a celebration much like the day of the dead itself. I was able to watch it in a theatre in and like many I was getting tired of 3D but this movie reminded why it can still be relevant if used properly. Its a movie that failed to catch a larger audience in theatres but I hope more people can find this gem and be pleasantly surprised; if your tired of goofy animals throwing one liners and Disney princesses give this one a shot, at the very least the animation will blow you away.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome kids movie

    Posted
    JGort
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    My wife and I loved watching this when it was available for stream on Netflix little over a year ago. We just have seen it a dozen times while it was available. After it was removed from Netflix, we forgot about it, unfortunately. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw this sitting front and center in one of the movie kiosk in the TV section. Now that we have a child, we knew it would be a perfect movie for him to watch. Even though at 9 months old he has no idea what is going on, it’s visually stimulating for him. With all the beautiful colors used, it makes a great movie for little ones.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Unique visuals and fun characters

    Posted
    Chris
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    The Book of Life comes from the same creator of El Tigre, an underrated cartoon from Nickelodeon. The visuals and character designs are very unique. The characters are all very likable. The only downsides is that the story is a typical 2 guys fall for the same girl and not enough character development for some of the characters, including the main female character. It would have been nice to explore the cast a little more but that might have ruined the flow of the movie since. It's not that bad but it would have been nice to have. I heard rumors of a sequel a few months back so if that's true then I'm hoping they can do more with the cast of characters.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    ...a refreshing new twist for an animated feature

    Posted
    Jess
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    The long-tell-tale of "the girl next door" is the wire frame of this story but provides a refreshing new twist for an animated feature. The cultural integration of Mexican art, vibrant colors, and traditions elevates this movie's on-screen spectacle of cinematic art & makes it a visual splendor for the senses. I would say that the success of this movie also lies in the assuming fact that a movie of this caliber has not been done before; a Hollywood made family movie having drawn inspiration from the Hispanic culture, with which we share boarders with, and has balanced action, drama & humor with a stylized form of animation unlike any I've ever seen before.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    My children love this movie.

    Posted
    TheMishawakaReviewer
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    This wasn't a movie that I was having a whole lot of hopes for. It isn't one of the typical Disney-Pixar movies that you expect will have a huge fan following or receive all of the fanfare (toys, books, etc.). BUT, this movie is a solid film. It taps into Hispanic mythology and does so in a creative way while mixing in modern songs and comedy. The premise may be a little dark for those parents who wish to shield their children from the concepts of death -- as the movie involves Day of the Dead and bullfighting. For those parents like myself who do not overprotect our children, it is a great film. My 2 year old loves it and requests it every day.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great visuals, story a little fast paced.

    Posted
    Ryan
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    This movie looks awesome! I got it because I wanted to test out the 3-D feature on my new TV, and the 3-D honestly looked better than you'd expect even in a movie theater. I did notice though that I had to be looking at the TV pretty straight on for the 3-D to work properly, or else it got a little blurry. As far as the story of the movie and all that, it was entertaining but a little fast paced for me and hard to keep up with. But still a pretty fun movie with even some fun songs! I thought Channing Tatum's Mexican accent was pretty terrible, but otherwise a decent enough movie.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Terrific to look at, but...

    Posted
    FastDen
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    "The Book of Life" is one of the most visually arresting animated films in some time, but unfortunately the story and script don't measure up. The story is hard-to-follow and unengaging (children will most likely be confused or just bored), and the script struggles to bring the characters to life with personality and genuine humor. The Latin American literary genre of Magic Realism is very hard to translate into film ("Like Water for Chocolate" is one of the few that succeeded, and brilliantly at that), but it would seem that animation would be the ideal format for doing so. "The Book of Life" sadly misses the mark.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Culture and History

    Posted
    AnonymousH
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    This movie appears to appeal to those enjoy learning about Mexican culture and history, even though the story line primarily concerns itself about two boys fighting over a girl. I did not the movie very interesting. The hero's journey and fate seemed rather predictable. Of course, the hero will pass the obstacles through demonstrating compassion. Of course, he will maintain that he will not kill the bulls. Maria will not choose that soldier for certain because she wants someone who care about animals. My relatives found the movie boring that I had to keep asking them to watch it because I paid for it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Love letter to Mexican Culture!!

    Posted
    Will
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    The animation style is very different of any other animated movie (each movie has its own style). But is really about story, culture and spirit of the movie that really stand out. Very entertaining and musical movie. Great family fun movie while you see how beautiful the Mexican Culture is.... (I found this version actually at check out, and at a great discount price $10.00) my daughter was very pleased when she saw that I had bought the movie. (She had asked me if we had this movie on our collection a week earlier)...hahaha funny how things happened....hahaha...

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    More like a 3.75. It can get long at times but...

    Posted
    teacheric
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    The Book of Life is an important movie. I say that because not many true cartoons really delve into a concept that really captivates and relates to a Spanish-speaking audience. Now, Dia de (los) Muertos is a Mexican celebration but it has undeniably gone mainstream. And this movie delivers to the mainstream what the day is really about as it centers on a man's quest for a taken love in the underworld. I would not hesitate to show it every year to kids around Halloween time as it's not of the scary and spooky variety, rather it is of the adventurous (love) story variety. Enjoy!

    I would recommend this to a friend