The Book Of Life Review

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Childhood pals Manolo (Luna) and Joaquin (Tatum) both falls for the same girl, Maria (Saldana), but when forces from the great beyond intervene, one of them must venture into the underworld.


Though he serves only as producer, Guillermo del Toro’s fingerprints seem to be all over this animated romantic-comedy woven around the Mexican Day Of The Dead. Childhood friends Manolo (Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) both love Maria (Zoe Saldana), and their romantic rivalry has caught the eyes of Xibalba (Ron Perlman) and La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), rulers of the two kingdoms of the dead, who take bets on the victor. The lively story is animated in an appealing wooden-puppet style, and while the script doesn’t zing as much as the colourful visuals, it’s cute and likable.

The gleefully Gothic fingerprints of Guillermo del Toro are all over this zippy excursion into Mexico's myths and legends, although the gag-count falls quite a lot short of Pixar greatness.