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Book of Life

On the Day of the Dead, kids on the “detention bus” arrive at the museum and get a rather extraordinary tour. The tour guide tells them the story of three friends, two boys and a girl, who are separated when the girl is sent off to Spain for school. She returns as an adult, and the two young men, the want-a-be hero and a romantic guitar player who does not like to kill bulls, vie for her affections. The story is really not that unusual, but the way it is told in the movie is really such fun. The animation is wonderful; every scene is full of color and action, and the pace of the film is fast and never gets boring. The music is fun; there are a lot of fresh and interesting takes on some classic pop songs. I also loved the interesting take on the context for the day of the dead celebration. Big thumbs up for a movie that could have been more “edgy”, but in the end it is a wonderful celebration of life (and death) and of memories (the past) and future possibilities. I thought this a really nice “all-ages” story (2014; 4 stars).

About Gary Burkholder

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