Halloween was a weird one. All day it had been so hot and muggy. Even while my kids were trick or treating it was pretty warm. Then, right after we had wrapped up our evening, it starting raining so hard. We had horrible wind, thunder, lightning. It was a true storm and it was fantastic. The next day my son had an early morning soccer game and I thought for sure it would be cancelled. If not for that weather, then surely the fields were wrecked. Nope. We woke up, the sun was shining, and the fields were fine. He played his game just fine and then, right when it was over, it started raining. The kids had wanted to play on the toys at the soccer park after his game, but since it was raining, we couldn't. So instead we went to a movie theater thats close to the park and saw The Book of Life.
I got excited to see this movie during the summer when I first saw the trailer for it for a couple of different reasons. I have loved Dia de los Muertos for quite some time. I think its a beautiful holiday. I love all the vibrant colors, the flowers and the sugar skulls. And I love that the deceased get a day to be celebrated. Without getting ultra into it or anything- its been my experience that people show up for a funeral, then have some kind of meal afterwards, then for the first year or two after the death they call and say how they miss so and so, and then you never hear about them again. I, personally, hate this. I think this is why I love Dia de los Muertos so much. They even have shrines for their deceased. I think its sweet. I was also excited for my children to see this because they are half-Hispanic. My husband is Hispanic, but I often joke with my husband that I'm more Mexican than he is because I'm always asking for Mexican food and want to buy all the brightly colored sugar skull things lol. His family doesn't really celebrate any of the Mexican holidays, so I was hoping my kids might learn a little something from this movie. Or at least get interested enough in the holiday to find out what its about.
The movie follows Manolo and Joaquin, two boys who are best friends that are fighting for the heart of Maria. Each boy is special because spirits have bet on them. La Muerte, the ruler of the Land of the Remembered, has chosen Manolo and Xibalba, the ruler of the Land of the Forgotten, has chosen Joaquin.There isn't much to say about the bet without giving the rest of the movie away, but if you're curious, you can click here :) The movie is very good if you need to explain death to a child, because there is a lot of it in the film. Its not in a gory or painful way, its very practical. The Land of the Remembered is very vibrant and there is a party every day. Its where the relatives live that are remember by people that are living. The Land of the Forgotten is gray. There are no parties. Its where the people who nobody remembers go, and eventually they turn to dust. Its a very pragmatic way to look at it, because its true. If nobody remembers you, how can you live on? It also deals with children trying so hard to live up to the expectations placed on them by their parents, only to realize that they need to live life for themselves. For an animated movie, there were a lot of deep themes. But it wasn't so deep that kids won't understand, and there's still a good amount of humor mixed in too.
The movie is every bit as visually stunning as the previews makes it seem. Even more so once they get into the Land of the Remembered. The colors are so vibrant, and the details are ridiculously amazing. The soundtrack is very good as well. It takes a lot of "adult" songs and gives them a Hispanic twist and changes them a little to make it kid friendly. I especially enjoyed the remake of Mumford and Sons' I Will Wait. Very Good.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think about it?