Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – The Book of Life

The Book of Life was a huge slog to get through. Granted, the animation was absolutely beautiful, especially in the Land of the Dead segments, and definitely deserves merits in its own right. But the script is a complete wash with clichés, arbitrariness, and inconsistencies abound. Also baffling was the use of contemporary music with a mariachi twist, when traditional Mexican music or more original songs would have been better. On top of that, rapper Ice Cube as the great spirit known as The Candlemaker was a huge misstep. He was so out of place and every scene he was speaking in made me cringe.

Perhaps the biggest flaw is how the film almost never has any quiet moments. There’s constant dialogue, noise, and unnecessary narration, like the film is afraid the audience would get bored if it didn’t. The key element of cinema is to show, don’t tell, and this film fails on that front pretty hard. It would have been better if they had allowed things to be delivered through visuals and teach kids to recognize that early in life. Children are smarter than we give them credit for and need to be treated with respect. You just can’t do that when the kids aren’t even allowed a moment to process things or figure things out for themselves. However, a few people I know seem to like it despite its flaws, so maybe I should leave this up to you guys. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re an animation enthusiast or curious about the cultural aspects, and even then I would wait for the rental.

Posted under Reel Snippets

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