Running time: 95 minutes
Starring: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum
Who to see it with: Your kids or childhood friend
Starting with the animation, it's absolutely beautiful with some detailed characters and really spectacular touches. The story is told as if being reenacted by puppets, so the characters in the main film all look the part. It's a small touch, but one that definitely helps the overall feel of the movie and the sense of story. Additionally, the style is downright amazing, with vibrant colors and imaginative sets. The movie definitely gets its style from the Mexico inspired setting, which gives you some bright sets and wonderful costumes.
The story itself is fairly typical kids story, but it is an enjoyable journey with some really fun characters. Although it seems to start with a sexist premise, it ends up being much more than that, with some good lessons for kids about expectations, friendship, and machismo. Additionally, the music is wonderful. The film uses contemporary songs that are redone by the main character, who plays a Spanish guitar. It's a treat to hear a song that you recognize redone in a Latin style, and I was definitely smiling as the film worked some contemporary hits into the story. The Book of Life is a vibrant and imaginative kids movie that will entertain while teaching some valuable lessons.