Too late. People are watching this movie.
I just saw it today. What a sloppy mess. Which is a shame, because it really had potential to be brilliant. The story of two young men vying for the same woman in Mexico, The Book of Life, directed and co-written by Jorge R. Gutierrez, has vibrant computer animation, themes that delve deeply into Mexican culture and an offbeat sensibility not often seen in cartoons today.
The problem is the script. It's muddled and tremendously unfunny. Catering to the younger set, it features reminders to "write your own story" and the like, which end up sounding very simplistic. But the film fails to capture adults' attention, even with the vocal talents of actors ranging from Zoe Saldana and Ron Perlman to Hector Elizondo and, yes, Placido Domingo, whose sonorous sounds are used all too infrequently. You also have dreadful musical numbers, which range include a smattering of out-of-place rock standards, including Radiohead's "Creep." This gives the film a jarring effect, and the manic "comedy" just makes things worse. Kids deserve better than this, don't they? Wouldn't they respect a good screenplay and toe-tapping tunes?
I think they would. Animated features can engage both children and grown-ups if done well enough, and films from Disney, Pixar and other outfits have proved that. The Book of Life tries hard, but it ultimately falls on its face in an effort to be unique and amusing. I would've settled for entertaining. That's a worthy goal in itself, right?