IF YOU ARE ASKING THE QUESTION, "that movie isn't out yet, HOW DO YOU KNOW BOUT IT?!" Well I saw a pre screening with my family of the flick and now I'm here to talk about it! (P.S. Fox and the makers of this film, NO I WILL NOT GIVE AWAY ANY IMPORTANT OR UNRELEASED DETAILS ABOUT THE FILM UNTIL IT COMES OUT)
So will this film be as memorable as The Land of The Remembered? Or is it as wooden as our main leads? LETS GO IN LADIES AND GENTS, EXCELSIOR!
POINT STAR NUMBER 1: PLOT
Now, before we elaborate on the plot, let me emphisise one of the main bases of the film first (if you couldn't already guess). The film is kind of based off several Mexican cultures and ideas of old and new, such as Day of The Dead, but for the sake of a lot of people not knowing as much lets just focus on WHAT THIS MOVIE IS. A LOVE STORY! *silence* eh heh... Well, We open to a rather nice segment at a museum where a tour guide takes a group of delinquents to learn about Mexico. Once in, she then tells the kids of the Book of Life, and how it holds the tales of many who once lived. Enter our main leads (which, in the film were established to be wooden figures to tell the story) Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin. Three amigos (and amiga) that normally spend a lot of time playing around, or trying to woo Maria as a lover. Which Xibalba and La Muerte decide to use this as a betting means over the realms of the dead. Who will win the heart of Maria? Who will win the bet? And WHERE DID EL TIGRE FIT INTO ALL OF THIS?! Well, to say it shortly, the story was rather nice in the sense of an overdone plot in a new light. Yes we have seen the Bermuda triangle of love so many times, but in here it works for its wanted plot. Plus with some memorable characters to meet later, it all ties together as well. My only complaint with this story is, really I would have liked to have seen what the town would be like without Maria more, as that would have established the mood a bit more. Plus, a more threatening ending badie would have also been more acceptable as, without giving it away, felt kind of rushed as a plot device and he was rather uninteresting. Despite that, the story is still holding up nicely!
OVERALL SCORE: 3 and 1/2 out of 5 PAN DE MUERTOS.
POINT STAR NUMBER 2: STYLE AND ELEMENTS
To be honest, REEL FX WORKED ON THIS FILM?! Reel FX...(Production yes, but STILL...) The people who made Free Birds....MADE THIS?!?!?!? But jokes aside, a lot of creative minds also went into work of this film, like the character designer of El Tigre, and Mucha Lucha (Jorge R. Gutierrez) as a director (take what you will of this, I LOVED both of these shows), and Douglas Langdale as a co-writer, who pretty much also wrote two episodes of a lot of nostalgic kids shows, now how does this hold up? Well... If your going to watch this film for ANYTHING aside from story and characters, GO SEE IT FOR THE ART STYLE. From the little town the cast lives in, to the land of the remembered, even the cast themselves! All of it is so vibrant and lively, no two people look alike (maybe the townsfolk in the background but its animation, sometimes a repeat will happen) and my gosh...The Land of The Remembered was so beautiful and eye opening(for being dead). The only thing I have to complain about would be that the Land of The Forgotten was...Forgettable, and I feel it was missed opportunity with some of the choices they could have gone with. Also sometimes the animation would go so fast or the cast would, and it would fall out of order for the audience to understand. But who cares? I mean look at this place, its like a fractal that you just want to keep looking! imageserver.moviepilot.com/lov…
(Credit to Filmplot.com) The art style just keeps getting better the more you look at it! On the side of characters in the film, the wooden doll style does also make things even better, and the main omnipotent characters also take a candle or flame appearance. P.S. Xibalba is basically the films Discord, voiced by Ron Perlman. I admire the choice of wooden dolls due to the diversity they go with this choice too, from the Nuns being rounded hooded women to our main leads contrasting with their outfits and designs. Overall, let this retablio of a film into your heart and just take it all in!
OVERALL SCORE: 5 out of 5 SUGAR SKULLS.
FINAL LEVEL: MUSIC AND CHARACTERS.
Since this film is a part musical, we gotta cover the characters as well as the song in their hearts... oh, *cries* so heart warming...
Anyways, Our main characters are Manolo the Bullfightin guitar strumming heartfelt man, Joaquin the strong and fearless celebrity, and Maria the Spicy Red chili of a woman who doesn't just fall down to a mans swoon and can actually kick ass at times. On the side of side characters, we have La Muerte the ruler of The Remembered, and Xibalba the ruler of The Forgotten, also we have Maria's father, Manolos father and grandmother, and the townsfolk. I think the main and listed side characters really take this story well without annoying anyone too much, as each do fit their role and do it well to a T but a lot of the background characters just kinda...sit there. I mean the mariachis were entertaining too, but at the same time the weakpoint of this film would have to be the fact that aside from the leads, the side or background characters are really kinda wooden (no pun intended). I mean do not get me wrong, sometimes there were some memorable ones like Xibalba and La Muerte and most of Manolo's relatives in the Land of The Remembered, but then the film just has...nothing. At least it gives a lot of memorable leads then too much characters to fallow.
OVERALL SCORE: 2 and 3/4 out of 5 Jasper woods.
FINAL TALLY IS.....
I'm going to be REALLY generous to this film and give it 4 and 3/4 stars. I ADORED this film going in and going out. Is it flawed? Yes, but despite the flaws, go see it as despite them the film is still fantastic to say the least. This is one of the greatest childrens films (Disney and its instant wallet vacuum aside) of this year in my opinion.
NOTE: I do wanna mention that my reviewing perspective is, judge the parts, but the whole has a different score as it is the final and the binding of the parts.