"The Book of Life
" is a colourful, slightly macabre animated story that draws from Mexican culture and aesthetic style. Told as a story-within-a-story, this is a straight-up fairy tale that sees the protagonist go on a traditional heroic quest, with visits to the underworld, battles with raging beasts, and overcoming family expectations.
For a film that has significant events that take place in the underworld, this seems like a weird title.
Originally the film was called "Day of the Dead
," which, frankly, is much more in keeping with the film's style. While granting that there are entire swaths of the audience that would be caught, um, dead taking their children to a film of that title, from both a narrative and aesthetic point of view it's a much more apt title.
What's with Mexicans and all this death stuff?
That seemingly offensive question is a rhetorical question that the film explicitly raises,