(This review may contain spoilers).
I saw this film advertised at the cinema originally, but although I was intrigued by the trailer, it wasn’t until today (well, yesterday) that I managed to sit down and watch this with my sister (sorta) and my niece.
I found the concept of the three realms a really interesting one. The idea of the rulers of two of the realms having a wager regarding three people from the realm of the living was a really interesting one… although I was a bit hard-pressed to figure out exactly why it was those three people that Xibalba and La Muerte were drawn to.
Although I’m far from a fan of love triangles, I did like the fact that, although it was obvious who the viewers should be rooting for Maria to end up with, both Manolo and Joaquin were interesting characters with good and bad things about them. It was also interesting to see how each was affected by their father.
I wasn’t sure I liked Maria all that much. She came across as quite shallow at times… though, as a child, I did think she was quite sweet. And the three children together were adorable.
The narration throughout the movie worked really well and added something of an air of mystery as to whether the story was just that… or real. That question was answered in a really cool way by the end, though. And I liked the feel of mythology about this movie.
I wouldn’t say there was much in the way of humour in this movie, although there were a lot of engaging scenes. Manolo’s grandmother and grandfather were particularly amusing… and it was good to see how they celebrated the day of the dead.
I found the animation to work really well, although it did give all of the realms, including that of the living, an ‘otherworldly’ feel. There were a lot of really nice instances of great imagery and I felt the voice actors did a good job of allowing emotion to come through. The characters were interesting and had more depth to them than first appeared and I did enjoy watching this. I would probably watch this again in the future.