Vou remember the Wedding the Funeral of Tim Burton and Mike Johnson ? Do you remember the party took the visual of the two directors to differentiate between the world of the living to the dead ? Among the living all was gloomy and uniformly gray, while among the dead was joyful, luminous, colorful; paradoxically full of life. Well, a contrario, in the new production of the meek and eternal optimist Guillermo Del Toro, the grey did not really have the freedom of the city since it is here put in lights, textures and especially colors of all the folklore of his Mexico native, associated with the Feast of the Dead. Folklore which in recent years tends to extend beyond the Central America and tease Halloween in its pré carré in influencing more and more artists of all kinds, mainly graphic designers.

The Legend of Manolo sounds from the first minutes as a manifesto of artistic and cultural on the part of its director, Jorge R. Gutierrez, this is the first feature-length animated film. If you feel right away the effects of too much supported by the narrative of the most conventional for a work aimed first at young audiences, and the exposure is very explicit in the folklore for a character this only for its function of narrator; these effects are very quickly absorbed and digested by the dynamism of the film. In other words, if she claims to be mexican of heart, the production is no less a hollywood of the mind, and it applies the rhythmic formidable to captivate its young audiences ; the rapid succession of images éclaboussantes of colors is punctuated by a gag, or by a few notes of music, highlighting the epic character of the adventure to come. You will note that it is precisely this rhythm that makes animated movies from the us majors so effective over the past fifteen years.

I could continue the inventory of the conventions of the entertainment for children in which The Legend of Manolo opposes no resistance : the love triangle between the beautiful, the going to war with hector and our romantic hero, the love that will allow him to be more courageous than his rival and nonetheless friend from childhood, etc…But I think you have understood, by looking at the picture above or the trailer below that the show in the manner of an operetta flaming or a fireworks display on film, is above all for the visual feast to which he invites our eyes and our minds to the great children.

“The film succeeds his bet eye as it is to enjoy as treats, mexican day of the dead, skull-shaped and covered sugar multi-colored.”

Jorge R. Gutierrez brings the forms and the forces to best pay tribute to his dear old country; there one more time, I could list the elements of folklore embedded in the narrative : the bullfighting, mariachi bands, the nuns franciscan, etc…But, once again, the cultural references, the most interesting are placed elsewhere, in the structure of the body, for example, disproportionate, unbalanced even, as far as the 3D animation allows. The carcasses bent of gun-fighters escaped from a western of Sergio Leone, meet architectures rococos and overloaded decorations (military) of the body of Joaquim or father Manolo.

But this celebration of life is never as beautiful as when the story takes its main character in the beyond, a world that is constantly in a feast to welcome the newcomers left with joy their loved ones. It is at this point in the film that I understood why the characters were played by a toy, the producer raises here his procession of faith : talking about death and bereavement to young audiences, and make it accessible grounds legendary as those of Orpheus and Dante. The young viewers will even find a ticket of entry to stories most adults thanks to a couple of scenes dantesque rich decorations of the gigantic and the monsters impressive. The film therefore comes at the peak for those who will take advantage of the school holidays to celebrate the dead and the atmosphere of macabre fall, and who wish to taste the flavors more exotic than the traditional pie pumpkin.



Original title : The Book of Life
Achievement : Jorge R. Guitierrez
Screenplay : Jorge R. Guitierrez and Doug Langdale
Country of origin : USA
Released : October 22, 2014
Duration : 1 hour 35 minutes minutes
Distributor : Twetieth Century Fox Animation
Synopsis : a Young man is a dreamer, Manolo is meant by the weight of the family traditions to become a matador. In love with Maria since childhood, he will face his greatest fears in order to find…



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