Film review: The book of life (U, 95 mins) Animation/Fantasy/Romance.

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Candy-coated Halloween

In Mexican culture, Dia de los Muertos or Day Of The Dead is an important annual gathering for families and friends to honour the memory of loved ones who are no longer with them.

The three-day celebration, which begins on October 31, traditionally involves adorning graves and specially constructed altars with sugar skulls, flowers and other gifts with special significance to the departed.

This fiesta of remembrance provides a vibrant and poignant backdrop to Jorge R Gutierrez’s fantastical computer-animated fable about three friends, who discover there is love after death.

The Book Of Life razzle
dazzles our eyes, especially in 3D, cramming as much retina-searing colour and detail as possible into each frame.

Co-writer Douglas Lansdale adds plentiful humour to offset the film’s air of tragedy including a chorus of singing nuns and a waspish grandmother, voiced by Grey DeLisle, who scene-steals with every purse-lipped outburst.

Museum tour guide Mary Beth (voiced by Christina Applegate) leads a group of unruly schoolkids through an exhibition about Mexican folklore.

She leads the whippersnappers to a chamber that houses the fabled Book Of Life...