Every year sees handfuls of animated Halloween movies thrown at audiences like so many Tootsie Rolls and packages of candy corn–and like those second-tier candies, by and large they just aren’t very good. Too many of them play up familiar tropes of familiar monsters, or include voice-acting by Adam Sandler, or both. And then there’s The Book Of Life.
While the film–which pairs first-time feature director Jorge Gutierrez with horror kingpin Guillermo del Toro–is pegged to Halloween in its marketing, the trailer makes clear that it’s actually about a different holiday: Namely, Dia de las Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. With iconography drawing on that holiday, as opposed to familiar vampires/werewolves/etc, The Book Of Life‘s trailer reveals a movie that’s full of stunning animation and imagery that’s rarely seen in mainstream kids movies–calaca skeleton masks, mariachi outfits, and lush backdrops that look like a Dia de las Muertes megaofrenda come to life. November can’t come soon enough.