Dreamworks Home

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Dreamworks has done it again. They have released an amazing movie that kids love and the parents, even ones who don’t get emotionally involved in children’s movies like I do, can enjoy. The previews, which I looked up online after we got several of the Home toys from McDonald’s, didn’t reveal too much of the plotline, so I was a little curious about the movie. Arthur and Chiara wanted to see it, so I decided we would go, and if nothing else, I could enjoy listening to Sheldon’s voice (Jim Parson) be the voice of a cartoon, the lovable character, Oh.

We’re brought up to speed in the beginning by Oh, who explains that his people, the Boov, are runners and hiders, and they establish their new homes by safely relocating the planets inhabitants somewhere remote, in this case Australia. You also learn right away that Oh wants nothing more than friends, but he has none, except in his mind, due to the fact he keeps making mistakes. The mistake that kicks off the main conflict of the story is that he sends e-vites to a party and accidently hits send all, which includes the Boov’s enemy, Gorg. The e-vite contains directions to their new home. He goes on the run to avoid being erased, where he finds the human girl, Tip (voiced by Rihanna), who was saved from relocation by her cat, Pig.

The two become partners in finding Tip’s mom, while Oh trys to avoid being discovered. They eventually become friends and Oh learns what family is about, as it is not something the Boov have.

I think my favorite part of the whole movie was the fact that Oh reminds me so much of Sheldon. For those of you who are not Big Bang Theory fans, I apologize, but Oh is so socially awkward, and so sure that his way is the right way, it’s great to watch this small, color-changing alien realize the Boov were wrong about the humans.

And if they were wrong about the humans, what else have they been wrong about?

The final reveal of the movie was amazing and I love how these children’s movies are finding subtle and interesting ways to show kids that first impressions aren’t always right.

The soundtrack was really great as well. I’m assuming it will be anyway because the music during the film was great! It was entertaining for me recognizing Rihanna’s voice singing while the character she voices dances on screen.

If you see this movie, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did!

The Book of Life

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It’s been a little while since I’ve done a movie review and this is a movie that definitely deserves one! I do have to admit that I wasn’t too thrilled with the previews of this movie. Something about the way the animation showed in the commercials did not impress me.

My kids however were very excited about the bright colors and cheerful music. So I purchased the movie one night before leaving work. I put it on for the kids the next morning and they were loving it! After the first ten minutes of listening from the kitchen, I was drawn into the living room by the music and the voices.

Don’t worry, after finishing the movie with my kids, we watched it later that evening when Tony got home!

The movie is set in San Angel, Mexico, which is the center of the universe. The story opens with a field trip of delinquent kids arriving at a museum. A beautiful young guide offers to take them on a special tour. She introduces the leaders of the dead, La Muerta, who rules the land of the remembered, Xibalba, who rules the land of the forgotten and the Candlemaker, who keeps everything in balance.

She then introduces the three main characters of the main storyline, Manolo, Joachim and Maria. They are three children, growing up in San Angel and somehow become part of a bet between La Muerta and Xibalba. These three frequently get into mischief and Maria’s father decides to send her to a boarding school in Spain to improve her behavior. Joachim begins training to follow his deceased father’s footsteps as a soldier. Manolo is pushed into training as a matador, which is what the men in his family are famous for, when all he wants to do is sing his music.

Years pass, Maria has finally returned to San Angel. Joachim is a hero, visiting his hometown for Maria’s return. Manolo is now ready for his first bull fight. Both men love Maria and she seems to favor Manolo. Xibalba however, doesn’t want to lose the bet, especially since he has already stacked the deck in his favor.

Xibalba’s interference leads to the supposed death of Maria, which leads Manolo to sacrifice his life.

Don’t worry, this is not Romeo and Juliet!

Once Manolo reaches the land of the remembered, he discovers that he was tricked into his decision so that Xibalba could win the bet and gain the rule over the land of the remembered. He is forced to travel to the land of the forgotten, facing danger and judgement, to find La Muerta and beg for her help.

After facing his greatest fear, being himself despite familial pressure, he is able to return to San Angel in time for the battle with banditos who threaten his town.

I won’t give away the ending, but this is a beautiful story and the music is amazing. It brings modern music, with a mariachi feel, to this story and you can’t help but sing along!

Under it all are the lessons:

Never stop playing from the heart.

Never stop fighting for what is right.

Write you’re own story.

I hope you enjoy the movie as much as my family and I did!