The Book of Life (2014) – That could have been a very good movie, except for some major problems. Putting aside the feminist problems for a moment (and that’s not easy, considering the main plotline centers around two men fighting over a woman, and surprise, it doesn’t pass the Bechdel test), it just fails on several basic technical and structural grounds.
The DVD was loaned to me with the warning that the music is terrible; it was terrible. One unnecessary cover after another, shoehorned into the story sideways. I was also warned that the framing device was obnoxious; it was. A framing device can be used effectively to bridge the real world to the fantastical story world. I do not need to be pulled from the story every five minutes to be explicitly told what I should be feeling. That makes me feel angry.
The movie is rife with characters and throwaway jokes we’ve seen a thousand times in Disney movies for twenty years or more. Just watch everything between The Little Mermaid and Pocahontas, and you’re all set.