Here are some of the main complaints I found earlier:
- marketing of dia de los muertos to the non-Mexican public, meaning little non-Mexican people donning sacred and misusing symbols as literal costumes
- "stereotypical" representation (mustaches, toro outfits, mariachis, skulls, sombreros, lucha masks)
- background characters w/ “borderline racist facial/body attributes”
- whitewashing (concerning VAs and light-skinned characters)
People are concerned about the “wrong” image of Mexico being portrayed, and in turn, having it lead to more instances of appropriation of sacred and important cultural iconography and symbols. I’m hoping that the creators of the movie will help nip any and all potential white/non-Mexican appropriation in the bud.
I recognize and understand that these parts of the movie upset people. And I don’t want to belittle that because if someone’s mad about their culture being misrepresented, who am I to say their opinion is invalid?
However, that doesn’t really quench my own personal excitement for the movie. I am Mexican, and the fact that a movie is being made by Mexicans, about Mexican culture, with Mexican and Latino actors? That’s so incredible and important to me! Seeing my culture and my people being celebrated instead of reduced to one-note racist caricatures and jokes is so so SO important to me.
However, don’t take my opinion and say “SEE, SHE’S MEXICAN AND SHEEEE’S OKAY WITH IT”. Read the opinions of all sides, read the exasperation and frustration coming from other Mexican-Americans and native Mexicans, and form your own opinion.
Hope that helped, and if you’d like me to go more in-depth on anything, just ask!
And also I really love the designs of the background girls Sandra did with this film
A transparent Manolo for all your transparent Manolo needs
There are parts of the book of life trailer that I’m really into, but there’s a looooot in there that I’m really skeptical of.
I know I’m complaining seconds into the trailer already but look at this.
I know they’re trying to highlight stylistic differences between the real world and the…
I can’t draw flowers to save my life
That is…not really going to be the point of my dissertation at all.
As I tried to explain in my Sameface Syndrome & Other Stories article, I don’t care if a character (male or female) has unrealistic proportions, because that’s part of the purpose of animation: you don’t have to be limited to reality. I’ve never been sure why some people think that character designs should look exactly like real people, and that they’re bad if they wouldn’t be physically possible. I’m fine with designs getting caricatured and exaggerated, and I mean, the male characters in Book of Life couldn’t technically hold up their weight, either.
What I have a problem with is that, especially in a highly stylized production like The Book of Life, the male characters both in the background and the foreground have a variety of faces and body types, and the women…absolutely do not. There are fat men, skinny men, muscular men, handsome men, average-looking men. But every woman is skinny, with a weirdly infantilized face and sexualized body, and “beautiful.” That is what bothers me. Especially since this issue obviously is not limited to one movie. But I’ll be discussing that in-depth soon.
One last thing: this is going to be more of a dissertation/article about the designs only, not a proper review. I feel that distinction is important to make because the movie isn’t out yet, and “review” makes it sounds like I’m judging the actual story without even seeing it.
I did la muerte (from the book of life) test makeup because I was bored~
did la muerte makeup!