Zoe Saldana & Channing Tatum Star in 'Book of Life' Trailer, Still Needs More Diversity — VIDEO
Don't get me wrong. Frozen is well-deserving of every record it's broken and every stitch of praise it attracts because it really is a great animated movie. The only problem with it is the same problem that most Blockbuster movies have and that is the issue of diversity. Diversity in the media is something that we discuss a lot and will keep on discussing until things get more even-handed and Guillermo del Toro's next production might be an amazing step in that direction. The first trailer for Book of Life starring Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, and Diego Luna has debuted and it's just everything.
Saldana stars as Maria, a girl who finds herself with two suitors: Joaquin, the popular golden boy of the village voiced by Channing Tatum, and Manolo, the protagonist of the film who's torn between family and love voiced by Diego Luna. When two villains intervene to ensure that Manolo never has a chance to win Maria's heart, he embarks on a journey to return to her side that takes him through the land of the dead and back again. The movie hits theaters on October 17, just in time for Halloween.
Admittedly, the inclusion of Channing Tatum as one of the Hispanic male leads leaves a sour taste in the viewer's mouth. As great as the 2014 MTV Movie Awards' Trailblazer is, the fact that we still have white men portraying characters of color is a practice that Hollywood needs to stop. Zoe Salanda is enough of a box office draw to ensure that the movie won't get completely written off by that imaginary sub-sect of the audience they keep claiming they don't want to isolate, though that could be my own bias and love for Saldana talking.
The animation is gorgeous and the story looks like a fascinating cultural celebration that children will enjoy, even if they don't quite get all of the references until they're much older. Book of Life might not come close to touching Frozen in popularity — especially not with that love triangle at the center of the plot — but supporting the movie when it comes out is one way of telling Hollywood that we need loads more movies like it.
Watch the trailer below.