SUMMARY: A man undergoes a reluctant transition from life to death as he descends into the afterlife.
WHY IT’S HERE: Rene Castillo’s gorgeous stop-motion animation ‘Down to the Bone’ explores one man’s reluctant transition from the world of the living to the land of the dead. Beginning with the man’s burial, we then see him plunge from his coffin into the afterlife, which resembles a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. Plagued by a persistent parasite and disturbed by the skeletal inhabitants of the barroom, the man initially fights against but slowly comes to accept his new state, as a beautiful skeleton woman, Death herself, serenades him from the stage. Exquisitely animated and blending comedy with tragedy, ‘Down to the Bone’ is a philosophically upbeat look at death which will immediately remind latter-day audiences of Tim Burton’s ‘Corpse Bride’, which was released three years later. While it will likely appeal to fans of that great film, Castillo’s work is distinct in tone and style, providing a fascinating glimpse of how two different artists approach similar material.