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The Book of Life (2014)

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Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears.

Director:

(as Jorge R. Gutierrez)

Writers:

(as Jorge R. Gutierrez), (as Doug Langdale)
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Popularity
1,323 ( 515)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Manolo (voice)
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Maria (voice)
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Joaquin (voice)
...
Xibalba (voice)
...
Mary Beth (voice)
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Candle Maker (voice)
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La Muerte (voice)
...
Carlos Sanchez (voice)
...
Skeleton Luis (voice)
...
General Posada / Dali / Chuy (voice)
...
Skeleton Carmen (voice)
...
Young Manolo (voice)
...
Young Joaquin (voice) (as Elias Garza)
...
Young Maria (voice)
...
Skeleton Jorge (voice)
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Storyline

From producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez comes an animated comedy with a unique visual style. THE BOOK OF LIFE is the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Rich with a fresh take on pop music favorites, THE BOOK OF LIFE encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future. Written by 20th Century Fox

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 October 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Day of the Dead  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,005,218 (USA) (17 October 2014)

Gross:

$50,150,619 (USA) (20 February 2015)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jorge Gutierrez was also the creator of the animated Nickelodeon show El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. See more »

Goofs

After Manolo defeats the boar and General Posada declares he is sending Maria to Spain, a piglet urinates on Manolo's pants, but there is no visible stain of urine on Manolo's pants. See more »

Quotes

Grandma: Kids today, with their long hair and their no killing stuff.
See more »

Connections

References El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Just a Friend
Written by Biz Markie (as Marcel Theo Hall)
Performed by Cheech Marin and Gabriel Iglesias
Produced by Gustavo Santaolalla and Anibal Kerpel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Aggressively charming and visually creative
27 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE BOOK OF LIFE is produced by Guillermo del Toro, directed by Jorge Gutierrez, and features an outstanding voice cast to tell its story of true love (along with a generous helping of Mexican culture). The basic plot is about two boys, Joaquin (Diego Luna) and Manolo (Channing Tatum), who vie for the affections of a girl, Maria (Zoe Saldana). As people they're fairly opposite, with Manolo being a musician at heart (his family's profession is bullfighter) and Joaquin being a soldier who does great deeds of derring-do. Unbeknownst to them, however, Lady Muerte and Xibalba (Ron Perlman) have entered into a wager about which of them can win the heart of Maria and it sets Manolo on a journey that will take him to both realms of the dead. First, I should say that the character design, animation and overall look of the film was extremely creative and visually unique, befitting a Guillermo del Toro production. The colors popped and everything in the world of the film was brought to vibrant life. The voice cast was equally impressive, although there were a couple of people who took me out of it for a little bit before getting sucked back into the story. The biggest offender was probably Ice Cube, who voices the Candlemaker, although they did stick in a couple of good jokes and references for him. I also got taken a little bit out of the story by realizing that Danny Trejo and Cheech Marin also voiced characters in the film, but again, they still did great work here. Another high point was the music. The score was pretty good, but what really stood out was the use of modern pop songs in what is (mostly) a period piece set at an indeterminate time in the past. Of course, I didn't mind that one bit at all. I also thought that the first half to two-thirds of the story were excellent. It succeeded telling an emotionally moving story with plenty of interesting characters, but at a certain point it resorted to the standard climax and resolution that wrapped up everything with a nice little bow. And despite much of the humor working, at times I felt it was a little too silly for its own good. Still, at the end I was completely won over. Had I seen this last year, I'm fairly certain it would have made my top ten. As it stands, this was an incredibly charming and visually rich film that should appeal to kids and adults alike, and also serves as a valuable cultural lesson.


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