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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:

Jorge R. Gutiérrez (as Jorge R. Gutierrez)

Writers:

Jorge R. Gutiérrez (screenplay by) (as Jorge R. Gutierrez), Doug Langdale (screenplay by)
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Popularity
2,779 ( 1)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diego Luna ... Manolo (voice)
Zoe Saldana ... Maria (voice)
Channing Tatum ... Joaquin (voice)
Ron Perlman ... Xibalba (voice)
Christina Applegate ... Mary Beth (voice)
Ice Cube ... Candle Maker (voice)
Kate del Castillo ... La Muerte (voice)
Hector Elizondo ... Carlos Sanchez (voice)
Danny Trejo ... Skeleton Luis (voice)
Carlos Alazraqui ... General Posada / Dali / Chuy (voice)
Ana de la Reguera ... Skeleton Carmen (voice)
Emil-Bastien Bouffard ... Young Manolo (voice)
Elijah Rodriguez ... Young Joaquin (voice) (as Elias Garza)
Genesis Ochoa ... Young Maria (voice)
Plácido Domingo ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 October 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Day of the Dead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,005,218, 17 October 2014, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$50,151,543

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$99,783,556
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cindy Crawford were considered for the role of La Muerte. See more »

Goofs

As Manolo sings "I Love You Too Much," the Mariachi brothers lift him up to the balcony, but in between shots, Manolo switches from standing on Pepe's sombrero to Pepe's back. See more »

Quotes

Carlos Sanchez: Mama, how did you get here?
Grandma: Eh. Cholesterol.
See more »

Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cucaracha
Written by Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A visually stunning animated film with unique and captivating character designs and settings
18 October 2014 | by YJLcoolSee all my reviews

The Book of Life is a refreshing new animated tale about Mexican folk beliefs, especially the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), a day where families and friends gather to pray for and remember their loved ones who have died. Aside from its basic themes about love, family and friendship, The Book of Life features some mature, darker ones such as life and death, pursue your dreams, never forget those who have passed on and never stop looking forward to the future at the same time, always be yourself and never lose sight of who you are. The plot is done with enough wit, charm, humour and sincerity that makes it an enjoyable ride.

The story is mainly about three childhood friends, Manolo, Joaquin and Maria who got caught in a wager going on between the Mexican lords of the underworld, La Muerte (ruler of The Land of the Remembered) and Xibalba (ruler of The Land of the Forgotten). These deities each pick a champion between these two boys and bet on who can win Maria's heart and marry her. So best friends become bitter love rivals for a woman's heart. Aside from that, Manolo is torn between following his heart to become a musician or satisfy his dad's expectation to continue the family's legacy.

The film is beautiful, stylish and visually stunning. Despite its darker tone, the film doesn't feel terrifying at all. It shows us a world filled with wonder and spectacle, especially The Land of the Remembered, which is full of vibrant, lively colours despite the fact that it's actually the land of the undead. It provides us unique, captivating character designs and set pieces with close attention to detail about Mexican culture and traditions. The characters are strong, charming and lovable. The film did a fine job addressing the importance of remembering our loved ones who have died. The love triangle between Manolo, Maria and Joaquin is well developed as well.

The songs chosen for the film were great, breathes life into the scenes and provide the necessary emotional impact to keep the audience engaged throughout the film. I do admit there are a few plot contrivances here and there, but remember, this is still a kids/family film, so just cut it some slack and give it a chance. Some of the voice actors did a good job imitating the Mexican accent to make it feel like an authentic Mexican animation. Overall, it's a charming, sweet romantic film with surprising depth and plenty of heart that's good enough for both kids and adults to enjoy at the same time. A recommended watch.

Rating: 8/10

http://yjcool.blogspot.com/2014/10/movie-review-book-of-life.html


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