7.3/10
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118 user 159 critic

The Book of Life (2014)

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2:31 | Trailer

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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)
Reviews
Popularity
2,378 ( 258)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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

Diego Luna and Zoe Saldana also played love interests in The Terminal (2004). 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

Chakal: I hate everybody.
[Spits]
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Symphony No,9 In D Minor -
Ode To Joy"
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Chorale
Conducted by Osmo Vänskä
Courtesy of BIS Records
By arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazingly uneven.
22 December 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When "The Book of Life" began, I was really enthralled by its creative art style. After all, there are so many CGI films out these days that it's great to see one that looks so different and bold. There also were a few scenes that simply blew me away with the grand look--such as when the film went to the Kingdom of the Dead. In this sense, "The Book of Life" is clearly a gorgeous film. I also really appreciated the character designs. Imagine if you look traditional Mexican articulated wooden sculptures for Day of the Dead and you make many of the characters look like living versions of these statues--that is what most of the characters looked like in this movie. I loved this and felt that the animators and artists were by far the biggest stars of the film and I could see this film being nominated for technical awards because of this.

Unfortunately, apart from the artistry, there wasn't a lot I loved about the film. The story had great parts--but too often the characters were poorly developed, clichéd and one-dimensional. Also the soundtrack was simply bizarre. There were just too many singing interludes and the range of genres was so broad that it just left me baffled. Imagine...the film uses some traditional Latin tunes but also had some songs written by Paul Williams ("The Apology Song" was actually quite good I must say), "Do You Think I'm Sexy" (by Rod Stewart) and a very adult tune originally by Radiohead (the song "Creep",-which includes a line about someone being so 'f---ing special', although fortunately the song ended just before this line)! Who chose these tunes?! Overall, the film looked great but otherwise left me very, very flat. Not terrible but with such artistry it's hard to imagine the rest of it being so sub-par. It's sad, as I really did want to see a Mexican storyline and it was nice to see so many Latin-American voice actors (though Channing Tatum and Ice Cube seemed like odd additions to the rest of the cast). Flawed but interesting.


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