The Book of Life
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.
The Book of Life is an American 3D computer-animated adventure musical comedy film produced by Reel FX Creative Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Co-written and directed by Jorge Gutierrez, the film stars the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Channing Tatum with supporting roles by Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, and Kate del Castillo. The film was theatrically released on October 17, 2014.
About the Story
A bus full of children arrives at a museum, where they are taken on a secret tour by a tour guide named Mary Beth (Christina Applegate), who tells them about the famous legends and myths of Mexican folklore. She leads them to a hidden room, containing the Book of Life, which holds the story of how the ways of their world were shaped.
She shows them a story that focuses on the Mexican town of San Angel and on two gods, La Muerte: Ruler of the Land of the Remembered (Kate del Castillo) where the spirits live on with their memories kept by their loved ones and Xibalba: Ruler of the Land of the Forgotten (Ron Perlman) where the forgotten souls decay into oblivion. During the Day of the Dead festival, the two spot three young children playing – Manolo and Joaquín, who are both in love with the same, free-spirited girl, María. Manolo comes from a family of bullfighters, but his real passion lies in music. Joaquín is more adventurous, hoping to avenge his father, a soldier who was killed by the sinister bandit Chakal (Dan Navarro).
Disguised as peasants, the two go down into the celebration. La Muerte, as an old woman, comes to Manolo (Diego Luna) and his father Carlos (Héctor Elizondo) who are at the grave of Manolo’s mother Carmen and is given a loaf of bread by Manolo. Xibalba, as an old man trades the bread for a mystical medal that will make Joaquín (Channing Tatum) invulnerable to harm. Xibalba then bets La Muerte that María (Zoe Saldana) will end up marrying Joaquín while La Muerte bets on Manolo. The winner will be allowed to rule over the Land of the Remembered.
María later sets free a group of animals into the town after seeing a cute baby pig (Carlos Alazraqui) much to the chagrin of her father General Posada (Carlos Alazraqui). A wild boar comes into town and nearly gets Posada, but Manolo manages to lure the boar like a bullfighter and cause it to crash, but Posada believes it was Joaquín that saved him ignoring Manolo in favor of him. As punishment for her actions, Posada orders María to be sent to a private boarding school in Spain. Manolo gives her the baby pig that she wanted to save which Manolo names Chuy. María gives him a guitar after his old one is broken. On it is an engraving that says “Always play from your heart.”
The Book of Life
Directed by: Jorge R. Gutierrez
Starring: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Kate del Castillo
Screenplay by: Jorge R. Gutierrez, Douglas Langdale
Production Design by: Paul Sullivan, Simon Valdimir Varela
Film Editing by: Steven Liu, Ahren Shaw
Art Direction by: Paul Sullivan
Music by: Gustavo Santaolalla
MPAA Rating: PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images.
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 17, 2014