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The Book of Life

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The Book of Life
The Book of Life (2014 film) poster.jpg
At least they saved Reel FX Animation Studios, thanks to Jorge R. Gutierrez, Guillermo del Toro and this movie.
Genre: Musical
Starring: Diego luna
Zoe Saldana
Channing Tatum
Release Date: October 12, 2014 (L.A. Live)
October 17, 2014 (USA)
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $50 million
Box Office: $99.8 million

The Book of Life is a 2014 American 3D computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by 20th Century Fox Animation and Reel FX Animation Studios, and distributed by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Co-written and directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez, it was produced by Aaron Berger, Brad Booker, Guillermo del Toro, and Carina Schulze. The film features the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Channing Tatum, with Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, and Kate del Castillo as supporting characters. Based on an original idea by Gutierrez, the film premiered in Los Angeles on October 12, 2014, and was released theatrically in the United States on October 17, 2014.


In the Mexican town of San Angel, Manolo (Diego Luna), Maria (Zoë Saldana) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) have been friends ever since childhood. Although their lives have taken different paths -- Maria was sent to Europe, Joaquin joined the military, and Manolo studied to become a bullfighter -- one thing remains the same: Manolo and Joaquin both want to marry Maria. Little does the trio know that battling husband-and-wife deities have made a high-stakes wager on the love triangle's outcome.

Why It Gives Life To Everybody

  1. The film's really stellar and has a unique style of animation. From the breathtaking backgrounds in the Land of the Dead to the neat wooden-puppet character designs.
  2. The film's ensemble cast does a fantastic job of playing their characters. The main trio, Manolo (Diego Luna), Joaquin (Channing Tatum), and Maria (Zoe Saldana) are prime examples.
  3. The Rodriguez Brothers are solid comic reliefs and they steal every scene that therein.
  4. The film's interpretation of Dia de Las Muertos. The movie gives a good, genuine message of what Day of The Dead is really about.
  5. The film's impressive soundtrack by Gustavo Santaolalla.
  6. Excellent directing of Jorge R. Gutierrez (who created El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera).
  7. The film has a good chunk of comedy.
  8. The film's inclusion of loss and death. The deaths of Manolo's parents and Joaquin losing his eyes are prime examples.
  9. "You misbegotten son of a leprous donkey!"
  10. Two best friends being in love with the same girl is a relatable and uncommon premise.
  11. Compared to Reel FX's first and previous film, Free Birds, it was a huge improvement over that film, meaning that Reel FX actually learned from the mistake that Free Birds has caused.

Bad Qualities

  1. The film is a jukebox musical, meaning that it used the copyrighted pop-culture songs instead of writing some original music, though this is really justified since they're remixing the copyrighted pop-culture songs for Mexican purposes.
  2. When in the scene where Manalo gets bitten by a two-headed snake, it kinda gets disturbing.
  3. Joaquin even blamed Manolo for Maria's death.
  4. The Candlemaker, while still likable, can come off as a knock-off of the Genie from Aladdin.


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 82% based on 121 reviews and an average rating of 6.89/10. The site's critical consensus reads "The Book of Life's gorgeous animation is a treat, but it's a pity that its story lacks the same level of craft and detail that its thrilling visuals provide.". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 67 out of 100 based on 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".


  • The film was originally optioned by DreamWorks Animation in 2007, but never went beyond development because of "creative differences". From there the film went to Reel FX, with 20th Century Fox handling distribution rights.
  • Manny Rivera, Frida Suárez and Puma Loco (Characters from El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera) make a cameo appearance in the film.[1]


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