The story to The Book of Life deals with love and the worlds beyond the living. The rulers of The Land of the Remembered and the Forgotten, La Muerte ( Kate Del Castillo) and Xibalba (Ron Perlmen) make a wager on three friends. The two bet that either Manolo ( Diego Luna) or Joaquin (Channing Tatum) will marry the lovely Maria (Zoe Saldana). The love triangle leads to Manolo sacrificing himself for Maria and finding himself in the land of the remembered. Realizing he was tricked, Manolo must find a way back to the world of the living so he can win the heart of Maria.
The animation to The Book of Life was indeed unique. When I say unique I am actually referring to the movie's design. Aside from La Muerte, Xibalba and the Candle Maker, all the characters were presented as figurines; as the story was being told through the use of figures. Though the animation itself was not most influential, it was still able to stand out thanks to the movie's use of color (particularly in The Land of the Remembered). Jorge Gutierrez's direction was no doubt effective, but there was one thing that bothered me. Throughout the movie, there are several songs from popular artists that were sung by Manolo. These songs gave a jukebox musical vibe to the film, but the question I have is why were they there? There did not seem to be a solid reason behind the songs' presence and, while sung terrifically by Diego Luna, it took me out of the film. Though, some of the songs were written by Paul Williams, which was undeniably cool.