When film historians look back on the early 21st Century it will be seen as boom time for the CG animated film. Lead on by the successes of the Pixarians from Emeryville we’ve seen new studios come to the fore of family entertainment with wonderful tales of imagination and visual invention.
At the heart of these films, determinants of their success in fact, are a combination of a strong voice cast, unique character designs and a story with wit and emotional punch. These are the elements which, when in combination, conspire to create something memorable.
For The Book of Life director Jorge Gutierrez has been inspired by the Mexican celebration Dia de los Muertos when, for 24 hours only, the spirits of those passed on return to Earth to party with their families. The beautiful art style can be seen in vivid detail in the assorted artwork below, and it’s easy to see the influence of Gutierrez’s famed cartoon series El Tigre in the posters and stills.
Having Guillermo del Toro oversee the project must have served to stir in the mixture of the magic and the macabre. The tale of soulful Manolo battling through the worlds beyond our own to win the heart of his lifelong love has more than a touch of Grim Fandango about it, and looks set to enthrall when it is released in cinemas on the 24th of October.
Diego Luna leads a cast consisting of Zoe Saldana and Channing Tatum as the lovetorn trio at the heart of the film. In supporting roles Guiterrez has a cavalcade of famous names (and voices); to whit – Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman, the ever wonderful Héctor Elizondo and even Plácido Domingo.
Below you’ll see an array of character portraits, behind the scenes featurettes, trailers and posters. There is great talent behind this film, and the joyous style and sugar skull aesthetic might just give this animated film the edge this year.
Channing Tatum – Joaquin
Behind the Scenes of The Book of Life
Zoe Saldana – Maria
Becoming a Hero
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.