The Book of Life

Theatrical Release: October 17, 2014
DVD Release: January 27, 2015
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.

Dove Review

“The Book of Life” is an exuberant and entertaining movie! There is plenty of action and lots of fun for kids and adults alike. The film features themes such as being true to one’s self, deceased loved ones are kept alive by our memories, and selflessness is what makes a true hero.

Zoe Saldana plays the lovely Maria, whose affections are sought by Joaquin (Channing Tatum) and Manolo (Diego Luna), two young men she has known since she was a young girl. The Day of the Dead is celebrated on Nov. 2, and the movie features this celebration along with an adventure to the Land of the Remembered. There couldn’t be a good story without conflict; the evil Xibalba (Ron Perlman) makes a wager as to which of the two young men Maria will one day choose. Of course he plots to help make sure his choice becomes Maria’s choice so he can win the bet. While the backdrop of the film is the Mexican celebration known as “Día de Muertos” or “Day of the Dead,” the event is used as a means to teach important life lessons to a group of troublesome children by a museum tour guide.

The movie features bullfighting, sword fighting, constant energetic action, great villains like Xibalba and the bandit Chakel, and a touch of romance. Along with the themes already mentioned, the idea of “writing one’s own story” is featured. With memorable characters, great songs, and a fast-paced plot, the movie will capture your imagination from beginning to end. Kids of all ages will enjoy “The Book of Life.” We are extremely pleased to award the movie five Doves, our best rating, and our Dove Family-Approved Seal for all ages. Olé!

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Kissing by a few couples.
Language: Bozos-1; Lazy Bums-1; Acting like fools comment-1; Ugly-1; Duh-1; You were a "clown"!-1; Son of a leper's donkey-1; Bull-1; Butt-1.
Violence: Lots of slapstick action like sword fights, bull fights, characters being slapped, bitten by snakes, punching, bull runs into wall; characters knocked over; character hit with guitar; friends swat each other.
Drugs: Drinking of wine.
Nudity: None
Other: A goat poops; the idea of lives being like candles and there is a great Candle Maker; pig pees; grief over deceased loved ones including a boy missing his mother; belching and spitting; gum "spitballs;" skulls seen on wall; loved ones seen beyond death; character has to earn a second chance at life.


Company: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Animated
Runtime: 95 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter