“The Book of Life,” a vibrant animated fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo (Luna), a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to reunite with his one true love Maria (Saldana) and defend his village. But Manolo and his equally courageous best friend Joaquin (Tatum)are not your typical Prince Charmings; the object of their affections is far from being your average princess; and “The Book of Life” is a fairy tale that doesn’t go by the book.
Del Toro was equally impressed by Gutierrez’s passion for what would become “The Book of Life.” “Jorge is his movie,” he says, “and the movie is an imprint of his personality. Jorge’s ideas for “The Book of Life” started with his connection to his homeland of Mexico, and presenting an exciting, never-before-experienced depiction of that country, its people and its traditions – all in a way that would be accessible to audiences around the world.”
Adds producer Brad Booker: “Guillermo brings an authenticity and passion for this world and story. He’s a visionary filmmaker and has been tremendously supportive of Jorge’s ideas.” “The Book of Life” brings together Gutierrez’s perspective of his native country with a story to which everyone can relate. He explains: “This is a very personal movie. The inspiration comes from my family history and childhood experiences.”
Still, Gutierrez admits he embellished some elements. “My grandfather Luis used to tell me, ‘Jorgito, don’t ever let the truth get in the way of a good story!’ And that was the moment I fell in love with storytelling.” Gutierrez’s passion for the story, characters and their world points to the film’s broad appeal. “If you’re telling a story and want it be universal, then you have to be specific,” del Toro explains. “If the filmmaker loves the story and characters, then audiences will love it. And if a filmmaker feels it’s powerful, more people will love the story he or she is telling because it’s powerful. And that’s exactly what Jorge has done with “The Book of Life.”
“The Book of Life” opens October 16 in cinemas (2D and 3D) nationwide from 20th Century Fox thru Warner Bros.
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