The Book of Life, the upcoming animated film produced by Guillermo del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim), has an interesting look to it. It’s sort of like Disney’s Princess and the Frog crossed paths with the video game Puppeteer at a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. Actually, it’s quite similar to director Jorge Gutierrez’s animated series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera (although the show wasn’t 3D animated like the film), especially the character designs.
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.
Diego Luna (Milk, Elysium) is providing the voice of protagonist, Manny, Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy) is voicing his love interest, Maria, and Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street) is voicing his rival Joaquin. Badass baritone and del Toro mainstay Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Pacific Rim) rounds out the cast, along with Danny Trejo (Machete), Cheech Marin (of Cheech and Chong), and Christina Applegate (Anchorman).
This will by the first feature film Gutierrez has directed. Del Toro has some limited past experience with animation: he is credited as “creative producer” on two direct-to-DVD animated adaptations of Hellboy; he was an executive producer on Kung Fu Panda 2 (plus, “creative consultant”); and, he did some voice over work on the Mexican animated film, El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza.
The Book of Life is set for an October 17, 2014 release.