Monday, October 20, 2014

The Book of Life Movie, Minigames, Books, and More...

This post uses affiliate links.

This weekend, I took my kids to see The Book of Life.


The first movie we've ever seen centered around Día de los Muertes (Day of the Dead), it did not disappoint us. Although last month, we found this...

...we have not had time to read it yet. So the storyline and characters were a complete surprise to us.


The Book of Life is the story of Manolo Sanchez (Diego Luna), a young man who must learn to follow his heart even if it means going against the expectations of his family and community. Manolo comes from a long line of bullfighters; his father was one, his grandfather was get the idea. And when he is just a boy, his father realizes that Manolo has a gift and could be the most talented bullfighter the family has ever seen. But Manolo is a musician at heart who loves to play his guitar and sing, despite the pressure he is under from his father to be the best bullfighter.

Manolo is best friends with Joaquín (Channing Tatum), a celebrated war hero whose own father died bravely in battle. But the problem is that both of them are in love with the same woman, María (Zoë Saldaña). To win her love, Manolo must travel across three fantastical worlds - the Land of the Living, the Land of the Remembered, and the Land of the Forgotten. And along the way he learns to be true to himself.

Now add into the mix La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) and King Xibalba (Ron Perlman), rulers of the Land of the Remembered and Land of the Forgotten respectively. Xibalba wants to rule the Land of the Remembered, so he makes a little bet with La Muerte. You can probably guess who wins...or can you?

What I like:

The movie itself is a VISUAL FEAST. Do you think the characters look different from any other animated video you've ever seen? That's because they are. So is the setting. The imagery is heavily influenced by Mexican folk art, as well as Mayan, Aztec, and Olmec art, and Spanish architecture.

This movie is produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Jorge Gutierrez. We, of course, love all the Latino actors who are the voices behind the characters!

What I don't like:

María's impossible body figure. I hate how we make girls think that the most beautiful girl is the one with a teensy waist and giant boobs. She would have been just as beautiful with a more realistic waistline.

I'm also disappointed that the movie doesn't have more books (written by Latinos) for children. Here's a wonderful opportunity to explore culture and the holiday, but I could only find 3 books (listed below), and one of these is really more for adults than kids.

Get the soundtrack...

The soundtrack is fantastic, though! It includes songs by opera tenor Pácido Domingo, The Santa Cecilia, and Gustavo Santaolalla among others. You can find it here (affiliate link) on Amazon.

Online minigames, activity sheets, crafts...

Visit The Book of Life's official website to play four minigames and "win" medals.

I also Googled Book of Life activity sheets and found these from the movie website, although I couldn't find them when I went directly to the site.

The Crafty Chica also has an adorable craft for making your own Baby Chuy!

Continue the learning...

...with these books and toys available on Amazon.
(This section uses affiliate links)

  1. A Hero's Life by Daphne Pendergrass
  2. A Tale of Two Friends by Ellie O'Ryan
  3. The Art of the Book of Life by Jorge Gutierrez 

And I absolutely love these toys:
(This section uses affiliate links)

  1. action figure of Manolo
  2. action figure of María
  3. action figure of La Muerte 
  4. action figure of Xibalba
  5. action figure of Manolo Remembered
  6. Manolo action figure
  7. María action figure
  8. Xibalba action figure


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