The 2014 animation, The Book of Life, is still one of the most unique and unconventional cartoons in cinematic history. The Jorge R. Gutierrez film was renowned for its gorgeous visuals and heart-warming plot, which took viewers into a number of different fantasy worlds. It has been revealed that the story is not over, and the director has ideas which could take place over at least two sequels. So, what could happen in the next instalment, and will it have the same magical feel of the first?
The Book of Life was not up there in scale with some of the huge Pixar films like Toy Story or Finding Nemo, but for a film from an independent animation studio, it was a massive success. The 2014 offering was made by Reel FX Creative Studios, who had only created two films – Cirque du Soleil: World’s Away and Free Birds – prior to its release. The animated adventure, which makes use of wooden figure characters, had some big-name producers, including Guillermo Del Toro. This helped it to gain attention and reach large audiences.
The theme of The Book of Life is well-known, and this is one of the main factors that helped it attract audiences. It takes place during the Day of the Dead, a famous Mexican holiday to celebrate those who have passed on to another realm of existence. While not as ubiquitous as holidays like Halloween, the Mexican festival is prevalent in popular culture. For instance, the Day of the Dead slot is one of the most popular fruit slots at MagicalVegas.com. And the classic video game character Grim Fandango was based on the Mexican holiday, with the main character resembling a skeleton.
The Book of Life centres on Manolo Sanchez and Joaquin Mondragon as they compete for the love of Maria Posada. In the end, Manolo and Maria are happily married, and Joaquin resolves to be a true hero without the need for the Medal of Everlasting Life which had been given to him by Xibalba. The 2014 film finished off Manolo’s arc with a satisfying end, but there is still potential to revisit some of the other characters and see what happens to them.
Gutierrez said that he wants the sequel to focus on Joaquin as the central protagonist, and to explore his relationship with his father. If he was to make a third film, this one would have Maria as its primary focus. Indeed, the 44-year-old claimed that he always envisioned it as being a trilogy. In 2017, it was announced that work on the second instalment had begun, but distributer 20th Century Fox is yet to reveal a release date for the film.
If Gutierrez manages to recapture the charm of the original, while also delivering the amazing visuals, the Book of Life sequel is sure to be a stunning creation. And with the Day of the Dead becoming even more popular as a worldwide holiday, the new film is likely to pull in large audiences.