Fox Animation, News, Reel FX, Studios

Concept Art for ‘The Book of Life’: Finally!

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It seems that we have been waiting with bated breath for quite some time for many of the studios to release some of their concept art for their upcoming feature animated projects. Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter we finally have the first two pieces from Reel FX’s The Book of Life

About the story: Set on the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead and tells of a young man named Manolo who is torn between what he wants to do (play guitar and win the heart of the girl of his dreams) and what his family wants him to do. He ends up traveling across three different worlds to find himself.


The Book of Life is being produced by current Hollywood favorite Guillermo del Toro, and Directed by Jorge Gutierrez and the studios are Fox Animation and Reel FX Animation Studios, the latter of which gave us nothing to be thankful for last Thanksgiving: Free Birds. So this raises some red flags. Well that, and coupled with some of the voice actor line up, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube among others could be troubling. Then again, there are some fan favorites in the bunch including Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin and Gabriel Iglesias. So, until a trailer comes out, we’ll have to continue speculating and staring at the undoubtedly beautiful concept art they have released.

The Book of Life will be released later this year on October 17, 2014.

What are your thoughts? Will Reel FX be able to pull it off? Will Guillermo del Toro be as big of an influence on the film as we hope? What will this do to Pixar’s Day of the Dead feature? Sound off below!

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  • Fadi Antwan

    The concept art is gorgeous, but I still don’t have faith in Reel FX…

  • the lion gold

    “Reel FX” stealing ideas!

    Pixar announced they make a movie about “the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead”


    • Not Without

      Gonna say it’s the reverse. This film is due out this year. That Pixar movie is a long ways off..

      • the lion gold

        But Pixar thought of the idea first, and Reel FX stole their idea.

        Now Pixar will not be the first to do a movie about this holiday.

        • Max den Hartog

          I’m a big Pixar fan and I’m really excited for their movie but you don’t know how long this movie has been in production and probably the story will be very different from Pixar’s movie. You can create a lot of different movies surrounding one holiday.

        • Jessica

          Just because they take place around the same holdiay doesn’t mean they stole the idea. Think about it; for example, there’s tons of Christmas movies, but they are all unique.

          • I’m going to have to go with Jessica on this. When it comes down to, their story lines are probably going to be severely different particularly because the teams heading each story are like day and night. Let’s keep our pants on and just and see what happens.

        • arrow

          The initial concept/development for this film has been around for a very long time; trust me when I say it wasn’t stolen from Pixar.

    • lasdjflaweija

      Hate to break it to ya bud, but this story has been in some form of development for well over a decade.

  • james rath

    I don’t have faith in Reel FX storywise after watching Free Birds. If this movie is a disappointment, than Pixar can go ahead and finish their film. If this movie lives up to the concept art (especially the moon one) and is good, then I would worry about Pixar’s film going the way of Newt. However, Pixar’s won’t be released until 2017? so time might be on their side.

  • Cole Millions

    Yes, Reel FX does not have that good of a track record and yes, Ice Cube and Channing Tatum don’t really scream “good voice actors” to me, but there are some saving aspects here…. Liiiiiiike:

    -Concept art. It is gorgeous.
    -The story actually seems smart and full of possiblities, unlike ‘Free Birds’ or ‘Escape from Planet Earth’
    -Guillermo del Toro. Need I say more. Plus, the director has won a few Annie awards and an Emmy.

    Let’s wait for a trailer before the poo-pooing starts.

    • Well like any movie, it’s nice to point out flaws as well as brilliance. I am a HUGE GDT fan, but he’s also produced some sub-par films. That being said, he’s still a genius. Unfortunately I don’t know too much about Gutierrez, but I’m willing to give it all a shot.

      Only time will tell. But the concept art is gorgeous, that’s for damn sure.

  • Biblio-Phil

    I’m kind of curious about this one…the concept art is beautiful. I hope Pixar’s take on the Day of the Dead will be just as good or better…it’s Pixar, people! I shouldn’t worry! I love the pic guy with the guitar and the moon….very Romeo-Juliet vibe I’m getting on that one, especially of the balcony scene. The next one is very colorful and almost reminded me of Sugar Rush in Wreck it Ralph. I must say, this looks promising.

  • Ariel

    I love the concept art, but I would like to at least see a trailer first before I judge it. Guillermo del Toro is producing this, so that’s exciting. I also like the director, Jorge Gutierrez, who created one of my favorite childhood cartoons, El Tigre. I know that this all doesn’t mean it will be good, but I’ll keep an open-mind, since there are things I like so far. Thanks for the updates, keep them coming!

  • Haley TheRadiant

    This looks amazing but I still feel empty since it isn’t much

  • brandon

    To be honest, unlike other commenters here I’m not all to ready to put Reel FX under the bus just yet. Yes, the first film they came out the gate with was NOT good, but I have enough faith in the team working on this (Del Toro, Gutierrez, etc) that they can turn it around. Hey, if DWA can turn around and put out awesome stuff like HTTYD and Kung Fu Panda, then why not these guys?

    And about Pixar’s Day of the Dead movie: I’m pretty sure everybody remembers this:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I think I have more faith in Reel FX as far as doing a Day of the Dead feature that respects the culture and tradition of said holiday than whatever Pixar has planned at this stage.

  • Max den Hartog

    The concept art looks pretty good, so I’m excited to see more of this movie but after seeing Free Birds I really hope this movie is going to be better (The story was so weak!)

  • So far, it looks like it can make up for “Free Birds”.

  • I enjoy Guillermo del Toro’s various works. Some are more whimsical styled while others are gritty with a dark surreal edge to it. I prefer the title “Book of Life” over “Day of the Dead” because, if you’ll pardon my ignorance, I know little about the festival and the latter suddenly sounds morbid.

    Maybe it isn’t as dark and scary as it sounds but but the word “life” brings to mind joy, optimism, and inspiration. The notion of thise being the protagonist’s journey through a world of colors sounds inviting too. Looking forward to hearing more about this!

    • Ariel

      You make a good point on the title thing, however, Day of the Dead is not intended to be scary. It’s actually a holiday celebrating death. I for one think it’s a beautiful holiday, you just kinda have to look at it in a different way. 🙂

    • I agree with both @roseeclipse:disqus and @ariel here. The title is a nicer one but the holiday itself is about celebrating the people who have passed on to the next world. It’s the one day a year we can mourn and celebrate the people we love. Certain parts of Mexico spend weeks preparing altars and food in order to make it a beautiful and warm celebration, not morbid at all…well I suppose the only morbid part is that Death is often included in the celebration, but that’s more out of the symbolic meaning that no one escapes death. I hope regardless of the differences or similarities between the films they at least bring light to that aspect of the holiday.

  • Matthew

    I dunno. When Rio came out, Pixar stooped Newt (which they should still do, in my opinion). So, this moigjht stop Pixar’s Day Of The Dead. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me a lot if they don’t. I likeds what they did with BRAVE, by playing with Scottish folklore, without going into fairytale mode. I’d like to see more of that, maybe in 1800’s Appalachia.

    • Matthew


      • Matthew