Life-affirming cinema studded with Latino stars
20th Century Fox/Reel FX’s announced the cast for its upcoming, fully computer-generated animation film, The Book of Life, which is billed as a romance, a drama, a comedy, a musical and an action-adventure film. Given a title like that, what else would you expect? A Mexican Day of the Dead celebration is the initial backdrop for the plot, but it gets a whole lot wilder from there.
With producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez at the helm, working with a script by del Toro, Gutierrez and Doug Langdale, it is no surprise that the voice cast is dominated by Latino luminaries, such as Zoë Saldana, Diego Luna, Kate del Castillo, Cheech Marin, Hector Elizondo, Ana de la Reguera, Eugenio Derbez, Gabriel Iglesias, and Danny Trejo. And, if that’s not enough – legendary tenor Plácido Domingo is also along for the ride (on the same bill with Ice Cube!!).
The film’s original score and songs are by two-time Academy Award-winner and Grammy Award winner, Gustavo Santaolalla, but look for some new versions of iconic tunes as well.
The Book of Life, set to be released in October 2014, refrences a celestial tome in which are recorded the names of those who merit salvation. But no one gets eternal bliss for nothing, and the film follows a young man, Manolo (voiced by Channing Tatum), through the ordeals he must undergo in order to discover the values that should inform his life decisions. On this journey, Manolo passes through three different fantastic worlds in which he must face down his worst fears and come to grips with what really matters in life. Profound issues, but played for entertainment value as in all the finest animated films intended for family viewing.