Family Time: The Book of Life U

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 24 February 2024

The final film in our Family Time “4x4” mini-season is 2014’s The Book of Life.

In a Mexican town where Day of the Dead is being celebrated, a romantic rivalry is beginning within a group of children. The spirits of La Muerte and Xibalba look on and place bets on their futures – and begin to meddle in their story.

Produced by respected Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (Pinocchio, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) and directed by Jorge R. Gutiérrez (creator of popular Netflix animated mini-series Maya and the Three) The Book of Life represents a turning point in pop culture where doors began to open to diverse stories told from an authentic point of view.

Prior to the 2010’s, many of the most popular animated films were fairytales starring princesses or talking animals. As the market became more saturated, and audiences became more conscious of media’s biases towards certain types of films, studios began to pick up more original stories representing different cultures.

The Book of Life combines folklore with a modern twist. The story is soundtracked by pop music adapted mariachi-style, whilst the beautiful, colourful 3D animation takes inspiration from traditional Mexican art. It was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and is a must-see for fans of Disney’s more widely seen Day of the Dead tale, Coco.

The Book of Life is rated U, though it does contain mild fantasy violence and brief scary scenes. For fans of Coco, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Moana.

Family Time screenings are relaxed and feature subtitles and low-level lighting for accessibility and comfort for all. All tickets are £5. Please find more information about Family Time here.

Jorge R. Gutiérrez
1 hour 35 minutes
Channing Tatum, Diego Luna, Zoe Salanda


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