Family, holiday

The Book of Life & Dia de los Muertos

A photo posted by Mrs.AOK (@mrs_aok) on

This weekend my family and I took a much needed escape to the movies.  We went to see the movie, The Book of Life.  I’ve been patiently anticipating seeing this movie, considering I ♡ Día de los Muertos— and you know this man!  Well, if you follow my blog, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram— you know this 😉

The Book Of Lifesource

The Book of Life, did not disappoint, I absolutely loved it!  We watched the movie in 3D, which added to the allure of the movie, I totally would suggest seeing it in 3D, but I’m sure the movie would be just as beautiful without.  Besides the movie being aesthetically pleasing, the story was transcendent!  I mean, my husband did not fall asleep and he never went to get us a popcorn refill, because he didn’t want to miss a minute of it– that’s HUGE!  We have seen other animated films that he has slept through or I have walked away feeling like I could’ve waited for it to come out on Blu-Ray.  The kiddos enjoyed the movie too.

There were things in the movie I totally got, because eh hem Mexican 🙂  I found myself chuckling agreeing with different scenarios that totally felt true to my own upbringing.  Hello, I’m a Sanchez too… well, my grandma was a Sanchez.  The thought of seeing her (mi abuela/grandma) in The Land of The Remembered, many, many, many, many, many, many x 70 years from now is lovely.  To reunite as a family with all those we’ve lost is such warm thought.  My daughter and I talked about the movie again in the morning, we both agreed that The Land of The Remembered sounded like a wonderful place, but it looked absolutely enchanting.  Seriously– this movie is gorgeous.


I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll give you a short synopsis

Manolo Sanchez (besides being my animated kinfolk) is a passionate, kind, musical, bullfighter.  He’s a bullfighter by family, it’s what his family has done for years, therefore he’s expected to do the same.  Manolo is in love with the beautiful and feisty Maria, he tries to win her over, as well as make his family proud.  Joaquín is friends with Manolo and Maria, he too is in love with Maria, he tries to prove his bravery and strength to win over Maria’s heart. The two “spirits” La Muerte and Xibalba make a bet in regard to which man will win Maria’s heart. Their bet causes quite the drama. {{{That’s where you’re supposed to give a big novela gasp}}

HOW ON EARTH DID I FORGET TO MENTION THE MUSIC!?!?  The music in this movie is awesome! I LOVED the Latinofied (has that been used yet, because if not.. I’m thinking I should coin it?) covers of  Mumford and Sons’ “I Will Wait” and Radiohead’s “Creep“.  There are more covers that I think you’ll love, but I’ll let you hear for yourself 😉

ICE CUBE!! No, Ice Cube doesn’t rap, but he lends his recognizable and great-for-animation voice. Dopest candlemaker EVER!

The Dopest Candle Maker Candle Maker


If you don’t know much about Día de los Muertos there is a short lesson given to a group of students taking a museum tour in the beginning of the movie.   However, your girl will kick a little knowledge right now….

What Is Dia De Los Muertos

What is Dia De Los Muertos

Mictecacihuatl, Aztec Queen of Mictlan, ruler of the afterlife in the underworld, she watches over those who are deceased. She is also know as the Lady of The Dead
La Calavera Catrina. Post Spanish invasion La Calavera was a reminder that even the rich do not escape death, and Mexicans were willing to laugh at death. Celebrate the life.
La Calavera Catrina. Post Spanish invasion La Calavera was a reminder that even the rich do not escape death, and Mexicans were willing to laugh at death. Celebrate the life.


Día de los Muertos {Day of the Dead} is a pre-Hispanic, Mexican holiday that is also celebrated in Latin American countries, as well as in Latin communities.  The origin of the holiday has roots to the Aztecs, before the Spanish influence.  The Spaniards tried to rid the Aztecs of their traditions, despite that, a melding of cultures took place.  All Saints Day and All Souls correspond with Día de los Muertos.  During Día de los Muertos it is a time to remember those who have parted and celebrate their lives.  Sadness and mourning, is replaced with bright colors, offerings, calaveras, altars, and parties.  This a great time to tell stories about those that have passed on with younger family members, therefore the deceased live on in the hearts and minds of those still alive.

My friend Ophelia from Latina Mama Rama has displayed her Dia De Los Muertos altar and how to make your own altar here.  Although “dead” is in the title, Day of the Dead is a celebration of life.

I hope you will go see The Book of Life.  The movie does open up conversation with your children.  You could use this movie as a cultural lesson to dive deeper into Mexican culture, as well as the celebration of life.  I would totally recommend this movie for a date night 😉

Have you seen the movie yet?  What are your thoughts of celebrating the deceased?






© 2014 – 2016, Dean @Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress. All rights reserved.

18 thoughts on “The Book of Life & Dia de los Muertos”

  1. I want to take my grandson to see this movie. He’s only two years old but I can’t wait to tell him stories about where we come from and about his great, great grandparents.

    Coming from a Mexican-American or Chicano family we always celebrated this time of the year and I gladly share it with mine too. Now that they’re older they listen and ask questions about our family history.

    Great post! Hope you’re having a great day!


    1. The movie is beautiful visually and plot-wise. I’m sure one day your grandson will love hearing stories about his family; I always loved hearing stories from my grandma & grandpa. My grandpa was recording his stories before he passed.
      This is a great time for all people no matter cultural backgrounds to think about and share happy stories of their loved ones, it’s beautiful to let the memory live.

  2. It looks like such a cute movie! I wish my daughter would sit through a movie at a theater. I have to admit that I never knew that much about Dia De Los Muertos but I’ve always loved the decorated skulls that go with the holiday. I think it’s a really cool idea to honor the dead this way. Instead of mourning, remember them with happiness and color. I’m Italian and death was always black mourning outfits, veils and really long wakes. This was so interesting to learn about!

    1. Thanks, Karen. I grew up in a somewhat Catholic family, so I know all about the mourning and black. I love the celebration of life aspect MUCH better. My husband and I both have said we want a party when we’re gone. My mom gets mad when she hears me say I want “Ding Dong the Witch is Gone” to play at my funeral 😀 My husband thinks it’s hilarious, and it’s my personality, jokes for days…

  3. It sounds like a really cute movie. Anything with an awesome soundtrack is a winner in my book. Thank you for the history on Dia De Los Muertos. I’ve always found the decorations beautiful, but didn’t know much about it. You think growing up in the Southwest I’d know better. I love that the day of the dead is a celebration of life. Absolutely beautiful! xoxo

    1. I really enjoyed the movie, and the music covers were cute 🙂 I’m glad I could share a little bit of history, there is SO much more, but I didn’t want to sound like an encyclopedia 🙂
      I’m all about celebrating life!

  4. I’ll admit, I did not know a whole bunch about Dia de los Muertos, so thank you for the lesson 🙂 This looks like a really fun movie, I hope to be able to check it out! (Granted, it might have to be when it comes out on DVD.)

    1. You’re welcome 🙂
      I know exactly what you mean, my husband and I are usually waiting for things to hit Redbox 😀

  5. Aye, you just made me wanna see this. Hubby and I saw trailers and kinda gave the side eye like, wait for dvd….but now I really wanna see it! lol! You’re such an enabler…knowing movie tickets and baby sitters are expensive!! ♥

    1. HA HA! Notice, I said this was a treat 🙂 We rarely go to the movies anymore because party of five is expensive, plus snacks… and that’s with mama bringing in her own candy 😀
      We’re usually Redbox watchers 🙂

    1. Yes, very different, and I love that 🙂 I hope we see more animated films touch on other cultures and their stories.

  6. I will totally be seeing this!! I’ve been married to a Mexican for almost 12 years so you have to pretty much remind me that I’m NOT actually Mexican myself, hahaha! I loved this review you gave without giving away too much of the movie. This looks like the perfect family movie!

    1. Ha Ha, you’re like my husband!! I call my husband Miklo, it’s a reference to the movie Blood In Blood Out…. I know I’m wrong. Whenever I cook something Mexican my husband always says, “It’s good to be Mexican.”
      The Book of Life is a great movie, and especially something to use as a cultural aid with your boys 🙂

  7. I’m loving this post and am really excited to see the movie! Especially for the Latinofication of popular music :).

    Thanks for sharing the details of one of our more awesome customs!

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