The Book of Life

2014 PG 1h 35m Blu-ray / DVD

The Book of Life

2014 PG 1h 35m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Zoe Saldana, Danny Trejo and Cheech Marin lend their voices to this splashy animated fable that weaves a Romeo-and-Juliet story against the backdrop of the Mexican customs surrounding the Day of the Dead.
Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Cheech Marin
Jorge R. Gutierrez
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 2.39:1
English SDH, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Widescreen 2.40:1
English SDH, Spanish (Neutral), French, Portuguese (Brazilian)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children. PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 7+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 7+
age 7+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Book of Life is a refreshingly original animated film that takes viewers to the underworld and back. Smaller children might find the scenes in the Land of the Remembered scary, especially those featuring the king of the underworld, Xibalba (who's named after the Mayan name for the realm of the dead). The characters in the Land of the Remembered are traditional Day of the Dead figures, which are skeletons in brightly colored clothing. One dead character's head is separate from his body. There are some bullfighting scenes and battle sequences that are a little violent, and things get somewhat darker when the action shifts to the underworld (there's a demonic bull surrounded by fire). Expect a little bit of kissing and a few insults ("kick his butt," "lazy bum"), too. But the fun definitely outweighs the scary/iffy parts, and ultimately this is a vibrant, colorful movie about doing the right thing and the importance of family -- messages that can be appreciated by both kids and parents. It's also an invitation to explore and learn more about Mexican culture, from the details of the Day of the Dead celebrations to legendary creatures like Chupacabras.

Sexual Content


Potentially scary imagery/pervasive death references (skeletons, beheaded figures, etc.) throughout the movie. Manolo fights real-life bulls, and, near the end, he also fights a scary demon bull the size of a building. Xiabalba, the king of the underworld, is scary and makes loud frightening movements that could scare some children. Manolo dies and becomes a skeleton figure and reunites with his dead ancestors, including his mother. His grandfather has his head chopped off, and Manolo's mother carries it around. Maria and Manolo are bitten by a snake that transforms from a cane. There's a battle scene at the end with punching and sword fighting. Joaquin, the town hero, fights throughout the movie. Manolo and Joaquin get in a slap fight over Maria. Throughout the movie, there are little scares where characters jump out or react loudly. At the beginning of the movie, children visiting a museum are taken through a magical door to a secret room.


Words like "kick his butt" and insults like "lazy bum." Some kids are called "detention kids."

Social Behavior

There's an ongoing message that doing what's right is more important than other people's expectations of you. When Manolo goes to the underworld, he learns that he's part of a bigger world. On the Day of the Dead, family members that have died are honored and remembered in a big celebration.


There's no consumerism in the film, which is set in the past, but there are tie-in marketing deals for clothing, jewelry, toys, etc.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

There's drinking, but it's not clear what's being consumed.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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