The Book of Life ~ Concept Art Revealed

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is about to become an even hotter property when Guillermo del Toro's Book of Life opens on October 17. It's the first film out of the gate, and may or may not influence the long-gestating version that Pixar has been developing for years. Dia de los Muertos is often considered the Mexican Halloween (it's not though) and it's a wonderful, colorful, whimsically-dark celebration of family and loved ones lost.

 Since family-friendly horror films seem to stumble at the box office (Frankenweenie: "Too morbid!" ParaNorman: "Too Scary!" Monster House: "Too dark!") perhaps this film will approach the themes of death, skeletons, and the afterlife with a more playful tone, like Hotel Transylvania did to excellent financial (albeit less artistic) success. If they respect the holiday's true intentions they won't need to make it "too scary" and if they keep silliness to a minimum, it may just connect with adult audiences. Fingers crossed.

Here's a look at the gorgeous concept art for The Book of Life. At first glance it's rather Tim Burton inspired but the much more colorful palette is certainly unique.

Also available to pre-order on Amazon is the "The Art of The Book of Life" movie companion.


  1. Intriguing! I've never paid much attention to Dia de los Muertos, but I know a lot of folk artists who do. I love the color in the above illustrations.

  2. What I liked most was the light rays from above suggesting that this colorful world likes beneath the land of the living. Sort of like the concept from Corpse Bride but done in a very rich and grand scale. The buildings have been whimsically skeletonized but I wonder what the inhabitants will look like? Will they lean more toward skeletons or zombies? Dia de los Muertos is a spiritual holiday celebrating dead relatives and I'm not sure how they will approach the subject respectfully (or tastefully).


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