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Headscratchers / The Book of Life

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  • Xibalba killing Manolo wasn't part of their deal. Manolo asked to see Maria again, and since Maria wasn't dead, killing Manolo doesn't fulfill Xibalba's end of the bargain.
    • Yes, but he says he wants to see Maria again. She's going to die eventually, and she'll probably be remembered.
    • Well, for one thing, they didn't actually make a deal. Manolo said he wanted to go where he thought Maria was and Xibalba warned him to Be Careful What You Wish For and when he said it again, Xibalba killed him. For another, Xibalba doesn't care and pretty much wanted Manolo dead anyway.
    • Yeah, when La Muerte and Xibalba make their deal at the beginning of the movie, they invoke "the ancient rules" and shake on it. There are no similar formalities when Manolo does his thing with Xibalba later on. Seems it wasn't an official deal enforced by any laws — instead, it was just Manolo saying, "I want to die" and Xibalba saying, "Okay."
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    • Well the bottom line is Xibalba tricked Manolo. It looked like Maria died, as they explained was merely in a trance from one bite. He convinced Manolo that she was dead, and so when he wanted to see her, the snake bit him twice, doing him in. He again cheated, tricking Manolo into dying so that Maria would marry his choice to win the bet. It's the reason Manolo's given a shot at getting his life back.
  • Why in the world is there a banquet in the Land of the Remembered? Especially since they no longer need to eat due to the fact that well, they are DEAD! Especially creepy is the fact that there is a roast in the banquet table! Exactly where did that come from?
    • Well, the Land of the Remembered is described as a constant party, and what's one thing you always have at a party? Plenty of food! Besides, just because they don't have to eat any longer, it doesn't mean they don't like to. As to where the food comes from, it's the Underworld (or one of the underworlds), so it's probably magic.
    • This is answered in the dvd commentary, the food offerings placed on graves on the day of the dead are brought down to the land of the remembered. Makes perfect sense really.
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    • In fact, food offerings are a crucial part in the celebration of The Day of the Dead. Supposedly that day the souls of the people who has passed down come back to share one more meal with the living. If they are in the Land of the Remembered is because someone actually remembered to leave an offering to them. This gets more depressing if you notice that there is no banquet in the Land of the Forgotten.
  • The wager is based on whether Maria will pick Manolo or Joaquin to marry when she grows up. By the fact this is picked as a wager at all, the gods can't know the future outcome any more than the human characters can. So what would happen if she went for a different guy? Or a girl? Or just never married anyone?
    • Presumably since neither of them win, La Muerte would stay in charge on the Land of the Remembered and Xibalba would be free to interfere with mortals as he pleases.
      • Or, this would be another opportunity for Xibalba to cheat...most likely by either outside competition having the same (almost) fate as Manolo or perhaps cause something to steer them away from Maria and vice versa (the latter might have been something La Muerte might have considered too). Gods have a tendency for things to go their way...
      • Meh, going from the subtle hints from the beginning, La Muerte and Xibalba most likely felt they had a secure wager...especially in La Muerte's favor.
  • How come Joaquín's dad never showed up? Manolo can see his dead mother, but Joaquín can't see his dead parents?
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    • There wasn't any reason or opportunity for Manolo to cross paths with Captain Mondragon, considering that he's taken directly to his own family and sets out on his journey soon afterwards. It's also possible that he didn't show up for some reason we don't know about yet.
      • If the thing about this being a planned trilogy with each movie focusing on one of the main trio is true, we'll most likely see Joaquín's parents in his focus movie.
    • There might be another reason for this; he wasn't actually dead at the time. Go look at the WMG page. Captain Mondragon is wearing the Medal of Everlasting Life. Who was the last person who had the medal before Joaquin?
    • Eh... not the case, thankfully.
    • As it turns out, he's in the Unknown and might appear in the sequel.
  • While Manolo was in the labyrinth, his grandfather said, "run for your life!" Wait. Manolo's dead. What?
    • Two ideas. Either he was referring to the second life that Manolo was fighting to win, or Manolo would have become Deader Than Dead had he failed.
    • Figure of speech: any expressive use of language, as a metaphor, simile, personification, or antithesis, in which words are used in other than their literal sense, or in other than their ordinary locutions, in order to suggest a picture or image or for other special effect.
    • Thanks for your explanations.
  • Why were the Detention Kids on a field trip to the museum? Last I checked, detention is a school punishment that typically involves forcing a misbehaving student to stay in a classroom during recess, lunch, or after school ends. So how could the Detention Kids be allowed on a field trip when, logically, they should be forbidden from going outside the school as per their punishment?
    • Cool and Unusual Punishment? OTOH, it's very probable that the whole thing was manipulated by La Muerte, Xibalba and the Candlemaker. (The Candlemaker was supposed to be the driver of the bus, so it's even possible that they were meant to be somewhere else)
    • I knew La Muerte and Xibalba were the reason for the kids being in detention to begin with but I didn't think they could manipulate things like this. I guess they're doing more "direct" manipulations rather than the subtle kind. I also did not know that the Candlemaker was involved though nor that he was the bus driver! Yeah, perhaps the Detention Kids were meant to go to a place that would make them wish they were back at school but the Candlemaker went on a detour...
    • Some schools have programs rooted in the idea that detention is counter-productive (eg, if a kid's problem is that they can't sit still in class, taking away their few opportunities for movement and physical exercise is only going to make that worse). It might have been a "these kids are acting out because they're bored, let's see if we can get them to learn something in a different environment" kind of way.
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