Follow TV Tropes


Heartwarming / The Book of Life

Go To
"I may not be the town hero, Maria. But I swear with all my heart, I will never ever stop loving you."

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • The level of Manolo's devotion to Maria. He literally goes through Hell for her.
    • Manolo's proposal to Maria is just beautiful. This gif shows him holding her closely.
    “What you’re feeling… that’s how I feel every time I’m with you.”
  • The relationship between Xibalba and La Muerte in general.
    • Xibalba's online profile states that while he may be a mischievous God that loves to mess with the mortals, he also is trying to win back La Muerte's heart.
    • On a similar note, Xibalba's and La Muerte's reconciliation. And that it's shown they're still together in the present day.
    • Ron Perlman (Xibalba's voice actor) gives some insight into his character's feelings for his wife: "He absolutely adores her and will do anything to keep her interested."
    • A quote from The Art of the Book of Life: “- Her dress is red because it represents love, passion, and life. The only blue in her design is in her eyes, because she only has eyes for Xibalba. - His flames burn green with envy. The only red in his design is in his skull-shaped irises, because he only has eyes for La Muerte.”
    • Advertisement:
    • The couple's Affectionate Nicknames for each other.
    • Xibalba's apology to La Muerte at the end: “You deserve better than me. I know that now. Will you ever forgive me?” La Muerte's response? "I do." And they kiss. Here's the scene.
    • What Xibalba says to La Muerte right before he apologizes to her: "Well, I believe you won the wager, Mí Amor. Along with my heart, all over again."
    • From Jorge Gutierrez: "They’re a feisty couple who can’t live together and can’t live without each other."
    • Even though Xibalba doesn't know how much trouble he's in, the moment La Muerte calls for him, he brings a bottle of expensive wine and two glasses for them. The guy may be an asshole (at times), but there's no doubt how much he loves his wife.
    • Xibalba completely melts whenever La Muerte touches his face.
    • Sacred Heart.
    • Advertisement:
    • La Muerte and Xibalba's faces inside Xibalba's lair.
    • La Muerte caressing Xibalba's face after they and the Candlemaker use a bit of "leeway" to bring the Sanchez family to help Manolo and San Angel fight Chakal.
  • Manolo being reunited with his mother in the Land of the Remembered. Carmen is ectastic for the reunion, but also distraught that Manolo died so soon, but she's more than eager to enjoy her afterlife with her son.
    • There's also the fact that she didn't want him to be a bullfighter, she's happy with whatever Manolo wants to do. Now that's being a good parent.
  • When he meets Jorge, Manolo finds out that he too had wanted a life of music (specifically, he wanted to be in the opera). They proceed to bond over this.
    Jorge: You know, when I was younger, I always dreamt of singing in the opera.
    Manolo: You did?
    Jorge: (chuckles) Yeah, but you know-
    Manolo and Jorge (In sync, imitating their fathers) -Music is not work fit for a Sanchez bull fighter.
    Jorge: (chuckles) The same story.
    Manolo: They crushed our dreams. Hilarious.
  • Manolo's forefathers, including his own recently deceased father, helping him reach the top of the tower to fight Chakal and save Maria.
  • Joaquin gives Manolo the Medal of Everlasting Life as he fights Chakal to make sure he survived. This is what lets Joaquin realize that a true hero is selfless.
  • Maria's breathless relief when Manolo survives the bell explosion. She approaches him hesitantly, but he gently reassures her that, yes, it's him.
    Manolo: It's me...mí amor.
  • Manolo and Maria's wedding.
    • When Maria asks Manolo to sing to her after the ceremony, he gets his guitar from his father, who was against Manolo playing during most of the movie. This gesture indicates that his father finally came to accept Manolo's musical vocation.
    • There's also the way they refer to each other as "Husband" and "Mrs. Sanchez" in the scene. After they've spent the whole movie fighting to be together, the verbal acknowledgement of their success is oh so satisfying.
    • There's also the fact that Manolo and Maria will end up having three kids in the future: twin girls and a boy.
  • Manolo calming the giant skeleton bull (made of all the bulls his family killed) by playing "The Apology Song" instead of killing it, as well as the bull turning into marigold petals as its spirit is calmed.
    • When Manolo's sword and guitar fall to the ground, and he must pick up the weapon to fight again, he goes for the guitar instead. His family are shocked and dismayed - his father even looks disappointed -, but Carmen at first just gives a knowing smile.
  • The gods of the dead hanging around museums to remind people about the existence of heroes. For bonus points, they're making sure that Manolo and the rest aren't forgotten as thanks for helping them reconcile.
  • Young Manolo giving Maria Chuy and Maria giving him his guitar.
    • And if you look closely at adult Manolo's suit, you'll notice how he modeled it after the guitar Maria gave to him.
  • Manolo and Maria's reunion after his Disney Death.
  • Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin's friendship in general. It literally transcended death.
  • Manolo guiding the bull to write Maria's name in the sand during his bullfight.
  • Joaquin's friendship with Manolo still strong even with their rivalry over Maria. And then later, not having an ounce of resentment for his friends' marriage, which is extremely rare for his character archetype.
  • Candlemaker giving a bear hug to La Muerte and Xibalba.
  • The Candlemaker's last line (and the last line for the story): "Hey. Write your own story."
  • The Detention Kids getting more and more involved with the story.
  • Carmen and Carlos hugging each other, after they are reunited in death.
  • The Rodriguez Brothers still being friends with Manolo, even though he has become a pariah because of his public refusal to kill the bull.
  • Tour Guide Mary-Beth's interactions with the Detention Kids, particularly Sasha.
  • The jerk he can be sometimes, General Posada really loves his daughter and only wanted what was best for her. Heck, when Maria was leaving, he teared up a little.
    • He even called her his "little girl" when it was believed she died. He couldn't even finish his threat to Malono before he carried her off.
  • For some reason, Xibalba calling his two-headed snake "old friend" is pretty sweet. Even though the exact wording for the situation wasn't sweet at all.
  • Manolo's song "I Love You Too Much" to Maria. He promises to love her with all his soul and that they can have a "love above love" together, if Maria loves him as much.
    • This post that analyzes the entire scene is just too sweet.
  • Word of God confirms that Carmen died saving baby Manolo from the war.
  • According to Gutierrez, Scardelita lost her eye (and possibly her life) when she took a bullet for her sister.
  • Even though Carlos was disappointed in Manolo for his public refusal to kill the bull, the father still encourages his son in trying to win Maria's affections.
  • La Muerte, Xibalba, and Candle Maker using the Day of the Dead as "leeway" to bring the rest of the Sanchez family from the Land of the Remembered to help Manolo and San Angel fight off Chakal and his bandits.
  • Manolo hugging Joaquin.
  • Joaquin's giddy little squeal when Manolo tells him Maria has returned to San Angel is both funny and adorable at the same time.
  • Sasha (one of the Detention Kids) bidding farewell to Mary-Beth (tour guide), who turns out to be La Muerte in disguise. The scene is just too adorable.
  • A small detail, but Manolo and his mama are holding hands while climbing the entrance to the Cave of Souls.
  • A small one, but Luis apologizes to Cousin Chucho, after shamefully calling Manolo a "clown" right in front of him.
  • All of the deceased Sanchez members warmly welcoming the newly departed Manolo in the Land of the Remembered. It's particularly poignant because not one of them is sad about his death, effectively teaching that death isn't something to be scared of. It is supposed to be accepted.
    • The biggest heartwarming aspect is that they aren't mad for his choice of being a musician, especially his mother. Even Luis, the only one to ranting about it, looks more like he's joking rather than being serious.
  • La Muerte not looking the least bit annoyed at Carmen for slapping her husband. She knows that Carmen has every right to be pissed at Xibalba for his cheating/making her son commit suicide, and helps the departed soul exact her revenge.
  • La Muerte's last line in the film: "Anyone can die, but these children will have the courage to live."
  • The cameos of Manny, Frida, and Manny's grandfather in a crowd scene, if you're an El Tigre fan. Especially since the show was abruptly cancelled without a real ending. It's nice to see Manny and co. living on, in a way.
    • Related to this, it could also be heartwarming to know that Manolo (and Maria through marriage) and Joaquin are both relatives of Manny and Frida respectively.
    • One more; apparently Manny and Frida time traveled once in order to see them when they were younger, and Maria actually made a painting of them (it can be seen for a second in her room)!
  • The fact that Word of God confirmed that Joaquin was going to back out of the wedding had they not been interrupted; he knew Maria was being forced into it and didn't want to do that to her.
  • Manolo and Joaquin's Wimp Fight over Maria. While Played for Laughs, it also highlights that while their mutual affection for Maria does put a strain on their friendship, they still refuse to seriously come to blows.
  • This is from Word of God, but after Manolo and Maria move in with her father and things don't work out, Joaquin offers his friends a place to stay at his mansion.


  • All of the song choices used in the movie were special to Gutierrez because they were his family's favorites: his grandfather was a big Elvis Presley fan, his dad was a fan of Rod Stewart, and, perhaps most adorably, the use of Music/BizMarkie's "Just a Friend" was for Gutierrez's son, who is a big fan of Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • Manolo and Maria on the original score soundtrack cover.
  • A cut storyboard showing Xibalba and La Muerte's first wedding night.
  • On his Twitter, Jorge revealed the real name of "Goth Kid" to be Luka Ramirez. This fact becomes absolutely adorable when you know that Luka is his son's name.
  • "My father sat next to me and put his hand on my arm… At the end of the film he said, ‘This is the best conversation we’ve ever had.’” - Jorge Gutierrez.
  • Sandra draws La Muerte for a happy fan in Mexico.
  • Concept art of Maria with Chuy, when he was a goat.
  • A moment between Xibalba and La Muerte an illustration from The Book of Life storybooks.
  • This storyboard: "Their love was endless."
  • Jorge's tweet after not being nominated by the Oscars.
  • In the DVD commentary, Jorge revealed that the scene where Manolo confesses his love for Maria is based off of his own proposal to his own wife, Sandra Equiha. So romantic!
  • This deleted love montage of La Muerte and Xibalba.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: