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Tear Jerker / The Book of Life

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


  • The Minor Kidroduction showing Manolo's father talking to him about The Day of the Dead, and how on this night, all their ancestors, including Manolo's recently-departed mother, are all with them. As he speaks, we see - though the characters don't - apparitions of the spirits standing next to, and smiling at, their families. And then the spirit of Carmen is hugging her son.
  • Also during the Minor Kidroduction when Maria, Joaquin, and Manolo are playing, Maria and Manolo's fathers call them both over, but no one calls Joaquin. It can be assumed that Joaquin's mother is dead, leaving him completely alone at his deceased father's statue right until Xibalba shows up.
    • This post makes it even sadder.
    • Word of God reveals that Joaquin's mother is actually alive and left San Angel after Captain Mondragon died. Regardless of whatever her reasons are, it must have been hard on little Joaquin to not only lose his father, but have his mother voluntarily leave him.
  • Manolo's rendition of Radiohead's "Creep" right after being rejected by the town for not killing the bull at the bullfight.
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  • Manolo realizing how Xibalba played him.
  • Right before Manolo's Heroic Sacrifice/Disney Death: "Don't forget me."
  • Carlos's death at the hands of Chakal. In the end he died a true hero's death.
    • The way it's shown. Carlos throws himself at Chakal. Cut to a single candle in the Cave of Souls. It goes out.
  • Maria seemingly dying from a snakebite. Manolo catches her body as she falls, and as the sunny day becomes gray and rainy, he tilts his head back and lets out a loud, anguished scream. And to really rub salt in the wouds, when he brings her body back to her father and Joaquin. They both rub it in on him that he didn't rescue Maria.
    Manolo: "It should have been me."
  • Carlos at the spot where Manolo died, absolutely devastated that the last time he spoke to his son was telling him how disappointed he was with him.
    • Carlos was the one who found Manolo's body and the reason why he was at the tree was because he was building a shrine for his son.
      • Apparently, he was weeping so loudly that he woke up the entire town.
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    • Later, he dies in front of his son's grave.
  • Joaquin's expression when Maria says she'll marry him 'for the sake of the town.' He loves Maria, but if she's only marrying him out of duty he doesn't want to do that to her, and he's clearly on the verge of saying something when the warning about Chakal comes.
  • The normally confident and upbeat Maria breaking down and sobbing when she's informed of Manolo's death.
  • It is a bit sad to think that, by the end of the film, Manolo and his new wife, Maria, are the only members of the Sanchez family left alive.
    • It gets even worse: all of our protagonists are dead, with La Muerte preserving their memory via museum tours.
  • The apology Manolo sang to the angry spirits of all the bulls his family had killed. That the bulls' souls were able to forgive despite the anger they felt for all the injustice they suffered and were finally at peace.
    • Especially considering the story behind it. Every single one of the bulls were made to fight in the ring - involuntarily - and were killed purely for the sport of it. By the time they face off against a Sanchez in the Land of the Remembered, it's obvious that they want their revenge. The fact they were able to let go of all of their anger and hatred just by Manolo's apology is heartbreaking enough
    • The way the Bull reacts to Manolo singing a song of apology to it. It stops just short of killing him Deader Than Dead as it realizes he's apologizing to it for what his family did to its component souls, and as it realizes that his apology is a truly genuine one the flames of it's rage die out and it just looks so damn sad and tired. The way it closes it's eyes as it lets Manolo touch it makes it feel as if it's souls have finally attained their long denied rest.
      • Speaking of bulls, that one bull which Manolo refuses to kill during his Establishing Character Moment. We all know sparing the bull's life is the right thing to do, yet when Manolo turns to see the beast, the bovine utters a moaning bellow and shakes its head in disapproval as well. This implies that not only are the bulls aware they'll lose their lives when they are pitted against bullfighters, but they're just so used to it, they just don't care what will happen to them next.
  • The Land of The Forgotten. The fact that that souls are sent there once no one in the living realm remembers them is sad enough; however, it gets worse in that it doesn't matter whether or not a person was evil or good, which means that most of those poor souls probably don't deserve to even be there. Even some point or another, everyone will ultimately be part of The Land of The Forgotten except for the lucky few that manage to become absolute legends. No wonder La Muerte (and Xibalba) are trying to preserve our protagonists' and their village's memory through the tour guide.
    • Carmen's reaction to the poor fading souls is one of helpless sympathy. She can only look at them sadly and utter, "You poor things." as if she wishes to rescue them.
  • How Manolo dies. After being ridiculed by the town, denounced by his father, fighting with his best friend and losing the love of his life (in his point of view), Manolo asks Xibalba to kill him so he could join her.
  • Whatever the exact circumstances of Xibalba and La Muerte's last bet were, it must've been really bad. From their first onscreen interaction, Xibalba has just gotten out of his exile. He begs his wife to let him rule her land, but she refuses. The moment Xibalba mentions he really hates it there, La Muerte angrily (with a twinge of sadness), reminds him of their last wager he cheated on. He goes quiet and doesn't even try to defend himself. It gets worse when La Muerte explicitly states to him, "You're not the man I fell in love with all those centuries ago".
  • Anita Sanchez herself becomes this when you realize that despite being a bullfighter herself, she still managed to outlive her father (Carmelo), brother (Jorge), son (Luis), grandson (Carlos), and temporarily great-grandson (Manolo). Just knowing that she had to deal with the pain of losing her entire family over the years, it's amazing that it was actually cholesterol that finally did her in, and not a broken heart.

Word of God

  • Word of God eventually confirmed that the reason for the god couple's estrangement was because Xibalba cheated on La Muerte with other goddesses. Supposedly out of insecurity.
    • A different tweet states that it only looked like he cheated on her.
  • The reason why Carlos is so adamant of Manolo not being a singer is because he fell in love with Carmen's singing.
  • A tweet revealed that not only does Joaquin enjoy writing, he occasionally will write letters to his deceased father This would only get worse if the speculations regarding Captain Mondragon and Chakal are true...
    • This fanart makes it even sadder.
    • Luckily, a different tweet has at least debunked the attached theory; however, the tweet also implied that Captain Mondragon and Chakal were probably brothers...
  • Word of God has confirmed that the scars on Xibalba's wings are from burnt angel wings. One can only imagine the amount of pain and devastation Xibalba felt.
    • Even worse in that they are so damaged that they don't even work anymore. Though luckily, it was said that Xibalba can simply levitate/teleport without them.
    • However, it actually wasn't just his wings that were torched, but his entire body! The reason he is in skeletal form is because his skin was burned off! Yikes.
    • And just to top it off, the punishment was intended for La Muerte, but he took it for her!
  • The reason as into why Gertrude (Joaquin's mother) left San Angel. She blames herself for pushing her husband into madness by demanding he does whatever it took to give her a lavish lifestyle, and when he finally died she fled to the city and locked herself inside a mansion with her guilt (only coming out to occasionally visit her son).
  • The fact that La Muerte and her sister, La Noche, are quite possibly enemies, is pretty disheartening.
    • Going more into her family, knowing that at least one of her and Xibalba's children is going to turn out so horribly in order to allow a certain animated series to occur...
  • There were some ideas for What Could Have Been revealed in interviews that were changed due to how down they were, such as Manolo remaining dead without having a resolution with Maria and him actually dying via allowing the bull to kill him.
  • According to a snippet regarding a future project, the idea that Xibalba will eventually cast a curse against the Sanchez family. It's open for interpretation as into why he does this, as well as how La Muerte will react if he does this behind her back (especially since he'll be breaking his end of the wager of not interfering with mortals).

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