Did General Posada truly think he was acting in Maria's best interests when he tried setting her up with Joaquin, or was he using her as a bargaining chip to buy San Angel protection that Joaquin was already willing to provide?
Did La Muerte tell the detention kids this story to help them become better people, or was it so that the people of San Angel would continue to be remembered and thus remain in The Land of The Remembered?
Did Manolo ask to die only to join Maria, or was he also Driven to Suicide because of all the scorn he received?
Americans Hate Tingle: Despite arriving at the start of the half-term break the movie failed to get in to the Top 3 at the U.K. box-office debuting at fourth placenote behind Gone Girl at third place, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) at second place and Fury (2014) at first place. Then the following week it dropped to fifth placenote behind Gone Girl at fourth place, Fury (2014) at third place, Ouija at second place and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) at first place, despite that week being both half-term (when kids would be out of school and thus have more free time to see the movie) and the week leading up to Halloween (thematically appropriate to the films subject matter).
Anvilicious: This film makes no bones about its mission to take a sledgehammer to some of the nastier aspects of Latin American culture (bullfighting, machismo, etc.).
Award Snub: Some fans were disheartened to hear that the movie failed to secure any Oscar nominations for the 2015 ceremony.
Awesome Art: Jorge Gutierrez did a fantastic job of translating his signature artstyle into 3D. And that's not even getting into how the Land of the Remembered looks.
Manolo's cousins, the skeleton bandita looking Adelita twins are popular for their design. Their personalities also help.
Both La Muerte and Xibalba have gained a lot fan love for their unique and complicated designs, their own personalities, and intriguing relationship with each other. A lot of fans are interested in a movie solely focusing on the couple.
Is currently engaged in a minor one with Frozen, due to accusations that Tumblr is ignoring this film in favor of that one and threatening its financial success.
Also with Big Hero 6, due to the fact that both were released in the US about a month apart but Big Hero 6 did much better at the box office. It got fueled even more when Big Hero 6 won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature where The Book Of Life wasn't even nominated.
When Pixar announced Coco, there was a lot of hot debate about whether or not Coco is a direct ripoff of (some going so far as to claim that Pixar stole the idea from Gutierreznote Worth pointing out this is an incredibly unlikely scenario: Pixar only accepts in-house pitches, meaning Gutierrez couldn't have pitched his idea to Pixar even if he wanted to, and Pixar had announced they were interested in doing a Day of the Dead movie as far back as 2012, a good year before this movie was even in production). For what it's worth, Gutierrez had expressed excitement for the movieand has continuously given nothing but praise for the film.There were also a number of fans equally excited.
How Chakal got the medallion from Xibalba was glossed over, so are the details of how the Lands of the Remembered and Forgotten work. In fact, just the Land of the Forgotten itself.
The reveal through Word of God, that there are a few other afterlives, like the Land Of The Unknown and the Land Of the Cursed as well as revealing that La Muerte has a twin sister, La Noche, who rules the Land of The Unknown, and that Xibalba has an older brother, who rules the Land of the Cursed, a hell like domain. Can probably fuel fics, for a long time.
Just take a look at the Word of God section; there is enough information to fuel fics for a long time.
This movie has sparked a lot more interest in the Pixar movie Coco that is also based on the Day of the Dead. The movie originally had a lot of flack from many wondering how you could even make a movie about the holiday, but The Book of Life proved you could make a good movie that wasn't just a Halloween redress.
Unsurprising, considering the mutual love for friendly, skeletal protagonists, but a lot of The Nightmare Before Christmas fans love the film. A common headcanon is that La Muerte is related to Jack Skellington, perhaps his mother or sister.
Kubo and the Two Strings also gets a lot of love from Book of Life fans due to the films' similar themes and fledgling cult status. The friendship between Gutierrez and Kubo creator Shannon Tindle helps as well.
Genius Bonus: The character designs of the soldiers of the town militia are based on the styles of several famous Spanish painters, the most surreal-looking characters being based on Picasso and Dali.
Joaquin's relationship with his Disappeared Dad became this when Jorge revealed on Twitter that pretty much the entire rest of the town thought he had gone crazy in his obsession with fighting Chakal. All that bread set around his father's monument? All made by Joaquin himself. No one else wanted to put in the effort to honor him.
"Tres Leches" for the friendship (or polyship) between Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin.
"Toro Tango" for Carlos and Carmen, Manolo's parents.
Manolo/Maria is "Musical Hearts."
Jerkass Woobie: Joaquin. On one hand he's fairly smug, has an air of Entitled to Have You towards Maria, and is a bit of a sexist. On the other hand he also had his father killed, his mother walk out on him right afterward, seems to be a predominately good person whose negative traits came from peer pressure/trying to live up to his father, and whether he knows it or not he's a Hopeless Suitor to the girl he's loved most of his life. He also lost his best friend who was like a brother to him and is being pressured to marry his other best friend when he clearly doesn't want to since they're both grieving, especially since she said she was only marrying him to get him to stay. It is worth pointing out that he moves more and more away from the "jerkass" bit as the movie goes on: when Maria calls him out of his sexism he's the only one in the room who listens, and tries to reach her through Hidden Depths, he also shows that he wants Maria to sincerely marry him, as he tries to dissuade her when she's pressured into it by her fater, and Word of God confirms he would have said "no" for that reason, hadn't the marriage be suddenly interrupted, and there's his attempted Heroic Sacrifice in the end. Luckly, the fact that both him and Manolo attempt it ends up saving them both, but he still loses an eye.
Some fans are more interested in Xibalba and La Muerte's story and relationship than that of Manolo, Joaquin, and Maria.
Some people are also intrigued more by the gorgeous art style and animation as opposed to the story/dialogue.
Magnificent Bastard: Land of the Forgotten ruler Xibalba grows bored of his reign and makes a wager for their kingdoms with the Land of the Remembered ruler La Muerte, concerning a Love Triangle between Manolo, Joaquin and Maria, Xibalba betting on Joaquin winning Maria's heart and Le Muerte on Manolo. Disguising himself as a beggar, Xibalba gives Joaquin a medal to make him immortal; later causes Maria to fall into a coma during Manolo's attempt at a heartfelt confession; and leads Manolo to his death. Though outed for his cheating, Xibalba then creates a new bet with Manolo having fight against all the bulls his bull fighting family fought in the past and gracefully accepts his defeat after he does so, honoring his deal and reconciling with La Muerte.
Narm: The use of contemporary songs is jarring for many viewers, and can turn otherwise somber scenes into comedic ones. Even among those who are relatively fine with the rest of the songs, Manolo singing Radiohead's "Creep" stands out the most, though. It's just so recognizable, and exceptionally out of place considering the setting.
Joaquin/Maria/Manolo (better known as Tres Leches) is pretty popular since all three are great people who remain good friends even after the whole Triangle thing gets resolved. Even Jorge has admitted to loving◊ the ship, occasionally posts pictures on his Tumblr, encouraged stories for it at least one, and joked about it being his original intent!
Joaquin and The Adelita twins, due to the twins showing a lot of interest in him, mixed a bit with Pair the Spares.
The Scrappy: Despite his positive qualities, almost no one in the fandom is willing to defend General Posada.
In the climax, several members of the Land of the Remembered come back to fight Chakal. Many viewers were disappointed that Joaquin's dad didn't come back to fight Chakal, seeing as they were Arch-Enemy to one another in life. This was eventually explained as Joaquin Sr. being in the Land of the Unknown.
The Land of the Remembered and Land of the Forgotten are themselves practically thrown away; the Land of the Remembered at least has a lengthy sequence devoted to it, but the Land of the Forgotten is on screen for barely five minutes. For a film built around the afterlife, the actual afterlife plays a nearly negligible part in its own story. note The Land of the Forgotten was actually going to have more time devoted to it (along with having a different yet equally horrifying fate for its denizens), but it was cut due to being too scary and to keep the story simple.
The Woobie: Manolo. Imagine if you were shoved into something you had no interest in, while everyone in your family AND village spat on your true ambition. And to make it worse, you're tricked into suicide because two gods placed a bet to see whether you or your best friend/love rival would marry the girl of your dreams and the god betting against you is a Sore Loser of the highest order. At least it gets better.