The Book of Life

Question: What is Joaquin's rank as a soldier?

John Ohman

Question: When Manolo and Joaquin start fighting the wild boar, General Posada only sees Joaquin confronting the boar before he is knocked unconscious. Thus, he never sees Manolo fighting the boar like a matador. When the general recovers, he believes Joaquin defeated the boar and not Manolo. Despite the townsfolk being impressed by Manolo's action, why does no one, including the nun who thanks Manolo for saving her life, speak up and tell the general what actually happened? Why don't they confirm to the general that Manolo fought and defeated the boar?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: There was probably too much panic from the rampaging animals.

Question: Maria's father tells her that Joaquin will only stay in their city, San Angel, if she marries him. Otherwise, if Maria doesn't marry him, Joaquin will have to leave. San Angel is also Joaquin's home city. Why would he have to leave?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: Because it was mentioned that Joaquin goes from town to town saving people from bandits. It's likely that everyone was under the assumption he would leave again to help other people, and he has nothing other than Maria and General Posada tying him to San Angel (except maybe Manolo).

Question: It is stated that Joaquin's father is dead. However, Joaquin's mother never shows up throughout the film nor is there a mention on whether she is also deceased or still alive. What happened to Joaquin's mother? Why does she never appear?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: We believe she left him when his dad died. Supposedly she's in Mexico city.

Question: When Manolo travels to see the Candle Maker, only his mother and grandfather accompany him. Why don't any of his other relatives accompany him?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: I think because no one has ever lived or stayed in one piece going there so just his mother that he didn't see for a long time and one other family member just in case.

Question: When Xibalba first gives Joaquin the Medal of Eternal Life, he is disguised as an old man. Yet, at the end of the film, Joaquin returns Xibalba his medal. How did Joaquin know the medal belongs to Xibalba? Is there a statement by a character or some indication that the medal belongs to Xibalba which I missed?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: Well, the Medal of Eternal Life and Xibalba do share colors, so it's likely Joaquin connected the two and knew it belonged to Xibalba. This is what I just think though,.

Question: What does Manolo's mother mean when she says, "Wait until he gets here," as she refers to Manolo's father?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: She's saying "wait until he gets here" as in 'wait until his time comes and he's in the land of the remembered'. As in, more morbidly, just wait until Manolo's father dies & she's able to scold him in the land of the remembered.

Question: In the movie, it's said that Carmen Sanchez died (obviously). They never really say how she died or when she died, nor do they explain why she has three white streaks in her hair (while her husband still has full black hair). How did Carmen Sanchez die?

Chosen answer: According to Jorge Gutierrez, in a tweet, he said she died saving Carlos and baby Manolo during the Mexican Revolution. The white streaks in her hair look like an homage to "Bride of Frankenstein" with her white streaked hair.


Question: When Manolo is killed by Xibalba's snake, he is at the entrance of the Land of the Remembered. When the deceased captain is giving Manolo a ride toward his deceased family, they are already in the land of the remembered just before the captain's wife, who has just died, shows up in front of them. Manolo's father is killed by the bandit at the same place where Manolo dies. But he is transported to the bull fighting ring where Manolo is fighting the bull skeletons. Manolo's grandmother also shows up at the bull fighting ring as soon as she dies. Why doesn't Manolo's father or grandmother get transported to the entrance of the Land of the Dead upon their deaths like Manolo does?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: Most likely because his closest family was supposed to watch and they were the last to really close ones.

Question: When Maria is killed by the snake and her father and the townsfolk find out, why do Maria's father and the townsfolk blame Manolo for her death?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: Manolo was the only person with Maria, and there wasn't any other person near by. The townsfolk had probably suspected that Manolo wasn't able to protect her from whatever danger there was, or that Manolo had killed her.

Question: The red-headed tour guide is revealed to be La Muerte and the elderly security guard is revealed to be Xibalba. The museum scene appears to take place in the United States while the story the majority of the film focuses on obviously takes place in Mexico. If the museum is in the United States then why would La Muerte and Xibalba go to such a country and diguise themselves as U.S. Citizens?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: Probably their goal is to tell as many people around the world as possible about Manolo and co.'s story so that they will continue to be remembered.

Question: When Chakal demands Joaquin to relinquish the medal of eternal life, he merely says to him, "Give me that medal right now." Maria then removes Joaquin's medal sashes, sees the medal of eternal life, and realizes that is what Chakal is after. How does she know which medal Chakal is referring to?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: Maria had already seen the medal of eternal life and Joaquin had already talked about all of his medals. He told Maria about how he got all of his medals but not the medal of eternal life.

Question: While Manolo serenades Maria, Joaquin comes to visit Maria in her room and tries to talk to her. Why does Joaquin suddenly hesitate? Does he actually hear Manolo singing and figure that Maria is paying attention to Manolo?

Chosen answer: Well, Manolo is his best friend after all. By not interrupting he is just being fair. Plus, the situation would have been a bit weird if he said something, so he just left to "prepare" something bigger: the proposal.

Question: After Chakal is killed and his bandits retreat, Joaquin covers his eye with a handkerchief. Later, his eye is covered by an eye patch. What happened to his eye?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: Even though the explosion was blocked by the bell, he was still able to get the medal of everlasting life on Manolo. Since he was unable to get away fast enough he was blown back by the explosion since he was too close. The blast most likely hit him right in his face and scalded his eye.

Question: Manolo's father and grandmother as well as his audience, except for Maria, are disappointed in Manolo for not killing the bull at the bull fight. At the end of the scene, the bull shakes his head in disappointment. Why would the bull be disappointed in Manolo too when the bull should know he is the victim?

John Ohman

Chosen answer: The bull, bred for fighting in the ring, likely feels denied of an opportunity to fulfill his purpose to battle to the death. It's like a matter of honor and pride.