Death may not seem like an optimum subject for an animated feature, but in The Book of Life director Jorge Gutierrez quite literally brings the subject alive using vibrant colours and 3-D animation. Despite taking on what could be seen as a dark subject matter, Gutierrez has crafted a beautiful piece of moving art, which will surely enchant and enthral viewers. It might not hit theatres until October 17th, but we’re betting that this one could just be the next big animated feature.

the book of lifeManolo is fighting for the affection of his love Maria

The Book of the Life begins with two gods betting on the outcome of a love triangle between a girl named Maria and her two suitors, the arrogant Joaquin and the much more charming Manolo. When Maria comes close to choosing Manolo, one of the gods intervenes, poisoning him to ensure Joaquin will be chosen.

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When Manolo awakes, he finds himself in the Land of the Remembered, where those who have lived a fulfilled life go to die. But desperate to be reunited with his love, Manolo embarks on a quest through the underworld in hope of one day seeing Maria again.

the book of lifeManolo meets many unusual characters in The Land of the Remembered

The first thing that will strike you about The Book of Life, is the beautiful animation. Attention has been given to every possible detail here, from minute aspects of the characters clothing to the elaborate design of the underworld.

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Alongside the beautiful animation, the movie also boasts an impressive voice cast, featuring Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna and Christina Applegate. While producing is Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro.

the book of lifeManolo must go on a dangerous quest if he's ever going to see Maria again

The Book of Life will of course draw comparisons with Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas, both of which were visually stunning in the own way. But Gutierrez has taken the subject of death and tackled it entirely differently. As lively as Burton’s film was, The Book of Life has an altogether different vitality.

The characters and settings here are so vibrantly animated they actually make death seem fun, seriously, In keeping with the tone of Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival, the movie presents the afterlife as a joyful, enchanting world full of colour and celebration.

Watch the trailer for The Book of Life here:

Gutierrez had been trying to get the film made for 14 years until he joined forces with Guillermo del Toro and saw his vision finally realised. Understandably, part of the problem had been, people's misunderstanding of the true meaning of the Mexican festival. The director recently told USA Today, "To other cultures it might seem dark, but the Day of the Dead is actually a very positive thing. It's about joyfully remembering the people no longer with us."

With a release date just before Halloween and of course, The Day of The Dead, The Book of Life will surely find an audience of young and old who are ready to be taken on a very unique adventure. With its wide ranging appeal, The Book of Life could just be the next big animation, you heard it here first,