The first time I met animator Jorge Gutierrez, director of the dazzling new animated musical film The Book of Life, he made me laugh.
Five years later, I interviewed him again to discuss The Book of Life, the story of a love triangle that becomes the subject of a wager between the rulers of the two lands of the afterlife. The movie’s hero, Manuelo (Diego Luna), a bullfighter who would rather be a musician, must travel through the underworld to win Maria (Zoe Saldana), the woman he loves. I interviewed him at San Diego Comic-Con in 2009 about his new animated series on Nickelodeon, El Tigre.


Channing Tatum plays Joaquin, her other suitor, a handsome hero with a chest full of medals. He told me that he and his wife Sandra Equihua, co-creator of the series, had attended San Diego Comic-Con for years as volunteers because they could not afford tickets. The Land of the Forgotten, is ruled by Xibalba (Ron Perlman), who is not above lying and cheating to get what he wants. The look of the film is inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations, especially the traditional wooden toys with skeletal imagery, and the animated characters are wonderfully tactile and appealing.





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