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First-Look: Concept Art for the Guillermo del Toro-Produced 'Book of Life'

Animator Jorge Gutierrez co-wrote and directed the movie, which is set during the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead.

Book of Life Main Image - H 2014
© 2014 Twentieth Century Fox and Dead Duck Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

It's always bugged Jorge Gutierrez when the concept art for an animated film gets substantially altered for the finished film.

Gutierrez, the co-writer and director of Fox Animation's upcoming animated feature The Book of Life, describes himself as a huge animation lover, and some of the things he likes to buy are "The Art of…" books for the movies.

"I saw every single one that comes out and my biggest heartbreak is that I see all this glorious art, and then the movie doesn't look like that!" he tells Heat Vision. So he wanted to break that mold.

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"The mandate of this movie was: Our 'Art of' book is going to look exactly like the movie. And every artist poured their heart and soul into that idea," he says.

Book of Life hails from Fox Animation and Reel FX Animation Studios (which previously made Free Birds). Guillermo del Toro is one of the producers of the feature, which is set on the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead and tells of a young man named Manolo who is torn between what he wants to do (play guitar and win the heart of the girl of his dreams) and what his family wants him to do. He ends up traveling across three different worlds to find himself.

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Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana lead a voice cast that counts Danny Trejo, Ice Cube, Christina Applegate and Diego Luna among others. 

Gutierrez says the movie, which has a release date of Oct. 17, takes its building blocks from Mexican folk art, old Mexican movies and stories from his childhood.

"All my favorite albums, all my favorite books and films, they are all personal stories that take place in a very specific culture but that are universal," he says. "So I wanted to make something that happened in my family but make it for the world."

Fox Animation threw an unveiling of the art at Beverly Hills' Ace Gallery on Monday that included music that will be heard in the movie.

See above and below for examples of the art work: