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I may not be your type of hero, Maria, but I promise with all my heart I will NEVER stop loving you.
~ Manolo

Manolo Sánchez is the protagonist of Reel FX's second animated feature The Book of Life.

He is voiced and sung by Diego Luna, who also portrayed Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and voiced Krel Tarron from Tales of Arcadia.

Physical Appearance

Manolo wears a black Traje de luces decorated with hearts, winged hearts, and corazón del santos, skulls with crossbones, and gold chaquetilla with a pink corabtin and taleguilla. Also Manolo wears black zapatillas and appears to have pink/red espadas. The sleeves of his chaquetilla have curls protruding from the elbows.

Manolo has dark brown and black hair tied back into a ponytail which curls at the end. His bangs and hair curl upwards into a curly swirl.

Manolo has olive skin textured like wood with silver, metal joints in his points of articulation. His eyes are brown with a glossy texture to them. He has a white highlight that comes from usually the top of his cornea to the middle of his pupil.

Personality

Manolo has always been a very musical character at heart, being passionate, bold and voracious. He loves to play the guitar and has dreamt of becoming a musician ever since he was a boy and uses music to express how he is feeling or relieve stress. But his father has always pushed him to become a bullfighter like everyone else in the Sanchez family and ignore his talents for music, leaving Manolo feeling like he doesn't belong anywhere. Compared to Joaqin while battling for Maria's heart, Manolo is the more humbled and deals with awkwardness and low self-esteem, shown during his song where he sings that he is a "creep", a "weirdo" and that "he doesn't belong". His greatest fear, however was ultimately being himself, which the spirits force him to overcome. Instead of delivering the final blow to the anger-fuelled bull, he apologizes to the beast using music, accepting himself as not just a Sanchez man but as his own person.

Manolo's very loving as he was even willing to let himself die so he could be with Maria for eternity. He was also the first Sanchez in the long family line to understand that killing the bull was wrong.

In The Film

Manolo is first shown, in the film as a child with his best friends, Maria Posada and Joaquín Mondragon. Both Manolo and Joaquín are trying to impress Maria to win her love and affection. Manolo plays his guitar while Joaquin pretends to fight Manolo with his sword. When Manolo and Maria are called by their fathers, they leave Joaquin alone. Manolo meets up with his father, Carlos, and Grandmother Sanchez, to show respect to his mother Carmen. It is the Day Of The Dead, and Carlos tells his son that if he remembers their ancestors, he can feel their presence, but if they are forgotten, they are gone forever. Manolo starts to think about his family. The whole Sanchez family appears in a ghost form, and Manolo says he can feel their presence. La Muerte, disguised as a human female, walks up to the group, and asks if she can have some bread. Manolo states that his mother would be quite happy to give some bread, with Carlos agreeing. In reward, Manolo is blessed by La Muerte, being given the blessing "May your heart always be pure and courageous" The day after that, Manolo risks his life trying to save the town from a giant boar. During the montage, Manolo and Joaquin grow up. Joaquin gets more selfish, as Manolo gets more in to bullfighting.

Relationships

Maria Posada

Maria and Manolo have always been best friends since they were children. Manolo has always been in love with Maria. He vowed to always play from the heart due to what she engraved on his guitar. He loved her so much that he was willing to die to meet her in the Land of the Remembered. Ten years later Maria and Manolo end up marrying each other in the near the end of the film.

Joaquín Mondragon

Joaquin is Manolo's other best friend since they were children. Their relationship dwindled somewhat due to being pulled in different directions by General Posada and Carlos Sanchez expectations for the boys. Not much is shown of their relationship, but it is certainly a strong friendship, as 10 years of rivalry for Maria's love hasn't set them apart.

Carlos Sánchez

Carlos is Manolo's father and husband to the deceased Carmen. Carlos wanted his first born and only son Manolo to follow and continue the Sanchez family tradition of being a bullfighter, but Manolo instead wants to become musician than become a Sanchez bullfighter like almost all Sanchez family bullfighters before him. Carlos truly thinks and believes that a bullfighter must always kill the bull in bullfighting, which causes an even greater rift between father and son.

Carmen Sánchez

Carmen is the deceased wife of Carlos, the mother of Manolo, and the daughter- in- law to Luis Sanchez. She never wanted Manolo to take on the family role as a bullfighter, despite what Carlos always told Manolo. Carmen was always willing to help Manolo, and she had love and kindness plus fierceness and toughness all in one heart.

Trivia

  • 3 years after Manolo and María got married, they had twin girls and later a boy.
  • The apology song can be used as a sword.
  • Manolo gives stuff away to the kids at the orphanage.
  • Jorge R. Gutierrez confirmed that Manolo is the reincarnation of Prince Zatz.
  • Jorge also confirmed that he later reincarnates into Manny Rivera.

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