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Lee Unkrich
Animator Jorge Gutierrez brings Day of the Dead to 'Book of Life'
Animator Jorge Gutierrez brings Day of the Dead to 'Book of Life'

Face sweating, heart pounding, Jorge Gutierrez began to deliver the worst pitch of his career. It was 2012, and the Mexico City-born animator had arrayed skulls, flowers and ornate drawings around the San Fernando Valley backyard of his idol, director Guillermo del Toro. His aim was to persuade Del Toro to produce his first film, a movie centered on the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. As one of Hollywood's most bankable Mexican filmmakers and leading fantasists, Del Toro had already passed on umpteen pitches on the same topic. Even so, he offered the young animator five minutes of his time. "The moment my mouth opens, the gardeners next door start blowing their leaf...

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