The Guardian gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says, "It’s refreshingly sparky fare, boasting eye-catching design (wooden toys inspire CG magic), musical weirdness (Radiohead will never sound the same again) and proper laugh-out-loud jokes for young and old alike."
Roger Ebert's site gives it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars, calls it a "Mexican fiesta of animated splendor" and says,
“The Book of Life” personifies the philosophy that drives The Day of the Dead and encourages a healthy way to celebrate those who are gone. As he [the director] puts it, “As long as you remember those who came before you, and as long as you tell their stories, cook their dishes, and sing their songs … they’re with you. They live inside your heart.”Time Out gives it 4 out of 5 stars and calls it "brightly detailed, exuberant and simply bursting with winning cultural pride." It has a critics rating of 82% at Rotten Tomatoes.