Xibalba is the main antagonist turned anti-hero of "The Book of lIfe" he is the spirit of the Dead and the estranged husband of La Muerte. He makes a deal with La Muerte on a wager to see who Maria would marry: Manolo or Joaquin. He also doesn't like to lose which kick starts the plot. He has green skin, a white beard, red skull eyes and he wears Mexican bone like armor and hat; he's voiced by Ron Perlman.
Xibalba is established as the ruler of The Land of the Forgotten, a duty he has grown to hate due to the dreary conditions, especially contrasted with the festive nature of his wife's domain, The Land of the Remembered. Prior to the events of the film, Xibalba had made a bet wherein he cheated, resulting in not only his ruling state, but also his estranged relationship with La Muerte, with whom he seeks to reconcile. Determined to escape his role, Xibalba proposes another wager with La Muerte, this time concerning a budding love triangle between two friends, Manolo and Joaquín, and their mutual female friend, María. Xibalba bets that the latter will marry María in the future, with the condition that he shall rule The Land of the Remembered if he wins. To ensure a chance at victory, he, in the form of an old beggar, provides Joaquín with the Medal of Everlasting Life, which grants its wearer functional immortality by making them unable to be harmed or killed.
Years later, Manolo and Joaquín both unsuccessfully attempt to woo María, although Manolo manages to make a heartfelt connection with her. Determined to not lose the wager, Xibalba summons a two-headed snake and sends it to bite Maria, putting her into a coma-like state, until she would conveniently reawaken once she was with Joaquín. With this, Xibalba, in the same old beggar form as before, takes advantage of Manolo's grief-stricken belief that Maria is dead to manipulate him into accepting his "help" to find María. He has the two-headed snake bite Manolo twice, which does kill him. With Manolo dead and María set to wed Joaquín to ensure the protection of their village, Xibalba declares a victory on the wager. When Manolo goes forth to find La Muerte, so he may find María, Xibalba is sitting in her stead. Angered by his deception, Manolo accepts the challenge of descending into The Land of the Forgotten to find La Muerte. In the meantime, the notorious bandito Chakal, who previously had the Medal of Everlasting Life until Xibalba stole it back, is alerted to its presence on Joaquín and declares that his forces will take the village on the Day of the Dead.
Despite the arduous journey, Manolo, aided by his deceased mother and grandfather, reaches The Land of the Forgotten and approaches La Muerte. Once his deception is revealed, Xibalba is convinced by Manolo to accept another wager to get back into the land of the living. Xibalba takes advantage of Manolo's wager to attempt another easy victory by forcing Manolo to fight every bull slain and defeated by Manolo's family, believing that it to be his worst fear. However, Manolo reveals that his true fear was being himself, which he overcomes when he sings the giant demonic bull constructed of all the other bulls into a peaceful state. Seeing Manolo triumph in this wager, Xibalba grants Manolo a return to life, so that he may help defeat Chakal and be reunited with María. Seeing both the living and dead reunited to take down Chakal and his forces, Xibalba forgoes his treacherous ways and successfully reconciles with La Muerte.
During the frame story, a tour guide named Mary Beth guides a group of children to the eponymous Book of Life to tell them the story. She is eventually revealed to be La Muerte in human disguise. Xibalba also appears in the guise of a museum security guard, showing his true form to share a tender moment with La Muerte.
Xibalba is set to appear in "MCF and the Book of Life". We don't know his role yet. In the MCF stories, having reformed, he is learning to accept most of humanity as he and his wife are teachers to teh Rookies and the Crusaders. He also has a deep bond with a few of them like Annie as shown in "RMCF: May the Best Girl Win"
- MCF and the Book of Life (Debut)
- KC: May the Best Girl Win
- His design is simular to Jafar from Aladdin and Discord in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic".
- Ironically, he happens to know of Discord as revealed in a future story.
- His name comes from the Mayan word or term for the Mayan underworld, Xibalba, which means, "place of fear."
- Whenever he and La Muerte kiss his black raven wings spring out.
- When he and La Muerte kiss at the very end of the movie, his black vulture wings and her sombrero hat form a Sacred Heart.
- Xibalba can teleport magically by transforming himself into a gooey puddle of black tar.
- Xibalba's skull eyes are blood-red because he only has eyes for his wife La Muerte.
- According to animator and director Jorge R. Gutierrez on his Twitter account page he based The Book Of Life Film's main antagonist turned anti-hero Xibalba on the aztec death god of the dead Mictlantecuhtli, who was one of two rulers of Mictlan, Mictlantecuhtli rules Mictlan alongside with his wife and fellow aztec death goddess of the dead Mictecacihuatl, Mictlantecuhtli was also king of Mictlan.