24/7/12 – Disney Animation: Day of the Dead as another commodity or a reflection into Mexico’s spiritual connection with the dead?
Disney Pixar has announced that a new animation is under production, which will reflect the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. According to Rebecca Keegan from the LA Times, the animation will feature skeletal characters who participate in the celebration through decorations, activities and memorials.
Pixar are aiming to attract a Mexican or a hispanic audience through their latest animation, which is also known as Dia de Los Muertos (Spanish term for Day of the Dead)
The release date is still unspecified at this particular point of time, although I am surprised with Pixar’s recent production. The Day of the Dead celebration may have been a subject that Tim Burton would have been interested in. It will be interesting to see Pixar’s interpretation of Mexico’s traditional celebration with the dead and I can imagine that the animation will be very colourful or illustrative.
Pixar’s latest announcement, also questions why Disney have decided to produce an animation in relation to the Day of the Dead? Perhaps Disney has identified the Mexican day of the Dead as a popular trend, which may influence the decision to produce an animation with skulls or skeletons.
The animation would exemplify how the Day of the Dead celebration has become a popular commercial product within the Western culture. Are Disney only producing the Day of the Dead celebration due to popular demand or is the company actually interested in promoting Mexico’s cultural and spiritual connection with the dead?
There are two side to every story and the animation would definitely promote the Mexican Day of the Dead Holiday to other cultures. Disney’s approach to the Day of the Dead celebration may also demonstrate the globalisation of the skull through contemporary art forms such as animation or interactive media.
How would children respond to this particular animation? Perhaps the animation would provide children from other Western cultures a positive perspective of death through the visual effects, such as colour, shape and texture.
One can only wonder whether the animation will project the image of the skull as a another commodity or whether the animation will modify contemporary attitudes towards death within the 21st century?
Rebecca Keegan, Pixar’s Dia de Los Muertos movie a nod to Mexican audiences, Los Angeles Times, 2012, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2012/05/pixars-d%C3%ADa-de-los-muertos-movie.html (Accessed 24/7/12)