Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day of the Disney Dead

A CNN article writes:  "On May 1, the entertainment giant filed an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure the phrase "Día de los Muertos," or "Day of the Dead," across multiple platforms. Disney subsidiary Pixar is releasing a film -- for time being called "The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dia de los Muertos" -- this fall."

This news shouldn't make anyone mad, right? 


I always liked going down to Olvera Street in Los Angeles to wander through the shops chock full of Day of the Dead merchandise.  Apparently, someone at Disney did too, picturing all that stuff with a Disney copyright stamped on it.  If Pixar's movie kicks box-office butt like it probably will, they can just buy Olvera Street and have an instant mini-theme park to promote the film.  They could charge to get in, and suckers people would love it.  Olvera Street could get the Disney treatment, making Mexican culture palatable to midwesterner tourists.  Imagine how great horchata and churros  could be given the Imagineer touch?

Olvera Street
But we're getting waaaaay ahead out ourselves here.  With a Day of the Dead movie coming out, with Day of the Dead influenced design, Disney obviously needs to protect its own property, even if it's based on someone else's property who didn't bother to copyright it.  Executives are losing sleep at the prospect of seeing those shops on Olvera Street chock full of merchandising knock-offs from their film.  There are already Mickey and Minnie pinatas and such, all bootleg items. So for them, it's a preemptive strike.  That's my guess, I wasn't invited to the meeting.

You can't embrace a people's culture, then trademark it like 21st century conquistadores. Something about a room full of executives makes a moral compass go haywire.  Maybe it's their steel hearts.


  1. A shame it has came down like this at all (having learned of El Día de los Muertos back in school).

  2. Don Hahn mentioned that Disney retracted the application. I imagine this came about because ReelFX is doing their Day of the Dead film and wanted to mess them up. By the way, Steve, you have to change your name since Disney copyrighted it years ago when you worked for them! :)

    1. They only copyrighted my name to mess with the other Steve Moore's in the business. So it's okay, right?

  3. Yes, that is totally acceptable in that case! By the way, I just re-read what I wrote and what I meant was that Disney was probably trying to usurp the ReelFX's film from using the title.