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‘Frozen’ And ‘Cinderella’ Were Inspired By European Figures, Here Are 20 Fascinating Latinos That Deserve The Disney Treatment

For decades Disney has created and generated fantastical films and fairy tales that have provided children with lessons about life and relationships. As children, however, not all of us learned that a majority of the magical tales that carried us to worlds that expanded our imaginations were actually based in reality or folklore. Still, as diverse and deeply rooted in history some of these timeless stories of bravery and resilience have been, tales of princesses from France, Germany, and even Baghdad haven’t always been relatable for those of us from Latin American countries. Looking back, it would’ve been nice to see charismatic, inspirational Latina Disney characters and princesses fighting for their ideological beliefs.

Although Disney has made great strides recently adding Latinx narratives to their cannon (we see you Coco!), we still can’t help but think of how much work still needs to be done. After all, every culture has legendary figures that are worthy of the Disney treatment. In light of this, we compiled a list of legendary Latinx figures throughout history that deserve their own Disney movies. Whether these figures are real or fictional, their stories are definitely worth telling.

Take a look below!

1. Isabel Moctezuma

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What better way to start off a list about Latino Disney characters than with an actual Latina princess? Historians refer to Isabel Moctezuma as the “Last Mexican Princess” and her story is fascinating. History has revealed Moctezuma to have been a woman of strength who was not only generous and kind but also decisive.

The daughter of renowned Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, Moctezuma was forced to make the transition from Aztec princess to Spanish doña and did so with ease. Doña Isabel married four times before she was 18 years old. All in all, she married three Aztec emperors and three Spanish Conquistadors. Interestingly, Spain granted Doña Isabel’s descendants the Spanish title “Duke of Moctezuma de Tultengo”. It still exists today! Currently, Juan José Marcilla de Teruel-Moctezuma Valcárcel holds the title and according to LinkedIn, resides in Madrid. Now that’s magical.

2. Eva Duarte de Perón

Wikipedia

Much like Cinderella, Eva Perón was born in abject poverty in Buenos Aires. Also like Cinderella, Eva’s life changed when she married a powerful man, Juan Perón, who later became President of Argentina. However, that is where the similarities between her and Cinderella end. Eva became a superstar in Argentine politics by advocating for women’s equality and workers’ rights. Although she died young, her memory still lives on in Argentina, proving what a timeless presence she is. It would be refreshing for Disney to create a story centered around a non-noble woman who still embodies the elegance and leadership skills of a traditional “princess”.

3. Leona Vicario

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Many Mexicans know Leona Vicario as one of the most instrumental figures in the Mexican War of Independence. Not only did she finance much of the rebellion’s efforts, but she also worked as both a messenger and an informant. In other words, she was the physical embodiment of Disney’s latest Princess addition, Princess Leia. You have to admit that a Disney movie centered around an heiress-turned-rebel would make for an entertaining watch! We know we would’ve been pumped to watch it as young Latinas.

4. Joaquin Murrieta

what_i_do_is_secret/Instagram

According to legend, Joaquin Murrieta (aka “The Robin Hood of the West”) was initially a normal, law-abiding Mexican vaquero who moved to California during the Gold Rush. Jealous of his success, a group of Americans attacked him and his wife, killed his half-brother, and drove him off his prosperous mining claim. Afterward, Joaquin apparently hunted and exacted revenge upon his attackers. To many Latinos, Murrieta symbolizes the resistance against American white supremacy and the ability to obtain justice even when the system is stacked against you. With some kid-friendly tweaks to his story, we could definitely see Murrieta as a Latinx Disney character.

5. Gonzalo Guerrero

brassturtle/Instagram

Gonzalo Guerrero’s incredible story begins with him as a shipwrecked Spanish sailor washing up on the shores of current-day Mexico. Immediately taken prisoner by the local Maya, Guerrero was first enslaved, but soon earned his freedom and became both a Mayan Lord and a military captain. Notably, he married a Mayan woman and together they produced the first-ever recorded mestizo children. Although he was eventually found by the Spanish, Guerrero refused to return to his native country due to his profound love for his Mayan wife and family. If that doesn’t illustrate Disney’s family values, then we don’t know what does!

6. Dandara

xnervx/Instagram

If ever there was a person who embodied the literal traits of Superwoman, Dandara would be that woman. Adept at combat, hunting, agriculture, and woodworking, Dandara was an Afro-Brazilian warrior who fought against the further enslavement of her people by the Dutch. The ultimate warrior woman, Dandara lived in Palmares, Brazil–a community of escaped black slaves. She was courageous and self-sufficient, and after the Dutch captured her, she killed herself rather than experience slavery again. Even today, Brazilians recognize Dandara as a universal symbol of the struggle against colonialism and oppression. In other words, she gives Mulan a run for her money.

7. Bartolomé de las Casas

Wikipedia

Admittedly, Bartolomé de las Casas’ story would be difficult to make kid-friendly, but if Disney did it with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, then they could manage it here! Although Bartolomé’s early career is controversial, he spent the majority of his life advocating for universal human rights. Specifically, he campaigned against the inhumane treatment of Indigenous peoples and African slaves by conquistadors in the Americas. Although he didn’t succeed in completely eradicating the inhumane actions of Spanish conquistadors, he no doubt influenced colonial policy with his passionate rhetoric and his activism. He is the kind of hero whose greatest weapon was a pen, not a sword.

8. Juan Bobo

chugo_01/Instagram

Puerto Ricans know Juan Bobo as the archetypal, lovable klutz who can’t do anything right. In Puerto Rico, teachers and parents often use Juan Bobo as a way to teach children valuable lessons. Much like other American folk heroes like Davy Crockett or Johnny Appleseed, Juan Bobo doesn’t just represent an oral tradition, but also the very soul of Puerto Rico. He is a symbol of resilience and optimism in the face of adversity. There are a million different ways Disney could adapt his character to the delight of children everywhere.

9. Francisco El Hombre

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Colombian folklore says that Francisco el Hombre was a juglar, or minstrel, who specialized in playing the accordion. Legend has it that during a piqueria (song battle), Francisco came across the Devil himself as an opponent. Francisco fell to his knees and prayed to God for help. When he arose, he played the most beautiful melody that had ever been played on the accordion. Naturally, his pure talent vanquished the Devil back to Hell. Not only would this story make a spooky and exciting Disney movie, but imagine the song possibilities! We didn’t know we wanted a movie centered around a juglar until this moment and now, we can’t get it out of our heads!

10. Maria Lionza

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Maria Lionza is a legendary figure in Venezuela, and it’s hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction in her story. In fact, many historians debate whether she actually existed. According to legend, she was born to Chief Yaracuy of the indigenous Venezuelan Nivar tribe. The story goes that she was so beautiful that The Giant Anaconda who ruled the nearby lagoon swallowed her whole when she resisted his advances. She then broke free from his belly, killing him, and taking his place as “Master of the Waters”. Now that’s a Disney movie we’d pay to see!

11. Don Pedro Jaramillo

Wikipedia

Despite his intimidating appearance, Don Pedro Jaramillo was a force for good in Starr County, Texas, where he practiced as a curandero (healer). Born in Mexico to Native American parents, legend has it that Jaramillo knew from a young age that he the power to heal the sick. Indeed, at the peak of his fame, patients would travel from as far as New York City to be treated by him. How interesting would it be for Disney to produce a movie starring an Indigenous Latinx hero with magical healing powers? After all, nothing says “Disney” like magic does!

12. Calafia

By Wysinger at English Wikipedia

We couldn’t complete this list without including Calafia, the mythical black Warrior Queen created Spanish writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo in the 1500s. According to Montalvo, Calafia independently ruled over a kingdom of black women in the current-day Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. However, a Spanish King defeated her in hand-to-hand combat, forcing her into domesticity. Naturally, the tale concludes with her converting to Christianity and being married off to a Spanish husband, but the first half of her story is prime for a Disney adaptation. After the success of Wonder Woman, we know the public loves stories about all-female civilizations.

13. Tecun Uman

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Many of the historical Indigenous figures we’ve mentioned so far exhibit lauded qualities such as bravery, honor, and dignity. Guatemalan “National Hero” Tecun Uman exhibits all of these qualities. Celebrated in Guatemala as one of the last rulers of the K’iche’ Maya people, Uman refused to pledge loyalty to the Spanish crown and died in the battle of El Pinar. Guatemalans celebrate the day of his death, September 20th, as a day of remembrance. If Disney made Uman’s story into a movie, it would undoubtedly inspire children everywhere.

14. Inès de Bobadilla

@Pernetinha1 / Twitter

When Cuban Governor Hernando de Soto left Cuba to conquer Florida, he granted his wife, Inès de Bobadilla, power of attorney. Inès de Bobadilla governed Cuba from 1539 to 1543, making her the first female governor of Cuba, an unusual position for a woman of her time. Historians agree that she excelled at the role, handling conflicts between Spaniards and the Indigenous population with diplomacy and improving military defenses. To this day, the statue “La Giraldilla” on top of Castillo de la Real Fuerza is said to embody Inès, surveying the horizon, waiting for her husband’s return.

15. Roberto Cofresí

Jerjes Medina Albino

Born in Puerto Rico to a family of ruined Spanish nobility, Roberto Cofresi began his career as a sailor but quickly turned to piracy for the money. Although he was wanted by almost every seafaring nation in the world, he managed to evade capture until he and his crew were finally captured and killed. Nevertheless, his Robin Hood-like reputation was so larger-than-life that, in death, he became a local hero. In Puerto Rico, his story has inspired songs, poems, and folktales. We would love to see Disney’s take on his swashbuckling tale.

16. Anacaona

@tetraigofuego / Twitter

Anacaona, whose name roughly translates to “Golden Flower”, may be the most famous Taíno in history. Born in 1474 in modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic, she was the queen of the Taíno at the time of the Spanish invasion. Given the choice between being killed or becoming a Spaniard’s concubine, Anacaona chose death. In doing so, she cemented her status as a heroine and a martyr. If Disney were ever to make a movie about her, they would probably leave out the tragic death. Her courage and confidence, however, would make for a great Disney princess!

17. Pedro Urdemales

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Although the Chilean legend of Pedro Urdemales goes back to medieval Spain, this trickster has become a distinctly Latinx hero. Like the American trickster Huck Finn, Urdemales is known for using his wits to get out of sticky situations. Considering the success of other animated tricksters like Bugs Bunny or Woody the Woodpecker, we have no doubt that Latinx children would delight in seeing a trickster character of Latin descent brought to life by Disney.

18. María Jesús Alvarado Rivera

a_woman_a_day/Instagram

Although controversial in her lifetime, María Jesús Alvarado Rivera is now regarded as the “first modern champion of women’s rights” in Peru. During her lifetime, Rivera was a feminist activist and writer and was a vocal about her support of women’s suffrage. Intimidated by her unorthodox views, the Peruvian government imprisoned her for three months and then exiled her to Argentina for twelve years. Upon her return, she became an influential champion of art and culture. Seeing her story told to children would be a refreshing departure from Disney’s princess-centric stories.

19. Simón Bolívar

@evoespueblo / Twitter 

Affectionately known as El Liberator, Simón Bolívar was a politician who is widely recognized as the mastermind behind the Venezuelan campaign for independence from Spain. Born to a noble Spanish family in Venezuela, Bolívar received his formal education in Europe. Inspired by the popular Enlightenment ideology of the time, he returned to his native Venezuela determined to liberate his country from Spanish rule. His efforts aided in liberating Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama from their colonial oppressors. We would love to see his story play out on the big screen.

20. Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil

@historicalfaves / Twitter

Unlike the majority of the figures on this list, Princess Isabel of Brazil wasn’t known for being beautiful or athletic. What she is known for is signing “The Golden Law” in 1888, which abolished slavery in Brazil. Partially due to The Golden Law, the opposition overthrew her throne in a military coup. Despite the outcome, Isabel held fast to her beliefs. In 1888, she wrote: “If abolition is the cause for this, I don’t regret it; I consider it worth losing the throne for.” Now there’s a statement truly worthy of a Disney princess.


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This Quietly Posted IMDB Page Could Mean ‘Coco 2’

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This Quietly Posted IMDB Page Could Mean ‘Coco 2’

To say our worlds were rocked when Pixar finally gave us a touching film about la cultura a few years ago would be the biggest understatement of the century. ‘Coco,’ the 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy starring Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt filled our hearts and also brought us to tears. Still, as satisfying as the film was, there’s no doubt it left us craving more. And it looks like we might just get it.

An IMDB page for Coco 2 has been created and I’m sorry but I can’t stop freaking out!!

According to IMDB user anthandsoc-95189 who appears to have long had the inside scoop on upcoming films, ‘Coco 2: Return To the Land Of the Living’ is in the works! Some digging around has also revealed that another sight might have information on the plot and characters of the sequel film. Of course, this information has yet to be confirmed and might be purely a wish, but if it is we’ll dream big!

According to IMDB ‘Coco 2’ will take place 6 years after the first film

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The IMDB page says “It’s been 6 years since the events happened for Miguel. But when Hector, Imelda, and his great grand-abuelos need Miguel’s help to come back to the Land of the Living because some mysterious sinister masked skeleton is haunting and rules their world with an iron fist and sword and hates music.”

Which means, if IMDB is correct, we haven’t seen the last of Mama Coco!

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Sweet Coco could have a really big role in the new film!!

Of course, other sites have other insights into the could-be sequel…

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Because of course everyone has an opinion!

According to Fandom.com ‘Coco 2’ will take place six years after the first film.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

We’ll see Miguel’s family attempt to throw him a fiesta, but sadly Miguel, still upset about Mama Coco’s death, will be upset.

When Miguel meets a sophisticated, ghostly and well-bred skeletal spirit Miguel will attempt to return to The Land Of The Dead for a vacation.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Now that’s an insane idea for a spring break.

In this version of the sequel, Miguel will a dark black hole to go back to The Land Of The Dead, to see Papa Hector and Mamma Imelda.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Of course, Miguel will be astonished when he sees his old family members for another time and finally gets to see Mama Coco.

Soon enough, Miguel is racing against time, once again, to avoid being a skeleton.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

But this time, Marcel might not be so bothered by the idea of living amongst the dead for forever.

Of course, all of this is speculative. Who knows if Pixar has plans for a sequel in the works, but as one fan points out this clip by Pixar on the DVD release has some great hints!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VplFL0KS75s

Fingers crossed!

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Producer Of Selena Show On Netflix Discloses New Details On Another Selena-Inspired Project

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Producer Of Selena Show On Netflix Discloses New Details On Another Selena-Inspired Project

When news broke earlier this year that Netflix would be releasing a show about Selena Quintanilla, well, to put it mildly, people lost their minds. The demand for Selena content — whether through music, fashion, or makeup — is exceptionally high. So it makes sense that a streaming service would want to release something by the late Tejano singer.

The issue remains that the Quintanilla family are incredibly protective of their daughter’s image, music — and overall brand. So, when Netflix secured a deal about Selena and her family, her fans rejoiced.

ABC also said they were interested in a TV-scripted project, inspired by the life of Selena, which also got the seal of approval by her family. Unfortunately, the network ended up turning it down.

We now have more information from the producer responsible for the two Quintanilla family-backed projects.

@vivaestas /Instagram

Jaime Davila runs Campanario Entertainment — a North American media company — and said that despite ABC turning down the Selena-inspired show he’s still developing it.

Davila, who’s also from South Texas just like Selena, understands the importance of getting a story like this right.

@selenaquintanilla46 / Instagram

“I don’t take this lightly…it’s a big deal and I’m excited to really do it justice,” Davila told Deadline. “It’s really taking the time to explore what it was like to be a Mexican American family in the ’80s and ’90s, trying to make it. It’s gonna be great family musical drama.”

Davila had previously said that he was working very closely with Selena’s sister, Suzette, on this show, inspired by the musical legacy of Selena Quintanilla.

@quintanillaperez_1995 / Instagram

“We are excited to come on board as producers on an ABC music driven, Latino family drama that celebrates Selena’s musical legacy with a lead character whose music and career is inspired by Selena,” Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga said in a statement provided to us back in January.

Davila said that while ABC is no longer in the picture, he and Suzette are continuing to collaborate. We’re confident that another network would want to pick this show up asap.

While ABC is no longer in the picture, he and Suzette are continuing to collaborate. We’re confident that another network would want to pick this show up asap.

Back in January, we were informed via a press release that writer Miguel Nolla (who’s worked on “Scandal”) would be serving as writer and co-executive producer. We were also told that the show would focus on “Alex Guerra, a chart-topping, award-winning pop star who has been estranged from her family for five years.” Guerra “tries to pick up the pieces when a crisis forces her to return home. Alex finds herself back in Texas, juggling a love triangle, the demands of her career and the dark secrets of the family that she now desperately wants to win back.”

It’s a great concept, and now we’re just left wondering if that will still be the plotline or if the entire thing will be reorganized. Either way, we’d love to see this Latino representation on TV.

Fans of Selena have done well to honor and pay tribute to Selena in recent weeks as we approach the anniversary of her death.

Tributes to the reina de cumbia have been on full display this month. Earlier this week Dallas-based artists Jeremy Biggers and Hatziel Flores created a ‘Baila esta Cumbia’ mural in honor of the singer. fortunately after the two never recieved permiosion or permits from the city to paint the mural on a building built in 1884. Fortunately the city has offered to have the two artists paint the image on a

Earlier this month, country music star Kacey Musgraves paid tribute to the classic moment during her own performance at the same venue. Musgraves tribute came as part of the multi-day 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which rapper Cardi B is also set to perform.

The six-time Grammy Award winner’s reverent rendition of the beloved Selena song couldn’t have been performed on a more appropriate day. In keeping with Selena’s performance at the Houston Astrodome, which was song 24 years to the day, Musgraves entered the dome on a horse while wearing a white jumpsuit.

Soon after, Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla, revealed that she had seen Musgraves’ performance and almost cried.

“Awww this makes me wanna shed a tear! Take me back. A Big Big Thank you to Kacey Musgraves for the love at the Houston Rodeo tonite with that Selena y Los Dinos Jam!” she said on Instagram.

Camila Cabello also jumped on the honor-Selena-roll At Houston Rodeo earlier this week.

Instagram/@camilacabello

The Cuban singer showed up in full rodeo attire on Tuesday night, which reminded us a ton of Cardi B’s cowboy outfit that she wore in Houston. However, the “Havana” singer went all black with rhinestones with her outfit. It is definitely giving us the same vibes as Selena’s iconic black and bedazzled bustier that we all remember all these years later.

She looked stunning in her cowboy chaps. Are we sure she isn’t a true Texan?

Instagram/@camilacabello

“Thank you, Houston Rodeo!” Cabello wrote on social media. “I went up there and was so nervous, every time I saw a yellow NBTS hoodie I was so relieved lmao, thank you for always making me feel supported and loved, I love you guys so much!!!!!! PS, how can I sign up to be a cowgirl.”

It’s been interesting to see which song an artist covers and whether they sing in Spanish or English. Cabello did a rendition of Selena’s first English crossover song “Dreaming Of You.” Definitely a good choice to go with a fan favorite that is also one of the most iconic songs of all time.

Here’s Cabello’s cover of Selena’s “Dreaming Of You.”

YouTube/Camila Cabello

Cabello wrote: “55,001 souls dreaming of Selena last night at the Houston rodeo. We love you, Selena ????” Yes, we do. It seems like most of the people at Cabello’s concert felt the same way. Basically, if you are in Texas right now, check out the artist at Houston Rodeo because chances are you will get a great Selena tribute out of the deal. So worth it.

Obviously the Texas fans were here for it because, well, anything for Selenas.

We wish we could have been there to experience the magic. Cabello is Cuban-Mexican-American and it is clear that Selena is one of her inspirations. The way she was able to capture the emotion of the song and give everyone a tearful moment remembering the queen of our childhoods and her iconic music.

READ: Netflix Just Announced That They Are Launching A New Series Based On Selena Quintanilla And Everyone Is Muy Excited

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