So Mickey Mouse dropped the bid for trademark and the popular pressure stopped it. Great news! This is however, only part of the story.
The larger scope of the trademark application reveals a greater threat. Sources say there were 33 separate filings for products that included everything from fruit preserves to Christmas ornaments
Disney and large manufacturers are getting ready to commercialize every aspect of Day of the Dead imagined and yet to be imagined. The massive invasion of products marketed as Day of the Dead will definitely have an impact both in the tradition itself and in the sale of Mexican and American made products.
The buying public in areas where this celebration has not yet taken hold will tend to confuse the imagery and traditions and assume a made up Disney version is the correct one. As it happened because of the “Halloweenization’ of Skeleton faces and styles, the introduction of scary skeletons which are not part of the day of the Dead tradition are becoming more prevalent. Normally skeletons are depicted celebrating aspects of life, family and sentiment in the Day of the Dead tradition.
Disney has every right to commercialize products and to make them where they please.
They have however made a movie that is not just another cartoon, it is an essential part of a cultural tradition. Would they dare to seek a trademark on everything Christmas?
We have the right to defend our traditions and express our priorities. Defending our traditions, culture and the labor of our peoples must be our priority.
The mouse’s nose should be rubbed into the mess they made.
We cannot sit still for several reasons: the main one being that you can be assured that most of these products will be made in Asia and not in Mexico or the USA.
The danger to the livelihood of traditional artisans is clear. We cannot let Disney off the hook. If they want to make amends to the community we need to ask questions about their marketing plans.
We must emphatically say that if these products are to be presented as Day of the Dead products-not just a cartoon item-the bulk of them should be made in Mexico.In our next blog we will discuss the devastating consequences for artisan communities in Mexico.
At a minimum we need to start focusing our efforts in educating the public that for this tradition only Mexican or US made products are acceptable; after all It is us and our families who produce these products and that they are embedded in Mexican and Chicano traditions.
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For more information on the trademark issue with Disney go to: