It has been over one year since Disney/Pixar announced the next film from the filmmaking team of director Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson, both of who last worked on Toy Story 3. While we were provided a basic premise, that the film would center around the holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where people of some Latin American countries celebrate those who have died, the film remained untitled. Given that the Toy Story film was critically lauded and was the first Pixar film to pass the billion-dollar mark at the box office, we have been anxiously awaiting further details on their follow-up film. After a recent trademark filing by Disney, it seems reasonable that the title could simply be Dia de los Muertos.
UPDATE (5/7/13): Disney has provided the following statement to Fronteras Desk, which confirms that Dia de los Muertos will not be the final title for the film:
As we have previously announced, Disney-Pixar is developing an animated feature inspired by the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos. Disney’s trademark filing was intended to protect any potential title for our film and related activities. It has since been determined that the title of the film will change and therefore we are withdrawing our trademark filing.
This comes after backlash to the trademark application quickly spread online. “Dia de los Muertos” even trended worldwide on Twitter several times. Some who celebrated the holiday were offended by Disney’s application to trademark an event they considered a significant part of their culture, and took to blogs and Twitter to share how they felt. They clearly made enough noise, as Disney chose to back off. Since it seems like the film title was not going to be Dia de los Muertos, it was likely not a difficult decision for them to back away.
Stitch Kingdom reports that the Walt Disney Company has filed a trademark claim on ‘Dia de los Muertos’ in several areas that include toys, clothing, other merchandise, and edible goods. While that does not necessarily mean that the film will be called Dia de los Muertos – Disney could be playing it safe in the event the film does indeed receive that title or something very similar – this is certainly making a good case for it. Previously referred to as The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dia de los Muertos, the title of Dia de los Muertos is clearly not a huge leap away.
There are also a lack of recognizable films previously released that feature that title – the closest would likely be Day of the Dead, the 1985 film from horror king George A. Romero, but the difference in language makes the titles distinct enough. In an age where generic titles are used and reused, titling the Pixar film Dia de los Muertos would be a great choice. The studio is familiar with releasing a film with a non-English title stateside, as Brad Bird’s Ratatouille arrived in theaters in 2007. To likely placate those fearing that film could fail due to a title those in the U.S. (adults and children) may find difficult pronouncing, “rat-a-too-ee” was humorously listed below the title in the official logo for the film. The same should prove unnecessary if this upcoming film does indeed gain the title of Dia de los Muertos, since many of us in North America are already familiar on how to pronounce that.
We may be provided more details and perhaps even a final title and release date at this year’s D23 Expo in August.
Here is the premise that Disney/Pixar released at CinemaCon last year:
From director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson, the filmmaking team behind the Academy Award®-winning “Toy Story 3,” comes a wholly original Pixar Animation Studios film that delves into the vibrant holiday of Día de los Muertos.