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K-12 Technology
Cartoons with Indigenous Characters and Stories
netflix.com

Sep 16, 2019 2019-09-16

SPOTLIGHT! On Realistic Portrayals of Indigenous People

For decades, animated children’s stories included negative stereotypes of indigenous people. Now three new cartoons are reaching children with realistic portrayals on the small screen—where they consume most of their media.

In the United States and Latin America, Netflix is running the animated film Pachamama. The story centers on a 10-year-old boy in an Andean village who dreams of becoming a shaman. His people suffer under both the Spanish conquest and the Incan Empire. “It’s told from the point of view of the Indigenous people,” says Juan Antin, who is from Argentina, and wrote and directed the film. He says he wanted to give a realistic view of domination in the region.

The Cartoon Network series Victor and Valentino features two half brothers in a fictitious Mesoamerican village, exploring myths that come to life. For example, they follow the dog Achi into the land of the dead, where they encounter a chupacabra and other legends. Animator Diego Molano, whose heritage is Mexican, Colombian, and Cuban, began drawing his characters in college. He says that with this series, he wanted to share the folktales his grandfather used to tell him.

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