Latin America in Cartoons

Across the continent, local talent is bringing a colorful and entertaining new industry to life.

Text: Natalia Ramos Briones

Bear Story

GENRE: Short Film
DIRECTOR: Gabriel Osorio
YEAR: 2014

This Chilean short film made a splash in the specialized media. Premiering to critical acclaim at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, it subsequently made the rounds at events in Greece, Taiwan, the United States, the Netherlands and Canada, captivating fans with its poetic atmosphere and exploration of different narrative styles. Among other international honors, it won the award for Best Children’s Short and Best Art Direction at Anima Mundi in Brazil. Produced by Punkrobot Animation, Bear Story also managed to sell itself to Spain’s Canal+.






GENRE: Feature Film
DIRECTOR: Juan José Campanella
COUNTRY: Argentina – España
YEAR: 2013

The first animated film from Oscar-winning director Juan José Campanella – guest editor of this issue of in – takes as its theme Argentina’s greatest passion: soccer. Drawing inspiration from Roberto Fontanarrosa’s short story “Memoirs of a Right Wing,” Campanella breathes life into miniature players from an old foosball table who share a touching message of overcoming the odds.





O menino e o mundo

GENRE: Feature Film
YEAR: 2014

Hailed by critics as an amazing visual feat, this full-length animated film won the Cristal Award for Best Feature Film and the Audience Award at the 2014 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, the genre’s leading global event. The film combines techniques like pencil, crayon, cutout collages and watercolors to illustrate the journey of Cuca, a boy who decides to search for his father, finding a strange world of machines and unusual beings along the way. Embedded in the film is a sharp critique of modern society and industrialization.





GENRE: Feature Film
DIRECTOR: Gustavo Cova
COUNTRY: Argentina – México
YEAR: 2010

This orange cat was first sketched more than 20 years ago by Argentinean cartoonist Cristian Dzwonik (aka Nik). Since then, Gaturro has appeared daily in comic strips published in Argentina’s La Nación newspaper. Fifty books later (including comics and short stories), the 3D animated film became the third most popular box office hit in Argentina in 2010, taking in close to a million dollars in the first two weeks.




The Illusionauts

GENRE: Feature Film
DIRECTOR: Eduardo Schuldt
YEAR: 2012

More than 70 digital artists and a US$3 million investment gave rise to the adventures of four children – Aristóteles, Nicole, Petit Pan, Profiterol – and the dog Houston. This 3D animated film was the most successful Peruvian feature of 2012, grossing more than US$740,000 thanks to the 372,000 audience members who saw it in that country’s theaters. After this local success, the producers from Aronnax Films signed a contract with the U.S.-based Cartoon Network.


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