Update at the bottom: It looks like Disney is backing away from its claims to Dia De Los Muertos. First posted at 12:38 p.m.

It's bad enough that white folk have taken over our land (the Southwest), our food (we're looking at you, Rick Bayless) and our women (Salma Hayek, sort of).

Now you want the one thing that makes Mexicans at least half as cool as African Americans? You want our culture? After the Anglo co-opting of our cowboy heritage via George W. Bush and the ¡Three Amigos!, and the takeover of Mexican wrestling by Jack Black, Disney is trying to snap up trademarks for that baddest of holidays, Dia De Los Muertos?

The website StitchKingdom has uncovered several Disney applications for Dia De Los Muertos trademarks.

This as the Burbank-based mouse house is reported to be working with Pixar on an animated film, scheduled for release in 2015, about the Halloween-like holiday.

Credit: Erik Estrada / LA Weekly Flickr pool

Credit: Erik Estrada / LA Weekly Flickr pool

What folks in the Latino community are buzzing about, however, is what Disney wants with all those patents: Are they simply related to film merchandise, or is the studio trying to take over all that is muerto?

The big mouse has filed for dibs on such Dia De Los Muertos-branded items as chewing gum (your breath smells like death), perfume (rigor mortis?), sunglasses and even frozen meals (!?).

Does that mean those Echo Park hipsters who dress up in the skeletal style of the holiday will owe Disney a licensing fee?


We'll keep you posted.

[Update at 11:18 p.m.]: A Disney spokeswoman told Fronteras that the trademark requests were based on the upcoming film and that, because the title will now no longer be Dia De Los Muertos, it's withdrawing the claims:

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.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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