Jorge Trelles is getting ready for the launch of the second short of the series “Mofongolandia,” of which he is executive producer and creator.
The mini-episode entitled Estereotipos en el Ring, which translates into “stereotypes in the ring,” is taking a jab of latino representation on other satire cartoon shows.
The series is the first Spanish-language, animated show from a Puerto Rican producer in the United States and is described as a blend between “South Park” and “Calvin and Hobbes.”
It combines a satirical look at debated issues — things ranging from catholic religion, to sexuality, to the misrepresentation of latinos in U.S. media — all through the innocence of childrens imagination, though intended for mature audiences.
The main character Mofongo leads his friends into these adult situations, through the adventures and imagination of childs play.
The new short Estereotipos en el Ring takes a direct stab at the characterization of Latinos within American animation media and will be released online January 1st.
Trelles gives us a look into what the inspiration behind creating this episode.
“I think ‘Estereotipos en el Ring,’ and the series ‘Mofongolandia’ as a whole, is trying to represent a Latino perspective amongst media makers,” Trelles says. “A perspective that by and large, does not exist in mass media; intelligent, socially-critical, parody. We like to comment on the disconnect between these media misrepresentations and reality, and how ridiculous these misrepresentations could be.”
The references to “South Park” and “Family Guy” will be very prevalent for any fan of those two shows and you’ll even pick up some “The Simpsons” allusions in the background.
The three shows showcased in this short (South Park, Family Guy, and The Simpsons), are trail blazers in their own right. So in part, this is an homage. However, and largely without knowing, the producers of these shows use established stereotypes to create two-dimensional background characters, who further promotes the stereotypes. It becomes a cycle.
But Trelles doesn’t feel that the writers of these shows are doing it on purpose.
“I don’t believe the misrepresentation is done out of malice. These shows are only here to entertain. I think the fault is ours, by not having a Latino man or woman in the story meetings where these ideas get hatched, developing characters that are more three dimensional. We are here to change that.”
Trelles sees this project as an “empowerment tool” for the latino community as a whole.
“Mofongolandia” will be produced exclusively in Spanish — but will include English subtitles — and will be geared towards young Hispanic adults in the U.S. and Latin America.
Other shorts are currently in production for release next year. The shorts will be available for free in its YouTube channel. The short was produced with contributions from an online fundraising campaign earlier this year.
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