Here’s our first look at the English-language trailer of El Americano: The Movie, a Mexico-U.S. co-production conceived by Ricardo Arnaiz, who runs Animex Producciones in Puebla, Mexico.
The film’s $4 million budget didn’t allow for typical CG extravagances like feathers on the birds, so the filmmakers had to opt for a more stylized textural approach to suggest feathers. It was animated primarily by Boxel Studios in Tijuana, with additional help from the Filipino studio Cutting Edge Productions.
El Americano follows the story of a young Mexican parrot Cuco whose family’s circus is threatened by bullies. To save the circus, he heads to the United States to enlist the help of El Americano, the superhero star of an American television show. Despite the silly trailer, the film attempts to address some heavy themes. “We wanted to tell a story about how borders are just a line on a map and when you are honest and you do things the right way there are a lot of possibilities out there for everybody,” Arnaiz told Animation Magazine.
“It’s a good message for Mexicans looking for the American dream and realizing that while they were looking out there, it’s inside them.”
Arnaiz co-directed the film with animation veteran Mike Kunkel (Tarzan, Cats Don’t Dance, My Gym Partner’s a Monkey). Among the executive producers are actor Edward James Olmos, who produced through his LA-based Olmos Productions, and animation legend Phil Roman, whose earlier studio Film Roman produced such shows as The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and Garfield and Friends.
Disney veteran Raul Garcia directed the animation, and among the five credited writers is Richard Pursel (Ren & Stimpy, SpongeBob SquarePants).
El Americano has a solid cast of celebrity voices—Cheech Marin, Kate del Castillo, Paul Rodriguez, Erik Estrada, Gabriel Iglesias, Lisa Kudrow, and Olmos, but it does not appear to have a U.S. distributor attached to it. A release for August 2015 is anticipated.