As we reported last week The Walt Disney Company was planning to trademark the term “Dia de los Muertos” in an attempt to protect merchandise to be produced in association with Pixar’s upcoming animated film based on Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations.
In a statement the company said: “As we have previously announced, Disney-Pixar is developing an animated feature inspired by the Mexican holiday Dia 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.”
The Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos is a combination of the Roman Catholic All Souls’ Day festival and indigenous Mexican beliefs and practices, and usually entails families decorating their dead relatives’ graves, offerings of the deceased’s favorite foods and building elaborate shrines in their homes for departed loved ones.
Lalo Alcatra, a Mexican-American cartoonist, who created the skeletal Godzilla-sized Mickey Mouse, with the words: “It’s coming to trademark your cultura (culture) tweeted: “On the offensiveness scale, it seems awful and crass, as the words ‘Dia de Los Muertos’ aren’t just some brand name but a holiday.”
Disney has not said that social media responses were responsible for the trademark withdrawal but we are pretty sure the online backlash had something to do with it.