Disney U-turns on Dia de los Muertos trademark bid for Day of the Dead movie after online protests


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The Independent US

Disney has withdrawn an attempt to trademark the name of a Mexican festival after an online backlash.

The Walt Disney Company had planned 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 macabre Day of the Dead celebrations.

However, online criticism from members of the US's American-Mexican community followed the move, leading the entertainment giant to back away from the plans and change the film's title.

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."

Lalo Alcatra, a Mexican-American cartoonist, who created the comic strip La Cucaracha, had earlier 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."

It is understood Disney wanted exclusive domain to use "Dia de los Muertos" for goods including food, Christmas tree ornaments and decorations, magnets and toiletries.

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 and building elaborate shrines in their homes.