I have not been shy about how much I adore the work of Jorge Gutierrez. BOOK OF LIFE is still to this day one of my favorite movies to watch. Not just favorite animated movies but favorite movies. That is in large part due to the animation and imagery, though. So, yes, I was thrilled to learn that Gutierrez was behind the upcoming MAYA AND THE THREE. Here are three things that I loved about it and why you should watch it.
1. There is emphasis on taking responsibility for our actions while embracing our community, herencia and familia.
Any person who has a bigger vision for their life can relate to this. In MAYA AND THE THREE you will hear a phrase:
If it is to be, it’s up to me.
Some people learn this very early on and those are the lucky people. Many of us take many many years to learn but we aren’t the unluckiest ones. Those are the people who never learn this lesson. And for LATINOS, it’s even more challenging because in our culture, you don’t do much of anything without considering our family first.
2. The imagery. It’s beautiful and this version of Mesoamerica looks exactly how I never knew I could imagine it.
Jorge Gutierrez has such a unique animation style. It’s undeniably Mexican. I love his vision of Mexico and Mesoamerica. – Wait. Is that the same place?
Either way, it’s beautiful and I’d like to think this is how I dream my dreams. I have spent the last 10 years or so searching my ancestry and heritage. The imagery in MAYA AND THE THREE is how I see it.
3. The language and mixed Spanglish.
“Gordo” and “Mocosa” are two Spanish words that every Chicano/Latino knows – even if we don’t speak Spanish. Words like these seem to be casually added to the script but I’m sure there was intention in adding them in. And, this move makes this series feel like it belongs to us. But it’s not just for us. It’s for the world to see and appreciate this beautiful cultural experience.
BONUS reason: The hero is a girl. ¡Vivan las chicas!
MAYA (voiced by Zoe Saldaña) is a Mesoamerican warrior princess – half-human, half-god. How amazing is it that the first Mexoamerican fantasy animation centers around a female hero?! She’s beautiful like the gods and she’s flawed like the humans. This main character is the multidimensional superhero we’ve been waiting for. All is right in this series.
Watch MAYA AND THE THREE on Netflix starting October 22.